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Tuatahi First Fibre empowers future female STEM leaders through ShadowTech sponsorship

Bringing innovation and diversity together for a brighter future

We are excited to announce that we have recently partnered up with ShadowTech, a transformative initiative that aims to empower young women to explore the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and foster gender diversity within these fields. This partnership reflects Tuatahi First Fibre's commitment to shaping the future of telecommunications while actively addressing workforce skill shortages.

ShadowTech's mission aligns perfectly with Tuatahi First Fibre's values of promoting inclusivity and encouraging the pursuit of STEM-related subjects. The initiative seeks to increase the number of young females who chose STEM disciplines at the secondary and tertiary levels, thereby unlocking a world of opportunities that had been previously unexplored by many female students. 

One of the highlights of the collaboration was the ShadowTech Day that Tuatahi First Fibre hosted on Tuesday 12 September 2023. During this immersive event, we provided a group of 9 enthusiastic female students with an exclusive "day in the life" experience, shedding light on the exciting career paths available within the telecommunications industry.

The content for the day was meticulously planned and executed by a group led by dedicated female staff members from within Tuatahi. Their passion and expertise were instrumental in making the ShadowTech Day a resounding success. Throughout the day, participants were engaged in a series of activities designed to spark their interest and imagination. From demonstrations on how fibre technology worked to an interactive Q&A session with the Tuatahi First Fibre team, the students gained invaluable insights into the world of telecommunications. A treasure hunt further educated the students on fibre technology and provided lots of chances to win prizes too! This interactive approach was intended to not only educate but also inspire these young minds to consider pursuing their studies in STEM fields.

"We were honoured to be a part of the ShadowTech initiative and to have had the opportunity to introduce these bright young women to the endless possibilities that STEM careers offer, particularly within the telecommunications industry," said Nick Ollington, Chief People & Sustainability Officer at Tuatahi First Fibre. "We believe that diversity is a driving force behind innovation, and by fostering interest and participation of women in STEM, we can collectively create a more vibrant and dynamic future."

The partnership between Tuatahi First Fibre and ShadowTech underscored a shared commitment to shaping a more diverse and forward-thinking workforce. Through initiatives like ShadowTech Day, this sponsorship seeks to bridge the gender gap in STEM and empower the next generation of female leaders to shape the technological landscape.

As the ShadowTech Day unfolded, it was hoped that the students' exposure to the world of telecommunications would ignite their curiosity, fuel their passion, and motivate them to pursue their dreams fearlessly within the STEM fields. The impact of such initiatives could have far-reaching consequences, transforming industries and shaping a brighter future for all.

The day did leave a lasting impression on the enthusiastic female students who participated and here are some examples of what the students had to say about their experiences:

"I enjoyed the Q&A between us students and all the staff that helped out today. It felt good to just sit down and have a long discussion about their journeys and experiences," said one student, highlighting the valuable insights gained from interacting with our staff.

Another student shared, "I learned a lot, but one of the key things was that everyone with a willingness to learn has a place in tech." This sentiment emphasises the inclusivity and openness that the students felt during their time at Tuatahi.

"I learned about the different types of opportunities in tech," noted another student, showcasing the diverse range of career paths available within the STEM fields, which was a key takeaway from the event.

Lastly, a student expressed, "I enjoyed learning about the different career pathways in tech, but mostly seeing the friendly and judgment-free environment of the workplace here at Tuatahi." This comment was fantastic to hear and reflects the welcoming and supportive atmosphere that we endeavoured to provide these students, fostering an environment where they could explore and aspire to future STEM careers without fear of judgment.

These quotes highlight the positive impact of the ShadowTech Day on the students and highlight the importance of such initiatives in inspiring and empowering the next generation of female STEM leaders.