Pulse ‘Cracking the Code’ for International Women’s Day 2023

Pulse amplified this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, ‘Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future’, with a campaign encouraging more female students to apply for the company’s work experience and mentorship program that can help kick-start careers.

The United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2023 encourages females to study for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Yet in Australia, where educational opportunities are gender-equal, women account for no more than 27% of workers in digital technology roles, and less than 13% of working engineers.

The Hunter region has long been associated with manufacturing, coal exports, wineries, hospitality, arts, beaches, and educational facilities. Today, the Hunter is also a hotspot for innovation, an alternative ‘Silicon Valley’ where technological breakthroughs are made.

Pulse, established in the Hunter for more than 35 years, is one company that proactively provides STEM-based career pathways for local students. Historically, careers in digital technology were seen as only available in capital cities, causing the exodus of many of the Hunter’s brightest young people.

The managing director and chief executive officer of Pulse, Ashley Bosworth, attended Lambton High School and began his career with an engineering degree from the University of Newcastle. Other company directors and many of the 60-plus staff were educated locally, the company known for supporting professional development and internal promotions.

However, among the high school graduates and university students seeking employment with Pulse, the male applicants have always vastly outnumbered female applicants.

“With respect for the goals of International Women’s Day 2023, Pulse wants to make an impact. We would like more school students to learn about the kind of careers they can have in fields like software development, app design, and data analytics, if they choose to remain in the Hunter and complete their tertiary studies here,” said Ash Bosworth.

In recent years, Pulse has employed at least five outstanding HSC graduates to kick-start their careers while studying at the University of Newcastle – all of them male. From this year forward, inspired by International Women’s Day 2023, Pulse will reach out to more high schools in the Hunter to see if more female students can be encouraged to apply. Selected students can enter a period of work experience with Pulse, where mentorship and exposure to cutting-edge software development will be invaluable to them. The most promising candidates can be offered transition into paid employment with Pulse when school ends.

St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton, was the first school where teachers helped to raise awareness of the Pulse opportunity among students in tech-related subjects. This year, efforts were made to achieve greater inclusivity in response to the Pulse awareness-raising campaign. As a result, the first-ever female HSC students have just been accepted for work experience at Pulse, the first stage of a potential career kick-start with Pulse or at least a head-start for them in the technology industry generally. Rowan Kelly, Leader of Learning – TAS at the College said, “The two students are very happy to be involved. They are the only girls in my Year 12 Software Design class, and they work very diligently.”

Tory Cumming, the manager of human resources at Pulse, said, “With modern policies of equal opportunity, there is no barrier to any person wanting to pursue a career in digital technology, for example. It’s the scarcity of female job applicants causing tech-oriented companies, like Pulse, to appear as if there is gender bias in hiring. Industry cannot break the gender bias in employment unless we can impact the patterns of choice in learning.”

Schools and students with an interest in the ‘Cracking the Code’ awareness-raising campaign by Pulse may contact hr@miningsystems.com for information.

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