Spotlight on the strong women in tech at VUW
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We spoke to three undergrads about making a difference with tech at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) – and there’s plenty of opportunities! Aleisha Amohia, Shaika Khan and Megan Liang tell us about the VUW Women in Tech society, and why diversity in tech is so important.
Aleisha Amohia and the VUWWIT
When teams get together to create and adapt technology, it’s critical they include voices from all of society.
Victoria University of Wellington student Aleisha Amohia is president of the Victoria University of Wellington Women in Tech society (VUWWIT) and a junior developer at software company Catalyst IT.
She’s passionate about making tech for all.
“You don’t have to code or know how to use the command-line – or be a white guy!” Aleisha laughs.
Just a year on from branching out as their own club, VUWWIT hosted their first ever conference in August 2018: WITcon.
“The best part of VUWWIT is seeing this community grow within the school and our relationships with industry branch out and expand,” she says.
Aleisha loved digital technologies at school and is now studying a conjoint program combining computer science (CS) with a commerce degree.
Her dream role is to encourage other Maori students to study CS and engineering at university.
“Diverse creators make better products for diverse audiences,” she says.
GET INTO IT!
Reach out to local clubs, communities and code camps to get as much experience outside of school and uni as you can.
Shaika Khan is another VUWWIT leader who is now in her Honours year, majoring in software engineering. “I’ve had the opportunity to learn and work beyond software, including electronics and networking,” she smiles.
“In the future, I’d like to work in sustainable tech and project management.”
Shaika also created an app with Wellington conservation project Zealandia as part of her studies. “The work gave the best opportunity for me to practise what I had learnt,” she says.
As well as her role as VUWWIT secretary, Shaika attends Rails Girls workshops, GovHack and Game Developers of Wellington meet-ups. “Women and minorities in STEM are very underrepresented,” says Shaika.
“Women inspire women. It is huge encouragement to see others like us succeeding in STEM. We need more women to inspire us.”
Megan Liang is a Bachelor of Engineering student majoring in software. “The mission of VUWWIT is to form a community to support underrepresented groups studying STEM,” she says.
“This involves holding technical workshops, networking and social events. The best thing is seeing students, especially minority groups, getting the support they need.”
– Heather Catchpole
TO GET THERE: bit.ly/BachEngVictoriaUni
This article is brought to you in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington.
“Diverse creators make better products for diverse audiences.”
– Aleisha Amohia, above.
“Women inspire women. It is huge encouragement to see others like us succeeding in STEM.”
– Shaika Khan, above.
“The best thing is seeing students, especially minority groups, getting the support they need.”
– Megan Liang, above.
Author: Heather Catchpole
Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs