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Current as of 23/05/17 11:40AM NZST
Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the NZ Herald

Young guns: Smart money on backing diversity, says high flier

A good generational balance and bringing younger staff into leadership roles a necessity, say experts.

The best thing you can do in business is to back yourself, says Spark's Digital First general manager Anna Curzon.

Waikato-born Curzon says this is the best advice she has been given, particularly in an often male-dominated industry where she said it could be difficult speaking up.

"You need to know who you are and to back yourself," Curzon said. " All the really smart money is on the people with diverse views being celebrated in organisations.

"That's how we're going to get the best outcomes for our customers and shareholders and the communities."

Curzon said she had always been attracted to the technology sector, gravitating towards roles involving technology in her 18 years with ASB Bank, before deciding to take up the job at Spark in May.

The focus from companies and organisations on boosting youth interaction with technology was a good sign for the industry, she said.

"There's a big focus on reaching out to children across New Zealand and introducing them to technology and digital platforms," Curzon said.

"It doesn't matter if you're creative, if you love science, if you love robotics - giving kids access to technology will allow them to be the best they can be and to realise their potential."

"One of the things we're great at in New Zealand is technology, and we need to keep investing in our youth to ensure every bit of genius out there is harnessed for our communities and for our people," she said.

Curzon said she had been lucky to have great role models including ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman and Vanessa Stoddart, previously group general manager of technical operations and people at Air New Zealand.

- NZ Herald

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