THE SOLE female student on an IT course at Coleg Gwent is encouraging other girls to take up technology, ahead of a flagship digital event heading to the city next week.

Rebecca Stopgate, from Pontypool, is currently studying foundation degree IT Security at the College’s Pontypool campus, and is hoping to inspire other young females to see the career potential in information and communication technology.

The 19-year-old student said: “Whether it’s basic software knowledge or the practical hardware side, or the way that technology is evolving and becoming essential in many aspects of life, it really is a fascinating subject to study and be part of.”

Last year the European Commission found just 30 per cent of the 7 million people working in the ICT sector are women, and that women are majorly under-represented at all levels in the ICT sector – especially in decision-making positions.

As the only girl on her course, Miss Stopgate added: “If I come out of this course with a degree in IT Security it’s going to give me hundreds of job opportunities, the demand for IT Security graduates are just going to keep increasing as technology advances. It’s a perfect time to be coming out with qualifications in this subject. Technology is the way forward- the earlier people learn how to use it, the better.”