The first intern to take seat is Dil Khosa, operations manager of the high growth data science and cross-platform TV audience demand measurement start-up Parrot Analytics.
The 28-year-old said she is excited by the opportunity: “As a young executive in the tech world I can expose the board to fresh thinking, but at the same time I will learn about board governance.”
Parrot Analytics specialises in measuring, analysing and predicting global content, demand and consumption. Its technology captures and analyses TV and film content demand to provide stakeholders in digital content industries with insight into real-time, geographic-specific content consumption patterns and global demand for upcoming content.
NZTech CEO, Graeme Muller said Khosa was approached to fill the seat after its members who have senior roles in tech startups or early stage companies were compared according to experience and background.
She will hold the seat for five months until NZTech’s next AGM. Muller said the majority of board seats are filled via elections from the membership base, with approximately four coming up for election each year.
“There is nothing to stop the membership electing someone like Dil, and hopefully this internship position will encourage younger NZTech members to stand for the board. We will reassess whether we need a separate intern seat following the election process.”
He said given the pace of change surrounding the tech sector, the intern seat is valuable in order to have input from someone new to the industry who has experience of driving one of New Zealand’s many fast growing, international tech firms.
“Their input into all aspects of our strategy – how to connect the sector, how to promote NZ as a tech leader, how to help kids get interested in tech etc. – will be invaluable.”
Alongside the intern seat, NZTech have also announced Kim Connolly-Stone, the policy director, digital economy at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), as the board’s director.
Her appointment aligns with her responsibilities for MBIE’s co-ordination of the Digital Economy Work Programme, a cross agency initiative which is working to ensure the government is collectively focused in supporting the growth of the New Zealand digital sector.
She said she is “delighted” to be appointed as director on the board as she has a strong commitment to support the growth of New Zealand’s digital sector.
“Digital technology is growing at an exponential rate and we need to ensure that New Zealand businesses, individuals and the public sector are primed for its uptake.”
Connolly-Stone has 20 years’ experience in both public policy and law, with former roles including chief advisor, intellectual property and director, Pike River Implementation at MBIE. She also has experience in Treaty settlements and negotiations.
Her appointment, along with Khosa’s, reflects the boards initiative to ensure diversity through a composition that is geographically spread, more representative of the various stakeholders across the ecosystem and gender balanced.
They join existing women on the board including Frances Valintine, founder of The Mind Lab; Diane Knowles, country manager of HP Enterprise; Mandy Simpson, chief operating officer of NZX and Sarah Perry, CEO of SnapComms.
“We are proud, as the voice of the tech sector that we can lead by example with respect to gender balance on our Board, but we still need to strive for gender parity across the tech sector,” Muller said.
“Mounting research shows that firms with women in senior management positions enjoy superior economic performance, especially in companies focused on innovation. Increasing the number of women in senior management roles in the country’s fastest growing sector is critical to driving e