Xindi Zhang, the 2015 Potentia scholar is the future of women in tech

Xindi Zhang, the 2015 Potentia scholar is the future of women in tech

We’ve just awarded our second Potentia Auckland University Computer Science Scholarship to an inspiring individual, Xindi Zhang.

She blew the whole Potentia team away through her drive, accomplishments and passion for technology as well as helping those around her. She is a true inspiration to other youth who are interested in leading a career in technology.

This year we were again extremely impressed with the calibre of applicants and we are sure this is not the last we will see or hear about each one of them. Two things particularly stood out to me – firstly, the huge range of extra-curricular activities by not only Xindi but also all the students who were shortlisted. It has been stated that the younger generations have more interest in philanthropic/environmental causes, but until now, I’ve not seen much of it displayed. Wow has that changed.

As well as having excellent academic credentials, Xindi has a significant portfolio of extra-curricular activities from being the Communications Officer for NZ Model UN for United Nations Youth to volunteering as a piano teacher in Montreal and with sea turtles in Costa Rica. She is currently Co-President of Make Difference with Economics and a Founding Member of the ICE Angels Junior Venture Partners.

The second thing that stood out to me was the number of women who applied. We all know as well as there being an overall shortage in IT professionals, there is a huge shortage of women with the 2013 census indicating only 23% of those employed in IT occupations in New Zealand being women. So it was interesting to see four out of five of the shortlisted applicants we interviewed were women.

Xindi Zhang is the second Potentia Scholar following in the footsteps of our extremely successful inaugural Scholar Tom Sammons. This is a continuation of a long-term commitment by us to embrace academia. I look forward to our continued involvement in their careers, as they represent the future and voice of the tech industry.

Find out more about the Potentia Computer Science Scholarship.