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Finder’s Frank Restuccia On Inclusivity And Supporting Women In Tech

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Pic: Canva

Here is a mission we like. 

Our mission is to actively create opportunities for women from diverse backgrounds and experiences to enter startups, whilst challenging our community to think differently about where their talent comes from.
This is the Startmate Fellowship mission and it recently kicked off a 2-month program that supports equal opportunity for women in tech startups. 

As a sponsor of the program, Finder will support 3 women from a low socio-economic background to receive a scholarship and will also provide coaching and mentorship to women throughout the course.

With women representing just 28% of Australia’s tech force, Finder is doing its bit to encourage more women to enter the tech sector.

Startmate focuses on including women founders
Startmate,Yan Zhai, Sophia Witherington, Michael Batko CEO, Sascha Kerbert

Finder is working with some great non-for-profits including #SheHacks2019, Women Who Code, Men Championing Change and the Australian Innovators Challenge: Girls in Business Program that empowers high school students to solve real-world issues. 

It is also working with social impact business Project F through Program 50/50 which has helped us create a roadmap for taking action.

Finder co-founder, Frank Restuccia talks to Women Love Tech about Finder’s plans to support equal opportunity in the tech industry and why it has put this at the top of its agenda.

Tell us more about what Finder is doing to support gender equality in the tech sector.

“Finder launched our first diversity and inclusion group this year which meets regularly and builds solutions to issues identified by the wider crew. We kicked this off by running a company-wide benchmarking survey to gather rich data. It looked at the diversity that exists within our crew, how included everyone feels and importantly how different backgrounds impact the employee experience. 

“This has really shaped our thinking and I encourage all companies to consider doing one. Things like language and celebrations are so important and we’re taking a serious look at lots of areas to see how we can be more inclusive.”

Finder co-founder Frank Restuccia

“We also sponsor the Startmate Fellowship program and we’ve worked with some amazing non-for-profits that support equal opportunity for women in tech, such as #SheHacks2019, Women Who Code and Men Championing Change. 

“As part of our work with the Generation Entrepreneur team, Finder supports the 

Canva - Women talking over coffee in the office

Australian Innovators Challenge: Girls in Business Program. This online hackathon will engage 70 female high school students from all around Australia as they tackle real-world business problems. Each team will receive mentoring sessions and workshops with the Finder crew so they can fine-tune their ideas.

“I’m excited to see the next generation of tech leaders go on to thrive in their industry by creating sensational ideas that can be exported all around the world,” he said.

Finder co-founder Frank Restuccia

How will these initiatives help women in tech?

“Talent lives everywhere, it comes in all shapes and forms, so I think these initiatives will build off the great work that’s already been done in supporting equal opportunity in tech. 

“These initiatives will provide women with the knowledge, training and resources they need to reach their full potential.

“It’s about encouraging women to have a go by giving them the support and resources required to pursue a career in tech.”

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Credit: Canva

What are the benefits? How can you take part?

“More diverse teams lead to more productive outcomes, which is why Finder is proud to support these programs.

“Bringing together people from different backgrounds and experiences sparks creativity and is the unlock for innovation”

With women representing less than a third of the Australian tech industry, how can business leaders improve their own quotas of women in tech?“Women represent just 28% of the tech workforce, compared with 45% across all professional industries. This can be attributed to the underrepresentation of women in tech to the low participation and complete rates of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at schools and universities. 

Figures from the Department of Industry show in 2016 women comprised less than 15% of engineering and related technologies undergraduate course completions and less than 11% of vocational education course completions. 

“While the industry has made great strides in this space, I think it’s a matter of building on this momentum and continuing to create more programs, workshops and networking or mentoring opportunities that will open doors for women in tech. 

“I think universities could offer more scholarships to encourage women to complete engineering degrees and use more inclusive imagery and language when promoting tech courses to attract a more diverse cohort.”

How does Finder ensure it has an even representation of women in the company and why is it an important initiative for you?“At Finder, we actively seek to create and foster an inclusive environment where each crew member can thrive and do the best work of their careers.

“We’re working with social impact business Project F through Program 50/50 to develop sustainable initiatives beyond the traditional diversity and inclusion measures. This program will enable us to further develop this inclusive culture at Finder so we can create a roadmap for taking action.” 

With women representing just 28% of Australia’s tech force, Finder is doing its bit to encourage more women to enter the tech sector and to be part of exciting projects like the Finder app.”

“You can download the Finder app from the App or the Google Play stores.”

Robyn Foyster

Written by Robyn Foyster

Robyn Foyster is an award-winning journalist and former Editor-In-Chief of The Australian Women's Weekly. She is also the owner and publisher of Women Love Tech, Game Changers and The Carousel. Robyn is the owner and founder of a tech business called AR tech, where she helped create the world's first AR community shopping app called Sweep and her team produced the 2018 Vivid app. She is a speaker and a judge of the Telstra Business Awards and Mumbrella Awards. Robyn is passionate about supporting women in STEM.

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