First Computing Women Congress 'a success'

Sisters are doing it for themselves in the Waikato

The inaugural Pan Pacific Computing Women Congress, held at the University of Waikato this month, was a resounding success, organiser Annika Hinze says.

"It was better than we anticipated. It was the first time we held it and we had 50 participants coming in during the day and more in the evenings for the keynote addresses."

Keynote speakers included Weta Digital 3D Department coordinator Susie Kleis and topics for daytime sessions included project management, business process management and presentation skills.

The congress was modelled on Informatika Feminale, a German event for women in IT. Hinze says when Informatika Feminale was held for the first time, there were 140 attendees, "so for New Zealand, 50 was really good."

While New Zealand has the Women In Technology group, the focus of the Computing Women Congress is slightly different to that of WIT, Hinze says.

"Women In Technology is more focused on business women in IT, but there hasn't really been a forum for women in academia and for younger people earlier in their career."

WIT was a supporter of the Computing Women Congress "and the congress was about bringing the academic and business communities together."

Hinze anticipates holding the congress again next year, though she hasn't formally applied to do so yet.

"Participants were asking about next year and said 'we'd like to come again'."

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