Over 120 Waikato and Bay of Plenty high school students attended the event - twice as many as last year.
Run by the Waikato University Computer Science department, Women in Computing is about encouraging more female students to consider a career in Information Technology.
Computer Science Senior Lecturer, Dr Margaret Jefferies, says current figures show women are hugely under-represented in IT careers in New Zealand, which mirrors what is happening overseas.
“One of the reasons for this is the lack of visible role models that girls can relate to. They do not see themselves in the IT roles that attract attention in the media,” says Dr Jefferies.
“What we would like them to know is that there is something in IT for everyone. It is unfortunate that the geeky aspects of IT are the most visible. While it would be wrong to downplay the importance of these to them, there are many jobs in IT where geekiness is not a desirable attribute.”
She says there are many successful women in computing who cannot imagine themselves in any other career.
“The students need to know about these women, who are having a huge impact on the development of IT, as well as enjoying a great lifestyle.”
Students in Years 11, 12 and 13 nominated by their schools spent half a day at the University, listening to ‘role model’ speakers from academia and industry and taking part in hands-on workshops designed to give them a taste of what their future could hold.
For more information contact Maree Talmage, Public Relations and Marketing Co-ordinator, phone +64 7 858 5153.