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An Alliance to Encourage Women in Computing

Media Release

Friday 28 January 2005

Industry and Academia Combine to Encourage Women in Computing

Women in the IT industry and academia will gather in Hamilton from 5-13 February, in a drive to promote female involvement in what is often a male-dominated field.

The first Pan-Pacific Computing Women Congress (CWC) has attracted international support, with IT professionals and academics from Germany, the USA and Australia joining New Zealand speakers at the conference.

CWC organiser and Waikato University Computer Science Lecturer, Dr Annika Hinze, said the conference will offer women working in IT the chance to expand their skills, as well as networking opportunities, and provide support and motivation for those about to start their computing careers.

Hosted by Waikato University, with support from the Royal Society of New Zealand and Women in Technology NZ, the CWC will give participants the opportunity to share the latest ideas in computing related topics.

“Because of the huge amount of support from women in New Zealand and overseas, there is a wide spectrum of computer science topics on offer, from the more technical seminars to reports on IT-related gender research,” said Dr Hinze.

Topics on offer include programming robot dogs, philosophy in software engineering, a presentation by Susie Kleis from Weta Digital, and a discussion on the role of Maori women in IT, to name a few.

“Experimentation with new styles of learning will be encouraged at the CWC, with an emphasis on hands-on experience and engaging participatory techniques.”

The CWC is based on the original German ‘Informatika Feminale’ conference, which has been phenomenally successful around Europe in encouraging women into IT.

Dr Hinze hopes that the success of the first CWC in New Zealand will pave the way for more events like it, and ultimately an increase in the number of women in IT.


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