The University of Southampton

Dr Reena Pau - She's the Geek!

Published: 5 October 2010

ECS graduate Dr Reena Pau is currently featured as Woman of the Week on the ‘She’s the Geek’ web site, run by Rene Parker in Cape Town. The web site aims to educate and empower women globally through technology, especially mobile technology. The ‘She’s the Geek’ community provides training, consulting, guest posts, technology reviews, talks and everything related to women and technology.

Having completed her PhD earlier this year with Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Reena is currently working in the University of Southampton School of Education, exploring reasons for the decline in the number of women choosing to study and work in technology. While a student in ECS Reena founded the ECSWomen group in 2005, and she has recently taken over the organization of Theano, a University of Southampton group for women in engineering, science and mathematics. She also has an established reputation for her innovative work in outreach, particularly the Murder Mystery event held at the University’s Science and Engineering Day.

In the ‘She’s the Geek’ feature Reena reflects on how technology has changed her life: ‘I find that I can do so much more with my day with social networking and email. I couldn’t live without my mobile phone and laptop. I find technology empowering. But I need to make sure it doesn’t overpower me!’

She admits to spending almost every waking hour on the Internet: ‘I spent yesterday dog-sitting at a friend’s house who didn’t have the Internet. I spent the whole day thinking about life online. I took the dog out for a lot of walks to take my mind off it!’

Reena also stresses the importance of self-belief: ‘You need to believe in yourself. If you don’t, then no one will.’

‘I was very interested in Rene’s website and differences in attitudes of women to science and technology,’ says Reena. 'I found that mobile technology in South Africa was a real life line, as well as being a communication tool. It seems to me that this is a true example of how technology can actually help people.’

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