The inauguralAuckland IT Salaries Reportby RWA Technology People confirms the lucrative pay of nine areas of work, while providing more details on a major gap, in the sector.\nIndeed, the report affirms the under-representation of women in ICT, but notes population isn\u2019t the only area where they are disadvantaged.\n\u201cIn every role group except business (which are primarily business analysts) women received a lower median base salary when compared with their male counterparts,\u201d says Denis Parkinson, a director of RWA Technology People.\nAt the #MoneyTalks17 forum in Auckland to launch the report, Parkinson and a panel of ICT leaders discuss this and other key findings of the report.\nNo caption\n\u201cIt is really disappointing,\u201d says Liz Gosling, CIO at AUT University, on the data on gender imbalance in the sector.\nSince 1981, which was when the 80 to 20 split [between men and women] in the sector was established, this has not shifted at all, she says.\nMind the gap: Overall women are being paid 5.85% less across the whole sector.\nShe cites the challenges a lot of women face when establishing a career in the male dominated industry.\n\u201cBlokes, you are at least half of the problem here,\u201d she tells the audience.\nLiz Gosling, AUT\nClearly, whoever set the 9 to 5 workday was not a woman.\n\u201cI am sorry, but you have to make your workplaces more female friendly,\u201d says Gosling.\nShe says women are involved in child care and when they reach a certain age, are also involved in the care of their parents.\n\u201cYou have to think that how you structure the workplace because clearly, whoever set the 9 to 5 workday was not a woman.\u201d\nCampbell Such of Bidfood at a CIO roundtable discussion in Auckland: Lifelong learning and the right attitude is key to futureproofing a career in ICT.\nShe says that AUT had provided her this flexibility. She says she sometimes works at 4 am and has to leave at 3 pm to attend her daughter\u2019s netball practice at school.\nGosling also calls for changing how organisations advertise for jobs for IT.\nShe says a lot of the advertisements demand a bachelor\u2019s degree in computing, or a similar business degree, as a minimum requirement.\n\u201cWe are selecting people out of the process at that point.\u201d\nShe says if that were the case when she applied for her first job in IT, she would not be where she is now.\n\u201cI have a much more history and social sciences background, but I did not have that qualification when I got my first job,\u201d she says.\nShe studied computer science when her forward-thinking employer recommended that she do so, with the organisation paying for her university fees.\n\u201cStop long job winded job ads with lots of tech words, please,\u201d says another panelist, Phil Crothers, a senior talent specialist at Xero.\nFrom the audience, management consultant Owen McCall asks how organisations can self-monitor around unconscious bias.\nGosling says organisations can do \u201cblind recruitment\u201d.\nHave HR people remove personal information such as gender and names, so the person doing the hiring is looking at the skills and background of the person, she states.\nPhil Crothers says training to remove unconscious bias should happen first. \u201cIf you don't train people to remove unconscious bias, you are putting a band aid over it, it won't go away.\u201d\nAnother panelist, Campbell Such, GM of IT at Bidfood,spoke about visiting a school that started a software development programme for children. At least a third of the participants were girls.\n\u201cWe need to encourage more of these programmes,\u201d he says.\nHe says one of the cliches in the workplace is people tend to move companies because of managers, and you tend to employ for skill, and fire for attitude.\n\u201cWe need to flip that around,\u201d says Such. \u201cWe need to make sure we have great managers for the really good staff that we want to keep.\n"We also need to encourage staff to make sure they stay and progress, and be part of a great team.\n\u201cHave the interest of the staff at heart, when you do that it is amazing what they can do.\u201d\n\u201cHire for attitude not for skill, absolutely,\u201d Gosling adds in agreement.\nVanessa Payne of Vend\nYou have to have a culture that is focused on outputs.\nVanessa Payne, people and culture manager for the APAC region at Vend, says the software company measures employee engagement four times a year.\nIn the latest engagement survey, she says compensation came up as a driver, which was the first time it has happened in her three years in the company.\nThe survey asks people to give a statement on whether their compensation is fair, or whether they are fairly paid in relation to the market.\n"We used to really look for enthusiastic generalists for the roles we were recruiting for and now we look for experienced specialists, as our business has changed and is growing,\u201d she says. With those two things combined, there is no surprise compensation has risen as a driver for the work.\n\u201cThe net message there is people feel they need to be paid fairly in order to feel engaged, which we can all agree. That is certainly important to our workforce as well.\n\u201cIt is really important for any people or culture office or HR team and the wider business functions to look at market data,\u201d she says.\nIn their case, they look at all market data for salaries, compare themselves to software as a service companies of similar size and revenue.\n\u201cIt is important to get the right data when you make these types of decisions,\u201d she states.\nShe says a non-negotiable benefit for most of their staff and those they are recruiting is flexible working.\n\u201cI can\u2019t imagine going to a company where you have to work 9 to 5 and somebody is watching what time you enter the building and what time you leave. It seems so old school and ridiculous to me,\u201d she says. \u201cYou have to have a culture that is focused on outputs, if you want your business to succeed.\n\u201cIf you are focused on inputs and how much time people are spending at their desks, you are probably gonna get a bunch of people who check Facebook for the last hour of the day.\u201d\nShe says the number one factor they have seen for the past year around driving employee engagement and overall retention, is growth and development.\n\u201cPeople want to feel like to feel they are supported in their career choices, they are able to make career choices and decide where they want to go and that there are genuine resources in place to help them.\u201d\nShe says Vend has a growth and development budget set aside for each employee [per year]. She says the minimum amount is $1000, though employees can make this amount go far if they are looking at job training, mentoring and outside training as well.\nPhil Crothers of Xero\nThe main skillset I am looking for is the ability to learn and grow.\n\u201cWe have built a framework to enable our managers to have growth and development conversations with their employees, as part of a regular cadence of one on ones,\u201d she says.\nShe says they also rolled out some other benefits to make the organisation \u201csticky\u201d. These include a new benefit for new parents. As the average age of their employees has increased, they are now thinking of the next stage in life which for a lot of them are becoming parents, says Payne.\nVend also has a global stock option scheme, which is successful in increasing the average tenure for staff.\nCrothers says millennials are the largest part of their workforce now. Xero has 1700 people globally and 900 of them are in New Zealand.\nHe says a lot of people have interests outside Xero and the company gives them the flexibility and time to spend on these. These may be involvement in community programmes, or training to become a tri-athlete.\nCrothers says this approach is important particularly for millennials, who not only want to do a good job but want to be proud of where they work.\n\u201cBack them up in what they want to do, give them opportunities to grow, and not just put [these] on a piece of paper.\u201d\nHe says the organisation gets value from this as the staff will not leave and they do not have to pay thousands of dollars to train someone else for the job.\nCrothers recruits people from overseasand when asked what skills he looks for in candidates, he explains:\n\u201cWe scale a level that no other companies do in New Zealand. We just can\u2019t say, 'go hire someone from this spec to do the job'."\nXero is not \u201ctools agnostic\u201d, so the ability to learn and grow is the main skillset he is looking for.\nNo caption\nYou have to be resilient to change, be open to change, be open to feedbackVanessa Payne, Vend\n\u2018Be resilient to change, be a lifelong learner\u2019\nThe panelists share tips to futureproof a career in the era of change and automation.\n\u201cLifelong learning and the right attitude,\u201d says Campbell Such of Bidfood.\n\u201cKnow that what you are doing today is not going to be the thing that can get you to something,\u201d he states. It is more like a \u201csquiggly line\u201d, he adds, as one takes on different roles along the way. \u201cAnd you [then] find where you want to go isn\u2019t here, it is over there.\u201d\nVanessa Payne of Vend says having the right attitude, more specifically resilience, is critical.\nShe cites Sheryl Sandberg\u2019s book Option B, where the Facebook COO and co-author Adam Grant wrote that resilience is like a muscle, it can be built-up.\nRWA Technology People director Denis Parkinson\nWe all need to understand the people we are working with and working for us, understand their motivations, drivers, aspirations and work with those\n\u201cYou have to be resilient to change, be open to change, be open to feedback,\u201d says Payne. \u201cYou might be doing something you might not have thought you might be doing.\u201d\nLiz Gosling cites the importance of nurturing relationships. \u201cBuild networks, be nice to everybody.\u201d\nYou never know when you get to meet those people again, she says. \u201cIn five years time, they may be employing you.\u201d\nPhil Crothers of Xero agrees with Gosling. \u201cTreat people the way you want to be treated.\u201d\nDenis Parkinson says lifelong learning is important, but also, recognise that \u201cbusiness is about people.\u201d\n\u201cWe all need to understand the people we are working with and working for us, understand their motivations, drivers, aspirations and work with those.\u201d\nThe RWA report tackles this further. In a fast-moving industry like technology, the search for talent becomes even more critical to business success, it states.\n\u201cWe can no longer focus just on the right skills or experience. We must also learn to spot potential \u2013 the ability to adapt and grow into increasingly complex roles and environments, an essential skill in the technology sector.\n\u201cThere are plenty of great developers or managers with strong technical skills, but are they motivated? Are they curious? This insight, engagement and determination is what sets them apart, and enables them to be more than just a job title."\nNo caption\nIDG, publisher of CIO New Zealand and Computerworld New Zealand, is a media partner of RWA Technology People in the inaugural Auckland IT Salaries Report 2017.\nSend news tips and comments to email@example.com\nFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter:@divinap\nFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz\nSign up forCIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.