New Zealand telecommunications company, Kordia, has today announced the recipient of its first Women in Technology Scholarship.
Emily Sopers has been awarded the $5,000 scholarship as she enters her final year at the University of Waikato studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental).
The scholarship was established by Kordia last year in a bid to address the gender imbalance in the information and communications technology sector.
Sopers says diversity in the workplace is an important factor for her and she was inspired by Kordia’s goal to increase the number of women working in technology.
“I read about Kordia and the work it does, which sparked my interest in the IT sector. Although it can be intimidating entering a workforce dominated by males, I also find it very empowering.
“I feel incredibly honoured and excited that Kordia saw my potential in the technology sector and am thankful for the support they have given me that will enable me to further my career aspirations,” says Sopers.
Kordia’s Executive General Manager People and Culture, Anna Ferguson, says the company is excited to champion the role of women in the technology sector and is thrilled to find an outstanding candidate for the scholarship.
“Emily was clearly a stand out as the inaugural recipient for the Kordia Women in Technology scholarship. She not only demonstrated excellent academic merit and a passion for her chosen field in engineering, but importantly she displayed remarkable determination, a thirst for learning and solving complex problems, which align well with Kordia's vision and values,” says Ferguson.
Scholarship panel members Associate Professor Michael Mucalo and Dr Chaitanya Joshi were very impressed with the high calibre of the candidates they interviewed, making the final selection a difficult process.
“The quality, diversity and enthusiasm of the candidates was evident, and this scholarship, with Kordia’s instant brand recognition, will help attract more talented female students to STEM subjects,” Dr Joshi says. “We wish Emily well for her final year of study.”
Kordia’s Women in Technology Scholarship will be an annual prize awarded to up-and-coming female talent and future technology leaders.
Statistics New Zealand confirms that 80 per cent of the IT workforce is male – a statistic Kordia is determined to help rectify.
Ferguson notes that scholarships play an important role in promoting IT and technical subjects to women considering their study options. Kordia hopes its scholarship will encourage more women to consider a career in IT.
Scholarship selection was made by a Selection Panel comprised of the University of Waikato’s Chair of the Scholarships Committee, as well as the Scholarships Committee representative from the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences and the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the General Manager of Aura Information Security, and the Executive General Manager People and Culture of Kordia.