Creative Talk with Amanda Wood – Refactor
This month we talk with Amanda Wood, who is a senior digital leader based in Auckland. Amanda runs a popular event for women in technology called Refactor. We find out more about why Refactor was established, what you can expect at the events and why you should go along. www.refactor.org.nz
Can you tell us about Refractor, what does it entail?
Focussed on ‘change from within’, Refactor inspires women in tech to stay within the industry and to get to the top. It is a showcase of women leading in tech – and related – fields. We gather at Toto’s Montecristo Room four times a year to enjoy delicious food, drinks, and discussion with other people working in the industry. The three short talks highlight the work, passion projects, and journeys of women at the top of their game.
Why did you decide to create Refactor?
We re-worked what used to be the Auckland chapter of Girl Geek Dinners, an international movement. After running that for a couple of years we realised that name didn’t really describe what we were doing – Refactor was the outcome.
How do you pick the event speakers? Are they all women?
We look for women who are living what we’re about – not only in their day jobs – at all levels, from younger women just starting out to those who are a lot more experienced. They’re all women and we feel that is important.
What’s the general feedback from attendees?
They tell us that it’s needed – inspiring and nourishing. It’s a real change to be at a tech event in which women are not the minority.
How do you feel New Zealand sits on the world board of female vs males in technology?
We’re typical if anything – there is a lot more we can do to improve the situation. I think one of the advantages we have is that tech is a young industry, and in New Zealand at least there’s a real desire to do better, to try and improve.
Do you think women are now gravitating more towards technology as a career?
No. It’s still a challenge and there are a lots of events working on this in the wider ecosystem. We’re focused on the women who have currently chosen it as their career – it can be hard going. Our event is designed to showcase aspirational role models. It’s great to be able to be inspired by amazing leaders in the field.
With technology introduced from primary school age, do you think the NZ government is playing its part in ensuring NZ is sitting on the tech ed leader board?
It’s a start. It has to be embedded at every level if it has a chance of success.
Your legacy to the technology industry in New Zealand?
We’re strengthening the industry by emphasising a critical element of its diversity.
Where can we find out about Refactor meeting dates?
The next Refactor is on May 19 as part of Auckland’s Tech Week – or future dates are listed at refactor.org.nz.Back to Digital Talk