Girls, opportunities abound in tech sector
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Michelle Dickinson, also known as NanoGirl, has been named as a Bright Sparks ambassador, and is encouraging girls to get involved in technology.
Dickinson is currently a senior lecturer in engineering at the University of Auckland, and is actively encouraging young women to get involved in technology, New Zealand's fastest growing sector.
Bright Sparks is a programme run by The Skills Organisation to inspire young Kiwis to explore a career in technology.
Dickinson says all young women with an interest in technology should consider the programme. “Girls can do just as well as the boys in this field. Bright Sparks has an award for Best Overall Female, and I’d love to see as many young women as possible developing and showcasing their skills," she says.
New Zealand is increasingly placing a bigger emphasis on the importance of technology, she says.
In fact, the technology industry is New Zealand’s fastest growing sector, with exports doubling over the past six years to reach more than $6 billion in 2014. Technology is the country's third largest export earner behind dairy and tourism.
"That means young women have a great opportunity to make their mark. Come on, girls: show us what you've got," she says.
Bright Sparks has expanded this year, and includes technology categories featuring science, environment, software and engineering.
Dickinson is a long-time friend of Bright Sparks, having MC’d the annual Awards ceremony in 2012 and 2014.
“I’m delighted to be the Bright Sparks 2015 ambassador.
“For 15 years, Bright Sparks has fostered the development of New Zealand’s brilliant young minds. I’m looking forward to seeing what emerges from this year's crop of talented students,” she says.