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How to rise to the challenges of big data and diversity

Divina Paredes | Oct. 12, 2016
For Dexibit founder and CEO Angie Judge, celebrating Ada Lovelace Day is just one way to help encourage women into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers.

Speaking to a group of high school students at Shadow Tech last August, she held up her smartphone and encouraged the female students to take selfies.

We should celebrate, she says, “the first computer programmer was a woman, Ada Lovelace.”

Angie Judge at Shadow Tech Day in Auckland.
Angie Judge at Shadow Tech Day in Auckland.

She says it is important to stress the opportunities in STEM for female students. “They can go on to leadership and entrepreneurial pathways.

“I would like to see more girls into sciences as a career,” she says. “The technology sector is one of the worst in terms of gender balance.”

Lessons in leadership at home

Growing up, Judge never considered going into any other career but technology.

Her father was a software engineer and technology entrepreneur in the '80s. “Technology was a dinner table conversation in our home,” she says.

“He had a ruler that he used for designing software procedures. This was back in the days before we used technology for doing that very task.

“He would sit me down with pens and pieces of paper with the ruler, to draw pictures and diagrams for software.”

“He is exactly one of the people in my life who did what I would want others to do, in terms of encouraging women into different careers," says Judge, who also has a certificate in applied science, software engineering, statistics and calculus.

The techie as entrepreneur

The idea to start her own company, came when she volunteered at the small museum at Howick Historical Village in East Auckland.

“I was helping out one day with the museum and started to comprehend how big their problems were around recording visitations, and how they are making that efficient, and how they are at a real disadvantage by not having access to the right technology.

“Over the course of a few months, the idea came together,” she says.

At Dexibit, she is able to utilise a raft of technologies like cloud, Internet of Things and analytics. “We are shifting data from the physical environment. It is very much driven around using analytics and enabling that to bring efficiencies.

“We have got a data team on board,” she says. “We work with data analysts, architects, scientists and developers, to pull together our web products to take to the world.

Angie Judge with Dexibit data architect Alex Garkavenko at the Auckland Museum.
Angie Judge with Dexibit data architect Alex Garkavenko at the Auckland Museum.

Overcoming ‘unconscious bias’

Judge speaks at various forums like the Microsoft Women in Tech to encourage people to pursue a career in STEM.

 

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