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Tech Girls are Superheroes with Jewella

When:

Wed 15 Mar 2017, 5:30pm–7:30pm

Where: Visions Restaurant, CPIT, Madras St, Christchurch

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: dianeqer

Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen from Brisbane is here in New Zealand to launch her two projects, Tech Girls Movement, TGM, and Tech Girls are Superheroes. Jenine, who was awarded the title of Westpac Bank 100 best women in Australia, 2016, has agreed to tour the east coast of the South Island, before her launch in Auckland on Saturday 18 March. Women in Tech, Canterbury, CDC, Canterbury, Core Education, Otago Polytechnic and Ara, Institute of Canterbury endorse these approaches.
TGM, which started in Queensland, and then Australia, is now an Asian Pacific competition that encourages the development of an idea for an application, that meets a real world need. For example, Kate from Melbourne designed an app to help deal with her feelings that arise from being bullied at school. If the idea is selected for further development, then Jewella matches teams of 9-12 girls and young women high school students to industry mentors. If successful in the first round, a prototype is developed within our Asia Pacific region. The overall winning team will travel to Silicon Valley, and compete internationally. Kiwi girls will be good at this!

Tech Girls are Superheroes gives our girls and young women stories about of successful IT girls and women, including kiwi tech women. The Australian culture is closest to our own, in Anglo-English speaking countries, and the books have been co-written with a New Zealand researcher in Australia, a former librarian. This gives the approach authenticity and relevance to New Zealand girls and young women.

The IT industry is the third most valuable sector of the New Zealand economy, and entry level jobs are from $50,000 – $55,000 on average. Software development, web development, business analysis, networking, and technical support are all occupations within Canterbury Waitaki and Otago.The next phase of IT is to integrate services and products in business environments, creatively and intelligently, in team environments. Women make up 51% of the population, but they are only 10-15% of the IT industry. We need women to train and enter the industry, to influence how it is designed and used. We have much to gain, working along side men, and nothing to lose.

Research shows that it is not that women lack aptitude for IT. Rather it is that they are locked into a stereotype that IT is for boys. Girls who do see IT as desirable can feel uncomfortable about that career choice, and may need to negotiate learning environments where they are learning mainly with men.

The purpose of Jewella’s address is to show IT as “cool and fun” for women and girls (Alison Hunter, 2016) and to motivate and inspire girls to consider an IT career. IT degrees and diplomas (equivalent to US two year associate degrees) can be taken up at any New Zealand university or polytechnic.
Participants will each receive a free copy of the Tech Girls are Superheroes book, hear an inspirational address, and have an opportunity to join their Australian, and Asian-Pacific sisters in participating in a team based, app inventing, competition, for the common good, with IT industry mentors. This approach can be accessed on http://www.techgirlsaresuperheroes.org/ and http://www.techgirlsmovement.org/

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