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Techweek NZ: Our events in Hawke’s Bay

Posted 1 year ago in Xero news by Ruth James
Posted by Ruth James

This year we’ve decided to run some events in Hawkes Bay for Techweek. Not only do we have an office there, but we figured it was high time we got down to the regions more!

At the end of last year, in planning for what sort of event to run, I headed down to The Bay to meet up with some local teachers, tech businesses and the team from the Business and Computing School at EIT.

One of the overwhelming concerns that were voiced from everyone I spoke to, was the lack of women and girls participating in tech in the region. This really resonated when talking to two students who’d been through the Mana Tangata mentor program. They mentioned that there were no women currently enrolled in the computer studies course they were starting this year.

Wanting to make a difference

In an effort to change this and increase the number of girls and women taking up tech in the region, we’ve decided to run some workshops aimed at girls aged nine to 12 years old. There’s a lot of research out there that shows once girls hit high school age, some start to lose interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).  

At the same time as encouraging a younger generation of women into STEM, we thought it would also be a great opportunity for them to bring someone to champion them.

Having someone in your wh?nau that gets you and your passions is super important. They can support and encourage you to find new opportunities and help reach your potential in championing you. Bringing wh?nau along on the journey is also critical for them to understand where your passion comes from and why it’s important to you.

Women role models in tech

How many women do you know in tech? Did you know the first person to write a computer program was a woman?

Knowing the amazing women who have changed the world with tech is important for girls and women to be able to see the trailblazers that have gone before them. These women often become awesome role models for us too.

Girls Night Out: Inspiring Women Who Changed the World with Tech

Over Techweek we’ll be running two workshops for girls (9 – 12 year old) and women from their wh?nau (mothers, big sisters, grandmothers, aunties, etc).

Here are the details:

Our mission through these workshops is: to start a dialogue with girls and women from their wh?nau around women in tech, and how to become a badass problem solver themselves using tech.

Our purpose is: to increase an awareness of women in tech and encourage the next generation to confidently stand on the shoulders of those who’ve been before them.

As well as looking at the inspiring women in tech, the workshop will also explore what’s stopping us from reaching our potential. This element has come about from a conversation I had last year with a group of parents with daughters aged between 10 and 13 years old. They’d all noticed that their daughters confidence levels had dropped dramatically over the last year or so. Shortly afterwards, I stumbled across a report written last year on The Confidence Collapse and Why It Matters for the Next Gen. Through their research, they reported that

  • Between ages eight and 14, girls’ confidence levels drop by 30%
  • More than half of teen girls feel pressure to be perfect  
  • Three out of four teen girls worry about failing
  • Nearly eight in 10 girls want to feel more confident

This is something we feel is too important not to address. As part of the workshop, we’ll also be discussing what stops us from reaching our potential and how we can take on new challenges and explore new opportunities.

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