NEWS

Atlassian's Diversity Strategy Sees Sharp Increase In Women Grads

55 percent in 2017, up from 17 percent in 2016

12/02/2017 9:06 AM AEDT | Updated 24/02/2017 4:02 PM AEDT

A focus on attracting female talent has seen Aussie tech giant Atlassian's yearly intake of women graduates jump to over 50 percent in 2017.

The multi-billion dollar enterprise software company says its proportion of female graduates in 2017 jumped from 17 percent in 2016 to 55 percent in 2017.

The increase is a result of specific programs and initiatives aimed at attracting Australia's top female talent, head of recruitment for Caitriona Staunton told the Huffington Post Australia.

AOL
21 graduates -- or 55 percent -- of Aussie Tech giant Atlassian's 2017 graduate intake is female.

"It's the first time we've had these ratios," she said.

"We did a lot more activity partnering with (student) women's groups... different kinds of student groups, to show them what it is like to be a woman at Atlassian, but then also to educate them on the pass-through rates to address the confidence issue that is sometimes there.

"We don't set ratios or targets, but we try to address the root cause of why it is there is an under-representation of a group like women."

The more diversity in a company, the better and more creative the complex problem-solving talent.

"Every study shows that," Staunton said.

The increase in women grads is partly the result of a new intern program to attract candidates early in the application process, as well as increasing exposure to women on campus through University Society sponsorships and working with groups such as Girl Geeks, SheHacks and RailGirls, Staunton said.

The hack house, held in mid-January, saw the graduates gather at Sydney's Coogee Bay Hotel.

When the Huffington Post Australia visited the event, the grads were in the middle of a "ShipIt" hackathon -- where employees get 48 hours tackle a longstanding product problem, find a solution and then a chance to pitch that solution to the rest of the company.

AOL/Eoin Blackwell
Atlassian graduates tackle a problem as part of their annual hackathon to welcome the newcomers

"It's a lot of team building, really getting to know each other and establishing strong bonds overall," said Carmel Hinks, who recently joined the company and spoke to The Huffington Post at an Atlassian Hackathon in late January.

Atlassian, which was born in 2002 with a $10,000 credit card debt, is now worth about $US6 billion. The Australian-based company is continuing to grow, having just bought Trello for $425 million.

Last month the company was reportedly forced to scramble to ensure its 1,800 employees would not be caught up in U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban on people from seven muslim majority countries.

"We're not actually allowed to record this level of data about our employees, their nationality and various other details," co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes recently told the ABC.

"But we don't currently believe that there are any from those seven particular countries who are either outside the United States or have a green card or visa situation that would put them into a difficult situation."

Last year the company changed its job advertisements to attract more women.

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