International Women’s Day: wāhine who put the ‘omg’ in computing!


Today is International Women’s Day!

We love March 8th because it gives us a chance to shine a spotlight on the amazing wāhine in our learning community – who make up around 70% of learners on eCampus NZ!

Because we’re all about digital learning (and are currently offering the New Zealand Certificate in IT Essentials for free!), we’re going to dedicate this year’s blog to women in IT. New Zealand’s tech industry offers great opportunities, but women are currently under-represented in IT roles, making up only 23% of the workforce.

There are some great New Zealand organisations dedicated to addressing this inequality, and by offering learning opportunities that work for women looking to balance study and family life (women accounted for 96.3% of those taking the paid portion of parental leave in 2021), we like to think we play a small part too.

In the name of International Women’s Day and celebrating women in IT, we’ve chosen three women from the long list of wāhine who put the ‘omg’ in computing!

Ada Lovelace

Ada (1815 – 1852) is often regarded as the world’s first computer programmer. She worked with Charles Babbage on what is generally considered the original mechanical computer, writing the first algorithm to be carried out by such a machine. Her contributions and achievements are recognised annually on Ada Lovelace day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Grace Hopper

Born in 1906, U.S Navy admiral and mathematical Grace Hopper helped to create the first ever commercial electronic computer.

Fun fact – it’s thanks to Grace that we use the word ‘bug’ to refer to computer failures. She coined the term after a moth got into the circuits of Harvard University’s Mark I, a precursor of electronic computers.

Julie Blair

Ready to step back into IT after raising two young children, Julie Blair enrolled in the New Zealand Certificate in Information Technology Essentials (Level 4) with the Eastern Institute of Technology and landed a job before she’d even finished studying!

“I wanted to get myself ready to go back to work before my son turned five, and I decided to take up studying part-time,” she said.

For Julie, being able to study via eCampus NZ made the juggling act a lot easier.

“I was able to work whenever I could and work it around the kids, without being tied to making sure I was in a certain place at a certain time. That was a huge advantage to learning online,” she said.

Could YOU be the next Ada, Grace or Julie? If you’re interested in stepping into the world of IT, take the first step by checking out the qualifications offered on eCampus NZ. You can enrol with EIT, Ara, NMIT, Otago Polytechnic, NorthTec, Whitireia & WelTec, Toi Ohomai, or UCOL and start studying online in a matter of weeks!

Click here to contact one of our learner service coordinators or apply now.

Important information for new learners

eCampus NZ as a business unit of Open Polytechnic, is now part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.

From 1 January 2023, eCampus NZ will no longer enrol new learners into study plans delivered on the eCampus NZ learning platform.

However, all courses/programmes will still be available for online study through Open Polytechnic - Te Pūkenga.

The eCampus NZ team is here for you. If you are still experiencing ongoing issues related to Cyclone Gabrielle, please contact your advisor or facilitator so we can work with you to get you back on track.