The Kordia Women in Technology scholarship for 2020 has been awarded to Kaitlin Te Rito.
The scholarship of $5000, was established by Kordia in association with the University of Waikato to acknowledge and support up-and-coming female talent and future technology leaders.
Te Rito is an undergraduate student at the University of Waikato studying a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical and Biological Engineering, alongside a Post Graduate Diploma in Engineering with a mechatronics flavour.
She says the scholarship is a great way to inspire and support women into studying STEM subjects at a tertiary level.
“Many girls don’t enter into STEM studies due to the lack of understanding of the degrees and the career opportunities available. It’s vital to educate girls on the possibilities study in the STEM subjects can offer them.”
Te Rito plans to build a career in the agricultural sector, looking at ways to apply innovation and new technologies to solve challenges around waste, sustainability and energy. She is currently working on a dairy farm alongside her studies to gain firsthand experience.
She is hopeful that more women will choose to embark on careers in these areas in the future.
“More diversity in the STEM industries will see a wider range of creative and inquisitive minds working together to create a better New Zealand.”
According to a study by Tech Women, only 26 percent of people working in the New Zealand technology sector are females, a statistic Kordia is eager to see improve.
Regan Hughes, a member of the selection panel and Kordia’s Head of Network Architecture and Design, says Te Rito was a standout recipient of the scholarship.
“The selection panel was not only impressed with Kaitlin’s excellent academic results, but her passion and clear vision around what she wants to achieve. She’s confident in her own abilities and expertise, while maintaining a down to earth approach, which aligns with Kordia’s values and vision. We wish her the best in her future endeavours, and I’m confident she will make a valuable contribution to any organisation she joins after study.”