The inaugural Endace Women in Technology Scholarship has been awarded to two University of Waikato students: software engineering student Abbie Reid and computer science student Emily McCullagh.
This scholarship, established by Endace in 2022, is part of ongoing efforts to encourage women in the tech industry, with recipients chosen based on their outstanding grades and commitment to supporting future generations of women in technology.
“Endace recognises the need to help empower under-represented groups through education, we are proud to be working with Waikato University to help these talented young women to succeed” says Endace CEO, Stuart Wilson.
Abbie, a third-year Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) student, eagerly embraced the role of lab assistant to foster an inclusive environment and expresses gratitude for the scholarship’s potential, saying, “Support like this will go a long way to encouraging more women in technology.”
Emily, also in her third year, previously worked in administration, supporting departments like Finance, Marketing, and Retail. Her fascination with systems and problem-solving led her to choose to study at Waikato. As a lab demonstrator, she is passionate about supporting women in technology, mentoring younger students, and showcasing their potential. Emily expresses gratitude to Endace for their support: “Scholarships like this help financially but it also helps encourage students to stick out their degrees.”
Stephen Donnelly, Endace CTO was very impressed with the number and high calibre of all the applicants for this scholarship. “Abbie and Emily especially stood out with both their academic excellence and their dedication to furthering Women in Technology.”
As part of the scholarship, Abbie and Emily have the opportunity to secure a work placement with Endace.
Endace has partnered with Dress for Success, a nonprofit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
“Our own views are absolutely in line with Dress for Success’ worldwide mission for self-determination and raising women’s confidence in themselves,” said Stuart Wilson, CEO Endace. “We support Dress for Success through annual financial and clothes contributions.”
To commemorate International Women’s Day 2023, Endace donated $15,000 to Dress for Success Auckland, and a clothes drive organized by Endace was provided to Dress for Success Hamilton.
Our role at Dress for Success is to help break down significant barriers for women, through our collective vision of providing workforce development services to our clients; this includes appropriate interview attire, career coaching and job readiness skills, upskilling and reskilling in technical and soft skills, and creating networks and communities where our women can connect and thrive,” said Andrea Hardy, Dress for Success Auckland. “Thank you, Endace, for your contributions to help us empower women towards self-sufficiency.
February saw the end of our 22/23 Summer Intern Program, with our four interns finishing their 12-week structured placements with our Engineering team. It was a great success, with all four interns completing their projects and achieving the goals that had been set.
The Big Reveal
The last day of the program is Presentations Day. Our interns presented the results of their projects to a live audience at our R&D centre in Hamilton NZ, with presentations also streamed live to the Global Endace team.
Despite a few (well-hidden) nerves, our interns did a fantastic job – providing insight into their individual journeys, outlining the objectives of their project, talking about some of the challenges they met and overcame, and demonstrating the solutions they had built.
Each presentation concluded with suggestions from the intern about where the projects could be further enhanced to provide additional benefits to the business in the future. There was also a live Q&A session where the interns did a great job of fielding a variety of questions from the audience
Reflecting on the Success of the Intern Program
It was really rewarding to see the growth in confidence of our interns as they saw how much their contributions were valued by the wider organisation and the obvious pride that they (rightfully) showed in the projects they completed.
Stuart Wilson, Endace CEO, summed it up when he said “.. it’s always such a pleasure to see the extraordinary contributions of our interns. What they manage to achieve, in such a short time, is remarkable. It makes us proud to be part of shaping the future of tech talent in New Zealand.”
Endace’s Intern Program gives interns invaluable insight into how a global tech business operates. It is a great opportunity to put their university knowledge into practice, further develop their technical skills, and learn about team work in a collaborative environment. They also gain insight into all areas of our business, from operations and finance to sales and marketing.
The benefits of the intern program are very definitely in both directions. Interns are supported by an individual manager and mentor, who also benefits from sharing their knowledge and expertise to guide the projects and help prepare interns to transition from studying to the workplace.
Feedback from our interns at the close of the program was very positive. They mentioned a strong sense of fulfillment from being able to contribute to direction of their projects, having the opportunity to solve rewarding problems and develop their creativity and professional communication skills. They also mentioned how much they enjoyed being part of a fun team, with colleagues who were approachable and who valued their opinions and suggestions during team discussions.
Where to Next for our Interns?
Equipped with some new skills and hands-on experience, one of our interns is returning to continue their studies and we look forward to seeing their future industry accomplishments. We are delighted that our other three interns will join the Endace team and continue to grow their talent with us.
And we are proud to continue our strong tradition of working closely with tertiary education providers to ensure Endace continues to be an employer of choice for IT and engineering graduates in New Zealand.
The Endace Summer Internship program has been a great success in previous years, and we are happy to say it’s back for another year! We are very happy to have welcomed four interns to join us in our R&D centre in Hamilton, NZ for the summer, after a fantastic amount of interest from students around New Zealand. We look forward to supporting the success of our new interns as they progress through the program
The first day of the program is an introduction to our interns on “life at Endace” and how we work.
Our interns learnt about Endace’s history and products and develop relationships with their mentors and managers. From an opportunity to speak with our CEO, Stuart Wilson, to learning about the details of what to expect, and a delicious lunch networking with engineering team members, it’s safe to say our interns had a lot to absorb and feel excited about what’s to come.
Our interns also had the opportunity to engage in gameplaying in order to get to know their mentors. One of our new mentors, Scott Yearbury, is one of many previous interns at Endace who have volunteered to mentor future interns.
Scott noted “being an intern at Endace was a great way to start my career. It was a challenge, but that challenge and the support provided to me allowed me to push myself to learn a lot and develop my skills a huge amount in a relatively short period of time. I’m excited to be on the other side of this program now and to be able to help provide our new interns with the great opportunity I got.”
It’s amazing to see the full cycle as previous interns become employees – and ultimately become mentors themselves – with the end result being that our talent continues to develop at all levels.
Over the course of 13 weeks, the intern program focuses on commercially relevant, individual projects and provides 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 intern 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.
Endace is proud of our ties to tertiary education and we see huge value in helping develop talent for IT and Engineering students seeking to join our industry as we showcase Endace as an employer of choice.
The experience provided to our interns is hands-on with intentional learning, which helps in building technical capability and giving insight into how a global tech organisation operates. We look forward to supporting our interns as they continue to learn and develop, and to celebrating their future achievements.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.