On Monday 21 May, 35 Wellington companies will provide 150 secondary school girls with first-hand experience of digital technology in its various applications as part of ShadowTech day.
Supported by Whitireia and WelTec, ShadowTech is an NZTech initiative designed to encourage girls to explore the incredible opportunities and different contexts and applications of digital technology in the workplace.
"It’s fantastic to see Wellington companies supporting this great event which will see 150 secondary school girls have the opportunity to experience the real world of IT for a day," says ShadowTech’s Executive Director, Edwina Mistry. "One of the key goals of ShadowTech is to encourage and inspire girls to pursue study and careers in IT by letting them experience the various careers in technology."
"Technology is part of every industry, and most careers involve some type of technology. We are certain that opportunities like this make a difference in addressing the current gender imbalance in ICT," says Mistry.
Alison Andrew, chief executive of Transpower, says the organisation will be mentoring fifteen girls for this year’s ShadowTech day. "We're for New Zealand, so we're really pleased to continue our support of ShadowTech. Last year we were delighted by how the students engaged with our people, gaining insights into where their studies could take them," said Andrew. "This year we have reached out to a higher number of schools, so we can broaden our reach and inspire even more young women to consider careers in technology."
The ShadowTech day starts with a focus on digital design and creative technologies at Te Auaha, Whitireia and WelTec's arts campus in Wellington. The girls will hear from guest speakers including Hon Clare Curran, Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, and Minister of Government Digital Services; Mary Proctor, head of IT at Whitireia and WelTec; game designer and academic Dr Hazel Bradshaw; and Eva Sherwood, Chair of TechWomen.
The girls will then be hosted in workplace environments by 130 leaders in IT from 35 companies and organisations where they will experience digital technology in action for a day.
Some of the incredible array of ShadowTech activities the girls will experience include robotics technology, programming, software development, project management, web development, national grid technology, business analytics, data analytics and network engineering.
The day will conclude at Te Auaha with the girls meeting teaching staff and hearing about study options in IT and creative technologies.