Women in technology: Empowering the future

Original Entry by : Marjo Montejo

By Marjo Montejo, Staff Software Engineer, Endace

Women have had a significant role in the growth of technology over time. For example, Ada Lovelace created an algorithm for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine which is considered to be one of history’s first computers ever made-and she did this back when women weren’t even allowed into engineering school! Women are also underrepresented today as well; only 27% work within tech fields related jobs – a problem that needs solving.

Growing up, I never really considered a career in technology. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized the impact that technology has on our world. From the way we communicate to the way we live and work, technology is everywhere. And it’s only going to become more and more integral to our lives in the future.

I’m grateful that I ended up working in the technology industry. It’s been a great way to grow and develop professionally. And I love the work flexibility that allows me to have a healthy work-life balance. This flexibility allows me to pursue my hobbies and personal interests, such as enjoying New Zealand’s great outdoors and spending time with my family.

I appreciate the fact that Endace is a company that is doing its bit to promote gender diversity in the workplace. And I think the Endace Scholarship for Women in Technology is certainly pointing in the right direction. By empowering women to enter into and succeed in tech careers, we’re helping to build a brighter future for us all.

So, if you’re considering a career in technology, don’t be afraid to go for it. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. And who knows? You might just end up changing the world.

The Scholarship consists of two $10,000 scholarships per year, for three years, for women enrolled full-time in specific technology degree programs: B CompSc, B CompSc (Honours), or BE (Honours) Software Engineering.

The scholarships also offer the potential for work placement.

Applications are opening on 15 November 2022 and can be made via the University of Waikato, MyWaikato portal. Full eligibility requirements can be found at Waikato.ac.nz

The closing date for applications is February 15th, 2023.


Diversity and Inclusion: measuring our success

Original Entry by : Katrina Schollum

By Katrina Schollum, People Partner, Endace


We have been progressively working on a culture of belonging through building awareness of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in our organization.  Led by our D&I Committee, our series of initiatives in our four focus areas of gender, ability, ethnicity and generational diversity have been implemented over time and we are proud of what we have achieved.

As part of our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement, we have taken steps to measure and report on what we have accomplished so far.  As part of the measurement, we conduct online surveys to ensure we are delivering initiatives that have a positive and constructive impact at Endace.  We recently completed a short survey that was sent to all of our team members and completed anonymously.  The results were collated and shared internally.

What was measured?

We asked about past initiatives and their efficacy to identify what changes, if any, were observed – from the level of understanding of D&I issues, to increased discussion about D&I.  We also wanted to gauge the feeling of comfort and belonging at Endace and measure whether there was any change since introducing our D&I initiatives.

One of the sets of questions was the same as a previous survey conducted 18 months ago.  These questions had a scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree.  This meant we could compare and contrast results and see what, if any, shift had occurred.

Our hardworking Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

What did we find?

We found that interactive and personal initiatives have been the most popular with our team.  Our most popular activity was our Diwali Decoration Competition, followed by our name pronunciation video featuring members of our global team.  At Endace, we like to learn by doing. So having interactive initiatives is a great way for us to build awareness.

A majority of our participants felt they have a greater understanding of D&I at Endace and have seen positive change, with 66% being able to say a definitive yes a fantastic result!  Participants also agreed that our initiatives broke down barriers to creating a stronger feeling of belonging.  The majority of our people at 74% feel comfortable openly talking about diversity at Endace. More conversation on the topic outside of direct communication and activities from the D&I Committee will enhance our progress so we continue to track and measure change on this point.

From our comparison questions, there was a higher percentage of ‘strongly agree’ answers for all questions in this set and 91% of respondents felt Endace respects its individuals and values their differences.  The results overall showed a positive trend in feelings on managerial commitment, fair treatment and a level of comfort speaking up – a great result!  This is shown through a positive uplift in results moving from agree to strongly agree from 18-23%.

While we are delighted with the results, we always can do more with our initiatives to build awareness and break down barriers.  We have a lot in plan at Endace for the coming months and we look forward to sharing in our next update.


Successful Endace 2021/22 Internship Program concludes for another year

Original Entry by : Katrina Schollum

Our six interns for our Summer 2021/22 Internship Program joined us in our R&D centre in Hamilton, NZ from the Universities of Auckland and Waikato. Their 13 week R.E.A.L (Remarkable, Enjoyable, Authentic, Learning) Internship Program  saw them working individually on commercially relevant, meaningful projects with the support of their managers and mentors.  We are pleased to say it was another highly successful year!

2021/22 Endace Interns working in the Hamilton, NZ office

Presentations Day

Because of Covid lockdowns, the interns’ introduction to Endace was virtual this year – and so too were their final presentations.

The Internship Program concluded with each of the interns presenting their individual projects to an audience.  This year the audience included Endace team members from five countries: project managers and mentors as well as all the members of our Senior Leadership Team.  We were also very happy to welcome faculty members from the University of Waikato, continuing our strong link with the original birthplace of Endace – very appropriate in our 20th year!

The interns gave an overview of their projects and the specific challenges they were trying to address. They discussed the design of their solutions, implementation challenges they had faced, and also demonstrated their solutions in action. They concluded by outlining how these projects could be applied – and potentially extended further – in the future. At the end of each presentation, audience members had an opportunity to ask questions and delve deeper into the outcomes of the project.

Elements of Success

Throughout Endace’s structured Internship Program, interns get to hone their technical skills and put their university knowledge into practice.  But beyond just acquiring technical skills, interns also have an opportunity to gain an understanding of all the different areas of Endace’s business – from sales and marketing, to finance and operations. They also get to develop their communication and organisational skills by interacting with members of the Endace team from many departments.

The interns are supported throughout the Internship Program by individual managers and mentors. They get to observe how teams work together cohesively – in an environment where ideas are respected and individuals are trusted to do their best work. It was fantastic to see these learnings reflected in the intern’s final presentations.

2021/22 Endace Interns working in the Hamilton, NZ office

Our managers and mentors also benefit hugely from the Internship program – which provides a great opportunity to build leadership skills in their intern support roles and gives them the satisfaction of seeing the impact of sharing their expertise.

Following the presentations, Stuart Wilson, Endace’s CEO, summed up everybody’s thoughts when he said “it constantly amazes me how much interns can achieve in a relatively short period of time!”  He emphasised the importance of Endace’s determination that intern projects should be real, commercially-focused projects – and talked about how the intern projects have helped shape product improvement, automation, being able to scale our testing environments and customer experience for Endace.

Endace’s CTO, Stephen Donnelly, commented that an important outcome of the Endace Internship Program is that it supports the wider R&D sector and helps New Zealand prepare future engineers with exposure to cutting edge cybersecurity technology.  Cybersecurity is an increasingly important industry world-wide, and increasing students familiarity with key challenges, tools and technologies is vital in upskilling the NZ sector.

At Endace we are proud of our interns’ achievements thus far and look forward to following their future accomplishments in the industry.  As we conclude another successful program we will now look forward to the next round in Spring, bringing in further perspectives, learning and career development to Endace.


Diversity and Inclusion at Endace

Original Entry by : Katrina Schollum

By Katrina Schollum, People Partner, Endace


Since we established our Diversity and Inclusion Committee earlier this year, we have been busy working to cement the importance of our Diversity and Inclusion program at Endace.

As a group, we have held regular discussions across our four focus areas; gender, ethnicity, generations and people with different abilities, to establish how we can achieve positive outcomes for people and the business, increase awareness and break down barriers. We are committed to community-led objectives that support and celebrate individuality and foster a sense of belonging for everyone. In this blog post we are pleased to share some of our progress.

Establishing Who We Are

It was important to us to understand who we are at Endace, and what is important to us as we shape our path forward.

We created anonymous reporting on gender, nationality and cultural ethnicity and were able to share the statistical data visually with the whole organisation, which we will continue to do as we track our changes over time. We can report we have at least 24 different nationalities within Endace and we are extremely proud of our very culturally diverse workplace.
One of our biggest pieces of work was an internal survey that sought specific input across our four key areas. The Committee invested a lot of effort into asking the right questions so we could understand where there was lack of clarity, what areas we are doing well and what areas need improvement to focus on. As a result, we were able to clarify our key messages and share these across the organization via various channels including workshops, promotional activity such as email newsletters and posters, and team meetings.

Diwali Decoration Competition - Endace
Winning Diwali entry

We were also able to meet a popular requests to celebrate key cultural celebrations throughout the year – such as sharing Māori themed food at our New Zealand offices to celebrate Matariki (which marks the beginning of the new year in the Māori lunar calendar). In addition, we celebrated Diwali with a global team competition to learn more about this festival of lights. We plan to promote and celebrate many more of these occasions on an ongoing basis – giving everyone at Endace an opportunity to learn more about other cultures represented in the team.

These activities are all great examples of the success of our community-led approach. By seeking input from the entire team we better understand what’s important and where we can add value to our diversity and inclusion initiatives. Sometimes it is relatively simple things that can make a big difference.

Community Led Initiatives
Marjo Montejo - Endace - reflects on Women in Technology Day
Marjo Montejo reflects on women in technology on International Women’s Day

Our Committee has put together a plan of strategic, measurable objectives from our group discussions. Some of the activities that have already been delivered including calendar events such as World Autism Awareness Day. We also highlighted International Women’s Day by sharing photos and personal stories about what the day meant to our team, and about what it means to be a woman in the tech industry.

We also recently held Cultural Intelligence workshops that were attended by 79.5% of our organisation. The workshops gave us tools to improve on the understanding of cultures other than our own and break down barriers to support greater participation, integration and increase the sense of belonging.

Recently, for Transgender Awareness Week, a member of our transgender community at Endace shared his story in a powerful interview with Sasha Blair, VP People & Legal, to answer some questions about the trans community and his experiences. The recording was shared internally and some fantastic feedback was received. Our ongoing conversations around gender have made a noticeable difference in using gender-neutral and inclusive language.

What’s Next?

Looking ahead, we have planned some thought-provoking activities to celebrate and support individuals. The immediate focus will be educating ourselves on Neurodiversity and understanding how it adds value to our business.

Neurodiversity in the tech sector has at times been overlooked but major tech organisations are making great strides in this area and we are keen to see how we can contribute to these initiatives too.

While change takes time, we will continue to celebrate what makes Endace unique and keep taking steps to ensure our team can strengthen their feeling of belonging, and feel their individual voices are heard, valued and respected. We anticipate the more initiatives we implement in our organisation, the more positive outcomes we will observe. Our agenda will support our achieving an increasingly inclusive environment and we look forward to sharing our progress.


Our 2021/22 Internship Program Begins

Original Entry by : Katrina Schollum

We are very pleased to have recently welcomed six Interns to join us for their 13 week, R.E.A.L (remarkable, enjoyable, authentic, learning) Summer Internship program in our R&D Center in Hamilton, New Zealand.  We had a fantastic response to, and level of interest in, our individual projects and we look forward to seeing what this year’s Interns can learn and achieve.

Induction Day

Working remotely meant a different look and feel for Day 1 of our program with introductions happening via Teams.  Our Interns were introduced to life at Endace virtually, including a welcome from our CEO Stuart Wilson.

The afternoon kicked off with a team-building activity which was facilitated by Team Up Events and involved 4 different teams in an online race against the clock.  Moving around the continents, learning, answering questions, taking group photos, and lots of laughs – it was a fun part of the day getting to know our new team members and testing how good our online communication skills have become!

One of our mentors, Norbert, confirmed the ‘Travel Around the World’ activity was “fun for us, but also a good chance to get to know the Interns and break the ice – which is not easy working remotely.”  After the ice was broken our Interns and their individual mentors had the opportunity to continue the conversation and begin their projects together.

Our Program

We are proud of our history, contribution to ongoing learning and continuing our strong bonds to our company origins in tertiary education.  From day one, our Interns learn about Endace’s history and products and develop relationships with their mentors.  This year, we are thrilled to have three mentors and managers who, in previous years, were themselves Endace Interns and offer unique insight from both sides of the relationship.  Sam, one of the new mentors, said “being an Intern at Endace was challenging but in the best possible way. I learned so much in such a short time, and the support and guidance I received along the way allowed me to make a smooth transition from study into the workplace. I am excited to be able to pass on some of what I learned to the next crop of Interns.”

Across 13 weeks the Internship program focuses on commercially relevant, individual projects and providing structured training including lunch-and-learns to introduce other areas of the business such as finance, HR, marketing and operations to create  a well-rounded experience.  The Internship program culminates with our Interns delivering a presentation at a shared learning session involving Interns and their mentors, members of the senior leadership team and project managers.

2021/22 Interns’ first day in the office
2021/22 Interns’ first day in the office

The Endace Internship Program is a great way to help computer science students and graduates build talent and experience and grow the industry. It also helps us showcase Endace as an employer of choice for IT and engineering graduates in New Zealand.

Our Interns become sought-after graduates with meaningful, hands-on experience and we will be following their achievements with interest.  ­­It was fantastic to finally have our Interns join us in the office so we could meet face-to-face, and we look forward to seeing them share their progress at the close of the program.


Diversity and Inclusion at Endace

Original Entry by : Endace

By Garima Bhatia, Test Manager – Appliance QA, Endace


Endace has recently started an exciting initiative which we wanted to share.

We have always been a culturally diverse workplace with people from all over the world representing many different nationalities and cultures. We are proud of this and want to recognize and celebrate the diversity we already have at Endace.  Each of our individuals has unique perspectives, skills, experiences and backgrounds that bring valuable contributions to the organization.

Supporting this diverse set of individuals to feel included is important; so people feel they truly belong to the organization they are working at and can achieve their maximum potential.  For Endace as an innovative organization, this means reaping the rewards of diverse thinking, and a stimulating work environment that leads to a satisfied team with strong collaboration and teamwork.

It is important that diversity is not only accepted, but celebrated, in ways that gives this diverse group of people a strong sense of worth and belonging. Everyone should feel accepted and valued for who they are in order for Endace to build a corporate culture that demonstrably supports and celebrates every individual’s self-expression.

What are we Doing?

Our approach to making diversity at Endace inclusive, by embracing our different mix of people, is a bottom-up approach. Our People team conducted an internal survey, and a series of discussions and presentations, to encourage input from people across the organization. In these sessions, we examined and discussed what diversity means and how acceptance and celebration of diversity go hand-in-hand with inclusion. We discussed how this benefits the business by allowing it to tap into the potential a diverse workforce has to offer, and how it benefits individuals by encouraging their individuality in a productive way.

This process was widely supported across the organization and led to agreement across the board that an active focus on Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) was an important initiative for everyone at Endace.

As our CEO Stuart Wilson said “this initiative is to ensure everyone has an equal voice so the business benefits from the best of the abilities that we have as a diverse team at Endace. I am motivated to give a voice to those who may be reluctant to step forward and I am looking forward to seeing what we achieve together.

The D&I Committee: and Our Voices

D&I can be “in the eye of the beholder”. So our challenge was to gain an organization-wide perspective of what diversity means to everyone at Endace. We needed to understand where we are now and what we want to focus on improving.

We established a community-led group, by calling for volunteers from across Endace, to collect input and ideas from across the organization, that could be implemented in conjunction with the People team. We found we had many people that are enthusiastic about this initiative and who wanted to be part of the group proactively taking steps to better understand and support our team members.

As Sam from the Software team says, “the differences that exist between us all are a strength, not a weakness. The D&I Committee provides a platform for us to celebrate and better understand this.

We had people who wanted to voice opinions on many different issues and were willing to dedicate time and ideas.

As Michael in the Support team said, “being part of Endace’s Diversity & Inclusion team resonates strongly with my personal commitment to breaking down barriers for marginalized and vulnerable communities.  I am passionate about making a positive difference, whether it’s in relation to gender, age, ability, sexuality, or cultural diversity.”

 

One very motivated volunteer, Kate, provided a very perceptive insight; “I believe acceptance of difference makes us stronger and smarter. It is not the diversity that is key, it is the openness to it.

 

We were also fortunate to have a senior leadership team member, John Attala, Endace’s VP of Worldwide Sales, sponsor the initiative as the D&I group leader. John said,

As the son of a first-generation immigrant, our family’s diversity stood out. My parents became leaders in their careers and community and I believe our cultural differences educated our community in a small way. Diversity and inclusion are important to me and I’m excited to be part of the first Endace D&I Committee. I hope together we can help facilitate a workplace that is safe, welcoming and where ideas are freely shared because I believe diversity is the one true thing we all have in common”.

Once assembled, the group was trained by the people team on D&I fundamentals and tasked with identifying focus areas and specific objectives Endace could undertake to ensure D&I are embedded across the organization.

So Far: and What’s Next?

The experience of being in the D&I committee so far has been a unique one. We have identified the focus areas we collectively agreed to work on and identified teams to work on each of these focus areas. These teams are responsible for ensuring the overall group makes progress by firstly building awareness of issues in their specific focus areas and then by identifying actions that will address those issues and ensure diversity is not only accepted but overtly celebrated across the organization.

We have taken our first steps – including having all managers participate in an “unconscious bias” workshop. This workshop helped attendees to understand that biases do exist, how they can identify and become conscious of them, and how to be mindful that these biases don’t get in the way of everyone being treated fairly.

As we move forward, we are driven to actively support our organization becoming a place where individuality is celebrated and everyone has a sense of belonging, of having a valued voice, is accepted and respected, and has opportunities to develop.  Change happens over time, but we know this can be achieved through our commitment to community-led initiatives and the hard work of our D&I Committee.