New Bright Sparks ambassador Michelle Dickinson says opportunities abound for young women involved in technology, New Zealand's fastest growing sector.
Dickinson, aka NanoGirl, is a passionate champion of science, technology and engineering and is currently a senior lecturer in engineering at the University of Auckland.
She encourages all young women with an interest in technology to enter Bright Sparks, the programme run by The Skills Organisation to inspire young Kiwis to explore a career in technology.
“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 said.
Dickinson says New Zealand is increasingly placing a bigger emphasis on the importance of technology.
The industry is New Zealand’s fastest growing sector. Exports have doubled over the past six years and at more than $6 billion (for 2014) it’s 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,” she says.
“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.”