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Dr Beekhuyzen delivered that message to 40 Dunedin year 8 and 9 pupils in a lively talk at the Otago Polytechnic.
She has spent her life studying information technology (IT), founded the Tech Girls Movement, and has written Tech Girls are Superheroes, a book promoting girls in technology.
Polytechnic staff said the IT industry was the third most valuable sector in the New Zealand economy.
Women comprised more than 50% of the overall population, and had plenty of IT ability, yet made up less than 15% of IT industry employees.
Polytechnic head of enterprise and development Lesley Smith said the IT industry was ``screaming out'' for skilled people.
The polytechnic had started a related scholarship last year, and yesterday' gathering aimed to encourage more young women into the industry.