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Diversity matters to new hires

When it comes to employing top talent and maintaining a productive and engaged workforce, Australasian e-commerce provider eStar says its focus on diversity and equality gives it a competitive edge.

The New Zealand-based IT company employs more than 70 people who represent 17 different cultural backgrounds.

eStar chief operations officer Kevin Rowland says the company focuses on having the right people in the right role and building a culture that is welcoming and inclusive.

“Four of our back-end developers are from India and we have a diverse workforce of women from Brazil, Hong Kong, Egypt, Philippines, Germany and Sri Lanka, as well as loads of Kiwis.

“Employing people from diverse backgrounds provides significant opportunities for us to leverage engagement, innovation, productivity and improve service to our clients,” Rowland said.

Although women fill just 23 per cent of tech roles in New Zealand, 41 per cent of eStar’s employees are women.

They work as developers, web designers, scrum masters, project managers, product owners, solutions consultants and in client support, to name a few. In addition, three of the eStar’s four senior tech leads are women, who were all promoted internally.

While the gender pay gap is still a big problem – women earn 23.1 per cent less across industries in Australia – Rowland says eStar treats all employees equally and bases remuneration on skills and value.

“Remuneration has nothing to do with gender or culture. It makes no difference whether people are male or female, it’s all about recruiting the right person for the job who has the right skills and experience,” he said.

According to Rowland, eStar’s focus on inclusivity translates to strong employee engagement, which has pushed its retention rate well above the industry average.

“Having engaged and satisfied people in the tech business is so important as we are all competing for the top talent,” he said.

eStar has increased its workforce by a third in the last 18 months and supports various projects encouraging young Kiwis to pursue tech careers, such as Shadow Tech Day, ITP TechHub and Futureintech.

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