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Vaughan Rowsell

We screwed up with diversity at the Hi-Tech Awards launch events. Here's how we're going to do better

Diversity pays

We screwed up with diversity at the Hi-Tech Awards launch events. Here's how we're going to do better

Following criticisms in earlier years, the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards have been on a journey to make the awards night a more diverse affair. But the organisation recently – and fairly – copped criticism when the speaker line-up released for its launch events featured 15 men and just one woman. Here, Hi-Tech Awards vice chair and trustee Vaughan Rowsell shares what went wrong, and how the organisation is going to ensure it improves its practices going forward.

Future thinking

Vend founder Vaughan Rowsell put his hat in the ring to be New Zealand's first CTO in the initial call for applicants and got as far as being reference checked, before hearing the government was going back to the drawing board. Now, after appointing Derek Handley as CTO, the government has rescinded Handley's appointment and is back to square one. Where to from here? Rowsell says the answer is not 'do nothing', as the future of New Zealand's tech industry is far too important. Here, he shares what he thinks went wrong, and what the government – as well as the technology industry – can do to move forward, following the botched process.