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January 20, 2021 Women in Digital

At Women in Digital, we are fierce advocates for connecting, educating, and empowering women to give them the skills and support they need to thrive in the tech industry. We are very lucky to not be alone in this mission and another great organisation trying to build up women (and software) is She Codes. We were beyond ecstatic to be able to attend their She Codes Plus Brisbane Showcase last month. Keep reading to learn a little more about She Codes and some of our key takeaways from the night. 

Facts are facts. Despite national conversations about diversity in tech, women are still largely misrepresented in the tech industry. According to ARN, only a fifth of Australia’s IT graduates are women! While yes, diversity statistics are slowly improving, clearly, there is still a long way to go and this is why we love to support organisations such as She Codes.

In late 2020, we had the incredible opportunity to attend the She Codes Plus Showcase at Lightspace in Brisbane. If you haven’t heard of She Codes, you’re missing out! She Codes is on a mission to teach women coding skills, get women into technical careers, and build communities of like-minded women. Their vision is to increase diversity in tech by inspiring 100,000 women across Australia by 2025 and this is absolutely something we at Women in Digital can get behind.

Run in partnership with BHP, the She Codes Plus program is a six-month part-time course that focuses on supercharging the tech careers of women. This showcase was an opportunity to celebrate their achievement, share their portfolios and connect them with other professionals in tech including recruiters, hiring managers and potential industry mentors.

We were thrilled to attend this fantastic event and celebrate the 2020 graduating class. We were equaly excited to listen to a range of fabulous panellists including Sammy Herbert, Peta Ellis, Emily Taylor, Rene Chappel and Sorcha Abel (who was also the 2020 Women in Digital Awards Technical Leader of the Year – go Sorcha! See all our winners here). These women are five powerhouse leaders with an accumulative 78 years in the industry (woah!). They are also key role models for young women in tech. If there’s anything we’ve learned at Women in Digital, it’s that ‘you can’t be what you can see’ which is why showcasing these role models in this industry are so important.

Here are our key takeaways from the SheCodes panel discussion…

Connect with your network around you

You might have heard the saying that ‘your network is your net worth’ and it’s true! Although it may not be your all-time favourite activity, I think we can all agree that networking is a key skill for any professional. Building a network filled with strong, quality relationships is just as important. So if you find yourself wanting to level-up your networking game, start small and try ‘nudging’ one person a day. Watch over time as good things happen!

Be okay with not knowing all the answers

As much as we wish we could be experts in everything, that is never going to be a realistic goal. But that’s okay. This is your opportunity to ask questions, collaborate with others and build connections with other professionals in areas you may be unfamiliar with. However, if this is not your vibe, another way you can learn is by simply throwing yourself in the deep-end! What better way to learn than through experience?

Value your experience

Your experience is unique to you and to be honest, it is more than a lot of people have! Though many people follow similar career paths, it is highly unlikely your pathway is identical to any other individual and you, therefore, you have different (and meaningful) insights to bring to the table. So make your experience and career journey be your unique point of difference and flaunt it!

Find a mentor to support you through the journey

This all goes back to the importance of your network. Finding a mentor to guide you or simply offer advice throughout your career plays a key role in your network. Whether that’s a former teacher, past employer, or maybe someone you have looked up to in your industry, it’s always worth reaching out. Most people are more than happy to provide some form of mentorship and share their experiences with you.

Appreciate it’s not going to be amazing immediately – it’s a journey

The idea of a linear career is long gone. Hey, we’re not saying that you won’t thrive immediately at the beginning of your career journey (some people do!). But in the 21st century, most people will find that their career pathways become ‘squiggly’ rather than straightforward. This means it is important to accept and embrace that there is more than one way to achieve what you want in your career. You can read our insights from the Women in Digital Squiggly Careers Panel here.

Imposter syndrome is something we hear a lot of women in digital struggle with and a narrative we desperately want to change! Here are the She Codes Showcase panel’s top tips on beating imposter syndrome:

Go to meetups – once you’re there, doors will open

Can you tell we love networking? Guilty as charged! But we can’t stress this enough and neither could the SheCodes panel… whatever your experience or background, it is so important for women in digital to take opportunities to connect with others in your industry. If a door opens, assume inclusion, (don’t talk yourself out of it) and walk right through. You never know what might happen! Especially in the tech space, there are more and more networking and professional development events popping up for you to enjoy. We recommend challenging yourself to attend at least one event a month and bringing a friend to back you up if you’re nervous.

Personify your negative persona and tell it to go away

No one likes a ‘negative Nancy’. If you take anything away from this blog, let it be this! A lot of people have a nagging voice in their head that feeds on and metastases any feelings of inadequacy and failure. Does this sound like you? Go ahead and visualise this voice as a personification of your negativity. Name it, picture it, and every time you catch [insert name of inner critique here] being a voice of irrational negativity, just tell it to bug off! Don’t be your own worst enemy!

Go to your crew to gas you up

We are all social creatures. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, we naturally crave communication in some capacity (some more than others, of course). This is why finding your work crew may very well be the secret to both personal and collective success. If you need a boost after a rough day or just need some general motivation, connect with your crew and have them refuel your drive – sometimes you just need to let someone else be your cheerleader (we all know you are always being a cheerleader for someone!)

Verbalising the issue

If you’re a ‘fake it til you make it’ type of person and this works for you, then go for it. But truthfully, a lot of people struggle with nerves and it’s 100% okay to 1. Feel that way and 2. Verbalise that you feel that way. Remember, your coworkers, employers, and employees are human too. Most likely, they will appreciate your honesty and be able to sympathise. Plus, sometimes it can be a great ice breaker to verbalise your nerves.

Stop looking up at the things to do, look back at all the things you have done

My guess is that a lot of people reading this are looking forward to opportunities to level-up in their career. That’s great! You’re probably ambitious and hungry to succeed and we can’t fault that. But every now and again, it’s important to also look back at things you have done, take time to reflect and appreciate your accomplishments along the way. You earned it!

You should only be comparing yourself to you

Too many people fall into the trap of comparing themselves to others. It’s an easy thing to do and we have all done it at least once (or more 😂) in our lives but as soon as you stop that, the better off you will be and likely happier in general. There’s always someone who you think knows better when reality is, someone is thinking that about you in the same way! So next time, keep that in mind. Your career journey is YOUR journey. Keep doing you and go after what YOU want!

Final Top Tips:

  • Keep learning – It’s okay not to know everything. Google is your friend and so are industry workshops!
  • Find your tribe – Who are those special people in your life that will support you and your career no matter what?
  • Go and pitch yourself to someone else – Take a chance and put yourself out there! If nothing else, it will become a fantastic opportunity for feedback and confidence building.
  • Stay mainstream and don’t specialise too early – ‘Early specialisers’ may find themselves disadvantaged because they have boxed themselves into a corner in the ever-changing modern tech world. Broad experience is key for long-term success so learn as much as you can before deep diving into one specialisation.

A huge thank you to BHP, Amazon Web Services and BDO for sponsoring these amazing community events/ initiatives. Make sure you follow She Codes on LinkedIn to stay up to date on any upcoming events and workshops!

If you yourself are looking to hire some tech superstars, seeking your next opportunity, or wanting to partner with us to support diversity in digital, get in touch! We would love to connect with you. Follow us Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin!



April 2, 2020 Holly Hunt

Insights from the WID Squiggly Careers Evening…

The following points are my squiggled down reference notes from an interesting Women In Digital International event that I attended in February 2020. The topic was Squiggly Careers which was facilitated by Carly Shearman with guest speakers Bernadette Stone, Zoe Caplen-Black and Karen Whiteford.

I picked upon a few common themes as I listened to these three distinguished female professionals during the course of the evening. Throughout their squiggly careers they have retained their positive attitude and embraced the change that was thrown their way. I won’t try to summarise their stories, rather expand on a few points that I found particularly interesting.

Look after people and all the rest will follow

From the outset, my handwriting couldn’t keep up with all the golden nuggets of information Bernadette shared about what was important to her as a successful leader. Her message, put quite simply; look after people and all the rest will follow. As a leader myself, I strive to surround myself with the best; people that embrace change and have a desire to keep learning. Surrounding our self with the best, as an example, could mean hiring people that are better than ourselves in the areas we need knowledge in. As I continued to listen and squiggle down note after note, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of relief knowing that we don’t have to feel as if we have to ‘do it all’. Whether that be in the home or in the workplace, we tend to juggle and forget to ask for help. Be kind to yourself, give yourself a break. Hiring people with strong leadership and EQ will prevail over capability sets when faced with challenging situations.

Choose values, skills and capabilities and NOT role titles

As a Program Manager by trade, I live and breathe project plans so it’s probably no surprise that I used to have a career plan in my 20s. That was until I actually hit my goal. What then? I found myself unsure of where to go from there because I was searching for a specific role title to put ‘in the plan’, yet I knew it was important to keep planning to help stay driven and focused. Bernadette, Karen and Zoe, all suggested that when career planning, stay away from choosing specific role titles and focus on what values, skills and capabilities sets you’d like to acquire, what it is that you want to achieve from the role and what you want to do, rather than exactly what it is. With that in mind, start to think about what makes you happy and what you’re good at. Do what you believe in. Do what you love. If you focus on your strengths, then you are more likely to shine. Although it’s good to have a career plan, ensure you’re continuing to scan, internally (self) and externally (market), not for the purpose of jumping ship but to validate you’re still on the right track – plans change, and so do you. If you hit a roadblock within your plan, remember that failure isn’t fatal. In fact, it can quite often be seen as an opportunity, at the very least for learning how to do things differently next time. If what you tried didn’t work, jump back in and start again. The failures will have taught you a lot and have helped define what your ‘non-negotiables’ are when looking for that next role. Don’t lose confidence with a failure. Communicate your value proposition with the value you are bringing to the next opportunity. When that time comes, ensure you are interviewing the organisations as much as they are interviewing you.

Don’t forget to acknowledge your current success (it’s not all about the next big move)

While executing this career plan, it’s important to self-reflect and remind yourself that ‘this’ is what you wanted. My husband reminds me of this often, as many years ago I wrote on my career plan that I wanted to be a project coordinator, then project manager and now a program manager. It seemed so far away at the time but before you know, through a combination of steps, you’ve reached your goal and onto the next challenge. So, remind yourself that ‘this’ is what you wanted, don’t forget to acknowledge the success rather than continuously trying to get to the next big move.

Choose a mentor that will challenge you to grow

The other person to assist with career planning is a mentor. Quoting Zoe “don’t just choose a ‘carebear’ mentor”, choose someone who will help you critically think and improve. Although it’s important to have inspiring people around you who make you feel good, choose someone who tells the truth, always pushing you to the next level. Seek diversity in guidance. This person might also be able to help you define what your non-negotiables are when looking for the next role.

Bring everyone along on the journey to diversity

Lastly, and maybe an apt way to finish the Women In Digital International event as we near International Woman’s Day, it was interesting to hear where the Q&A honed in on. There was a strong focus from the audience’s question on the importance of equality. Specifically, how can we find ways to learn from our male colleagues and leaders and involve them in diversity and equality conversations. We need their help. We can’t and shouldn’t do this alone as we have a lot to learn from each other. I felt that was an insightful way to end a jam-packed evening as Women In Digital International actually have a strong focus to include both male and females on their Board, within their speaker selections and in their event attendance. Let’s keep the diversity of thought alive by inviting your Man-bassador along to the next event!

Words by: Julia Morton

For more information on upcoming community events, follow our Women in Digital Facebook page.



August 4, 2019 Elise Le-Galloudec

Inspired. Motivated. Focused. Three words summarising how I felt walking out after two days at the Liquid Learning, Women in ICT and Digital Leadership Summit 2019.

I’m Emma Judd, Group Marketing Manager at Place Design Group and I was the lucky winner of the Women in Digital LinkedIn competition, to attend this Summit from July 23 2019 to July 24 2019.

You may have seen, I took over the @womenindigital Instagram Stories for the duration of the conference and can view my stories on their highlights here.

While it was two days jam packed with an amazing line up of speakers, the below will give you a brief insight and share some knowledge nuggets and relatable advice I personally took from this event.

DAY 1: 23 July

On day one of the summit we heard from some fantastic speakers, with the line-up including:

  • Joanna Murray, Program Manager, Transformation & Innovation, Boral
  • Chris Locke, Chief Information Officer, Flight Centre
  • Deb Assheton, Expert Facilitator, The Amplify Group
  • Wendy Bryant, Chief Information Officer, Transport for NSW
  • Keli Saville, Regional Head of Data, AsiaPac, Vanguard
  • Niamh Collins, General Manager, Digital, HFC
  • Jade Carson, Director, IT Investments, Department of Education & Training
  • Kirsty McKay, Group Manager, Program Delivery & Digital Transformation, Coates Hire
  • Katie Payten, Director, Technology Assurance & Governance, Australian Securities & Investments Commission
  • Kylie McLean, Chief Digital Officer, Australia & New Zealand, IBM
  • Simon Noonan, Chief Information Officer, SportsBet

The first day, first speaker at a conference is always exciting and generally sets the tone for what you can expect and Joanna Murray, Program Manager, Transformation & Innovation at Boral, did just that.

Setting us up for the day, Joanne asked us to reflect back to the start of our careers. Did we know what we wanted to be, and how we planned to get there? I know myself. I definitely had a plan and thought it would go a certain way but reflecting back, it was actually a very different path I’d taken. I think this is a really positive thought to reflect on, especially if you are a mentor or in a leadership role guiding your team through their career journey.

Favourite quote from Joanne’s presentation was, “Great leaders don’t think they’re great; great leaders think they’re human.”

From career reflection, to career reflecting. Chris Locke, Chief Information Officer, Flight Centre, shared some great career advice which I’ve shared below:

  • Don’t be afraid of trying different things in different industries
  • Make a plan and make it happen
  • Be resilient, but patient
  • Get experience – think outside the square

This was also a lovely flow into the third speaker, Deb Assheton, Expert Facilitator, The Amplify Group, who spoke on the importance of true self confidence, the value of vulnerability and gratitude along with self-awareness.

A nice reminder that Deb left us with was that the struggle ends where gratitude begins. Practicing daily gratitude makes us 5-10% happier, and costs us nothing.

“What are you grateful for today?”

I think one of my favourite, most thought-provoking parts of the day was Wendy Bryant’s presentation. Wendy Bryant, Chief Information Officer, Transport for NSW, spoke on ‘Unconscious Bias’. To explain this, Wendy made this really relatable asking us all to discuss at our tables if there were any roles we automatically associate with a man or a woman; knowing perfectly well that both genders actually worked in that particular role. For example, when one thinks of a pilot, a doctor, a nurse or a kindergarten teacher, does one stereotype to a particular gender? Needless to say, most people, by default of unconscious bias, did so.

Wendy also reflected on her time as the only woman in an IT team working with all men. She refused to be the ‘cake cutter’ at workplace celebrations, as the default was to ‘leave it to Wendy because she was the woman’. Reflecting on our own workplaces, I feel there is so much that can be consciously done or implemented to improve this default gender bias. Some ideas Wendy shared with us included:

  • Unconscious bias training
  • Focus on bias in AI – change your Siri voice to male
    • I found this topic extremely interesting. Here is an article from Google that discusses it in more detail.
  • Specific actions on diversity in hiring processes and opportunities

Post lunch, we returned to the room for a panel discussion on ‘Whether work-life balance is possible?’. And great news – it is! And here are the panellists’ top tips for making it happen:

  • Find what works for you. If you play a sport or enjoy gym as an outlet – prioritise that and make a routine that works.
  • Plan holidays in advance and stick to them – If you’re busy, it’s easy to not plan your downtime, but time with family and friends is important. Book it in. Booking it in advance gives you something to look forward to.
  • Don’t hesitate to raise your hand if you need help. A great tip. Learn to delegate and ask those around you for help when needed.
  • Work smarter using smarter working techniques. Again something to Google, but what it comes down to is the fact that we all have 24 hours in a day. Use them wisely. The one thing money can’t buy is time.
  • As women in leadership, WE need to support flexibility. This is so important. If your team comes to you wanting to discuss flexible working options, be the change. Listen to their request and see what may be possible.
  • Flexibility in the workplace. Break down the barriers and become outcomes based. This is such a positive and practical way to frame this thought process, as just because someone sits at their desk all day, it doesn’t mean they are being any more productive than someone working from home. Change the focus to be on outcomes, not on number of hours sitting at a desk, and encourage flexible working arrangements.

The final two presenters for day one, Kylie McLean, Chief Digital Officer, Australia & New Zealand, IBM and Simon Noonan, Chief Information Officer, SportsBet, touched on workplace culture. Kylie really drove home the message that as leaders, it’s so important to create a culture that gets your team to thrive. This was a fantastic leeway into Simon’s Case Study around transforming workplace culture, with SportsBet as an example. Honestly, SportsBet sounds like an amazing place to work with a fantastic culture. Guided by their purpose, underpinned by their values, SportsBet don’t just have their values hung on the wall; they live their values, which makes all the difference.

DAY 2: 24 July

Inspired from day one, excited for day two and it did not disappoint. The fantastic line-up of speakers included:

  • Stuart Harrison, Chief Information Security Officer, Medibank
  • Megan James, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Data Centres & President, Women in IT & Communications
  • Arabella Macpherson, Founder & Communications Coach, Resonate Communications
  • Jade Carson, Director IT Investments, Department of Education & Training
  • Brendan Mills, Chief Information Officer, NIB Health Funds Limited
  • Sarah McCullough, Head of eTech Operations, Essential Energy
  • Kathryn Porter, Director, Customer Experience, Cisco
  • Joyce Harkness, Chief Information Officer, Avant Mutual Group Limited
  • Kirsten Murray, Director International, Faculty of Engineering & IT, University of Technology Sydney
  • Catherine Nolan, Director & Principal Coach, Gender Gap Gone

Stuart Harrison, Chief Information Security Officer, Medibank, kicked-off day two proceedings sharing some words of wisdom around realising your leadership potential. A key theme that came through reflecting on day one was to show vulnerability. As leaders, you do need to stay strong for your team, but vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but a sign that you are human. Showing vulnerability can often lead to building rapport and relationships with your team. A really lovely reminder for all leaders.

From the importance of vulnerability in leadership, to the importance of resilience as leaders. Resilience was the topic Megan James, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Data Centres & President, Women in IT & Communications, covered in her personal career journey she shared with attendees. Megan is a very inspirational woman, and since the conference, I have shared parts of her story with many of my colleagues. They say you may not remember what people say, but you will always remember how they made you feel. In this case, I remembered what Megan said because of how it made me feel and how much it resonated. If you get the opportunity to hear Megan speak, I would highly recommend you take it and hear her story first hand. I will share my key takeaways from Megan’s presentation below and hope you take some inspiration from this too:

  • Stay in your lane and stand up for what you believe in – no matter what
  • Always hold true to your values – above all else
  • Value your soft skills – emotional intelligence
  • Be present and always show up
  • Everyone has a story – so listen
  • Engage with people – see how you get the best out of people – allow creative opportunity
  • Don’t compromise on any of the above

As leaders and mentors, it’s always useful to have references or tools to provide the best possible guidance and advice to enable meaningful conversations with your teams and mentees. Arabella Macpherson, Founder & Communications Coach, Resonate Communications shared with us some great tips around unleashing your power as a mentor. I’ve summarised them below:

  • Coaching
    • Ask questions
    • Make suggestions
    • Share experiences
  • Chunking
    • Use chunking to open up or delve deeper on topics
  • Matching
    • Give all of your attention
    • Match 60%: physically and vocally
    • Repeat words and phrases back to show acknowledgement

Towards the end of day two, the discussion changed to be more around the future of work. Jade Carson, Director IT Investments, Department of Education & Training, spoke passionately on the topic of engaging and attracting future female leaders to IT roles.

Some ideas and strategies Jade touched on started right back at engaging young girls to show interest in IT. Whether that be at home, at school or at play. It’s also about attracting girls and women to a career in IT by changing the image/perception of tech, promoting meaningful careers and addressing the unconscious bias. On top of this, growing the focus on the culture around tech, closing the confidence gap through training and education and having strong female mentors or sponsors will help attract female IT talent. Jade concluded that we should keep a focus on culture being equitable and reflective of diversity. And that job design or redesign for flexibility is important. Overarching, she highlighted female role models across the IT industry is key.

Continuing the future of work discussion, panelists’ thoughts covered:

  • The importance of business and IT partnerships – with the increase in technologies in the workplace, it’s important for businesses and IT leaders to work closely for the best possible outcomes
  • Portfolio careers – showing depth and breadth of experience
  • Being location agnostic – it’s not about where you’re physically working from. With technology you are enabled to work from anywhere. This also ties in to the earlier discussion around being outcomes focused.
  • Gig Economy – presents great opportunities but also new challenges

And that’s a wrap! Catherine Nolan, Director & Principal Coach, Gender Gap Gone,

was our facilitator across the two-day summit and presented a great summary of the insights from across the event. A few practical tips she left us with included:

  • Create a Vision Board – use Pinterest or Canva to get started. If you see it, you’ll achieve it.
  • Create your 40-page resume – a dumping ground for YOU only. List examples as they happen so when the time comes, you have the content and are ready to apply for that dream job.
  • Watch the Amy Cuddy Ted Talk – ‘Your body language may shape who you are’

There were honestly so many fantastic insights and inspirational moments over the two days. I hope this blog post shares just some of that post-summit magic with you all.

Thank you for reading.

Emma Judd

Instagram: @emajudd

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emajudd/

Do you have more insightful leadership tips? Share them in the comments below.



October 31, 2018 Elise Le-Galloudec

Celebrating the women doing incredible things in digital. 

By Caitlin Ritter

Isn’t it weird how women so often struggle to advocate for themselves? There are plenty of studies acknowledging and explaining the phenomenon, but considering how incredible women are, it blows my mind every day when I hear another woman modestly downplaying herself.

That’s why I was so excited to attend the inaugural Women in Digital Awards on Friday 26 October. The awards were the perfect opportunity for women to step forward and shout their talent, achievements, passion and dedication from the rooftop.

And shout it they did.

And yet, on the night, there was not a single ego in the room. These awards were all about women supporting women, lifting them up, celebrating their success. That (along with some great wine) made sure this was a night to remember.

The people

I was a late addition to the guest list, filling in for my incredibly talented but presently overseas boss, Emma Haller, who was nominated for Leader of the Year. Because of the last-minutedness of the ticket purchase, I was ridin’ solo for the evening.

This had two unforeseen benefits: I got to meet heaps of lovely people that I otherwise might not have, and I got to do plenty of people-watching.

The peopleEveryone brought their A-game to the red carpet, and I loved the stellar line-up of nominees and guests. Notables for me included the Honourable Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation (and Minister for Tourism, as she so smoothly reminded the room) and Yasmin Grigaliunas, co-founder of World’s Biggest Garage Sale (I can’t go past a great profit-for-purpose).

 

WID awards Kate Jones
They say a picture says a thousand words, but not even a thousand words is enough to capture the vibe in this room.

Monica Bradley did an exceptional job as MC, keeping the mood high and the night flowing.

The place

A wise man once said, ‘there ain’t no party like a W Hotel party’, and I got to experience that first-hand. The gorgeous cocktail function space was lined by a balcony featuring city and river views, making it the perfect place for mingling before heading into the hotel’s full function room for dinner, wine-sipping boomerangs on Instagram, and, of course, the awards themselves.

W Hotel - Women in Digital Awards
Great light fittings: check. Mysterious but cool table centrepieces: check. Ample screens for media viewing: triple check.

And most importantly…the presentation

It was the meat in the sandwich. The reason why we showed up. The award presentation part of the evening had a great cadence, giving the room enough time to appreciate the nominees before moving onto the winner, and then getting on with the next category. Though I was a little heartbroken that my boss didn’t take out her category, I loved seeing all the women own their moments on stage. Make sure you check out the full list of winners in the official media release.

Above all, I was impressed by the women who were overwhelmingly knowledgeable about technology, implementation, transformation and strategy who stood up and put their name forward as leaders in their space.

It was clearer to me than ever before that women in digital are more than just a group of people who share a (very complex, multi-faceted) interest.

We’re problem solvers. We’re innovators. We’re communicators. We’re community makers. We’re leaders. We’re part of the future.

And on Friday, we were all together celebrating each other, clapping just as hard for the nominees as we did for the winners.

Our hands were numb, but our hearts were full.

 

 

 



August 7, 2017 Holly Hunt

There’s something magical about being in a room full of women that’s buzzing with interesting conversations; everything from digital marketing, finance, latest tech trends, wine and outfit compliments. Every woman’s inhibition seems to disappear as the room is filled with stories of achievements and aspirations. It’s well and truly a woman’s element.

The Women in Leadership event held on the 19th of July at Microsoft Head Office in Brisbane, was exactly that magical moment for the 50 women lucky enough to attend. The panel of speakers, led by Sue Keay, included Monica Bradley from B Corporation, Jane Andrews from Technology One and Sue Coulter from CUA, all of whom are highly accomplished in their respective fields.

The key themes of the evening were very much focused on tangible strategies for effective leadership – resilience, leveraging your network, showcasing your value and advocating for other women.

We established one fact quickly; the world has too many managers and not enough leaders. As the speakers highlighted, women have never been better positioned to use their natural strengths to lead and “be the agents of change.” Gone are the days of rigid corporate hierarchies and traditional management styles; we are very much in the space of flexible work, innovation, creativity, agility, emotional intelligence and dynamic teams.

Now wouldn’t it be great if every woman was naturally recognised for all these strengths? The harsh reality is, she won’t be. No matter how intelligent, how hard-working and how flexible she may be, there is little chance a woman will be promoted, let alone recognised if she doesn’t speak for herself. It’s the ugly truth that can be flipped with the right strategies.

Monica, Jane and Sue are examples of women who understand first-hand that stepping out of your comfort zone is pivotal to leading change. It’s talking to new people at networking events and asking questions in a meeting to consolidate the key themes of the conversations. We discussed how resilience can be built everyday by “working through the trenches”, making small adjustments and being proactive in solving problems. Ultimately, we also need to show that we’re competent professionals– this means, get good at the job, think outside the box and be better than everybody else. Opportunities come like a sliding door moment, you either step in or not – we must be fearless and fight that little voice which talks us out of going in.

A lot of the times, these opportunities won’t materialise out of thin air. Part of having a relentless drive is to be strategic in how you choose your network and mentors. The way I see it is, you need to surround yourself with role models that share similar interests, see your potential and can connect you to their broader network (if you ask!). I think the strategic network even extends to your friends; choosing friendships with men and women that lift you up, instead of those that are competitive, childish and belittling of your ambitions.

As my last point, it’s important to note that women being the “agents of change” in their organisations, means nothing if those women don’t bring other women on the journey. With our almost abundant access to education, financial resources and support networks, we owe it to women all around the world to speak up for each other and pave an easier path for future generations. For now, it’s as simple as inviting your colleagues to the next meet-up, telling executives how “she led the team with flair and consistently delivered results”, or hinting that this woman would love to write a blog about this event. Likewise, more men need to understand their critical role in providing women constructive feedback and advocating their skills and potential in performance reviews and leadership opportunities.

In summary, here are my quick bite-sized action points:

  1. Leap at opportunities – get rejected, then get back up
  2. Be resilient – work hard and work smart
  3. Choose your network strategically and use it
  4. Be the agent for change – a voice for ALL women

This is an exciting time for women to make incredible contributions to society, government and business through our leadership potential. I look forward to more ‘magical’ evenings sipping wine and celebrating the achievements of women – its moments like these that ignite a fire which the whole world should watch out for.

By Sejal 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Women in Digital network and events make sure you subscribe to our newsletter HERE

 



June 1, 2017 Holly Hunt

On May 24th, Brisbane’s digital community gathered for the Digital Transformation event at the Microsoft Head Quarters in Brisbane CBD. The theme for May was Digital Transformation and our guest panel shared their expertise on the matter.

Our host for the evening Louise Flynn (Head of Marketing at Neto) and guest speakers Megan Harris (Organisational Change Manager, BOQ), Weng Woo (Chief Digital Officer LGIASuper), Matt Henry (Digital Innovation NRL) and Margarita Camus (Senior Digital Strategist at QLD Urban Utilities).

Weng Woo started the evening, discussing the importance of the customer experience when going through a digital transformation. He went on to explain that companies can establish a competitive edge by implementing technology into the workplace to increase collaboration and productivity for its people. However, simply implementing new technology isn’t enough as companies must not forget it’s people first, then technology, since digital transformation is only successful when all users use the new technology.

Margarita Camus discussed the importance of creating a culture of change and how the entire business needs to be on board with the digital transformation. You can do this by sharing your knowledge with leaders and getting them to understand new technologies first hand, such as introducing Tec Talks to the work place and educating leaders on digital technologies such as social media.

Megan Harris continued the conversation from a different perspective, her advice about going through a digital transformation is to start at the front line then work your way up to the CEO because, if you don’t know what’s broken it’s hard to fix. Megan goes on to say that digital transformation is all about the people power and grassroots movements. Megan is very passionate about the people and encourages them to speak up because, people can make a difference they just need to work together. Furthermore, Megan went on to share about an event she had organised at the Bank of Queensland HQ – The Digital World Café, where they invited all ages and demographics across the business to experience the digital world first hand and what to expect soon.

Matt Henry tied up the evening, discussing his experiences at the NRL and how the digital world is changing rapidly. He went on to explain that having basic HTML knowledge will assist in internal transformation but there is a lot more to digital transformation. Organisations need to make sure there is a plan in place for their people, as roles become digital it is important to educate and grow their people with the business.

As you may have discovered the sheer scope of what digital transformation encompasses can feel overwhelming, making it difficult to begin implementation. Oftentimes organisations try to simplify their digital transformation journey by solely focusing on the finding the right technology in hopes to creating a positive customer experience. But digital transformation is a strategic, planned and organisational change. As Louise Flynn ended the event she said ‘Digital Transformation is an elephant, you can only change one thing at a time’.

For those who were unable to attend, our next WID in Brisbane will be held on June 21st at 5:30pm, with the topic ‘Omni Channel Marketing’. This event will feature Nathan Bush (Group Digital Manager at Super Retail Group), Kelly Newbery (Digital Marketing Manager at Neto), Emma Carter (Lead Experience Design) at Thoughtworks and Jase Clamp (Product Manager at Temando) with Cassie Matcham moderating.

Find out more details and link to get your ticket HERE



May 5, 2017 Elise Le-Galloudec

On April 19, Sydney’s digital community gathered for the second Women in Digital event of 2017 at the Art House Hotel. The theme for April was ‘Mobility – it’s a Mindset’, drawing on three senior digital leaders to share their experience of mobility as both a career mindset, and through their expertise on mobile as a technology.

Our guest speakers were Lucy Brindley (Principal Mobile Specialist – Marketing Cloud, JAPAC at Salesforce), Adam Theobald (Co-Founder of Beat the Q (now Hey You) & Ordermentum) and Peter Bray (Director, Business Development ANZ at Celtra).

Adam Theobald kick started the evening, exploring mobility from an entrepreneurial perspective, having founded two businesses Beat the Q (now known as Hey You) and Ordermentum. As the name suggests, Beat the Q is a mobile app allowing customers to order coffee, food and drink before they arrive. Adam discussed how the app taps into the consumer trend of cashless spending and rapid mobile payments, allowing for a more seamless and speedy mobile transaction. The Beat the Q Group has processed more than 20 million transactions, and the app is considered one of the most successful consumer mobile ordering and payments apps in Australia.

Seeing an opportunity for B2B ordering mobile aps, Adam went on to start another business Ordermentum with Andew Low in 2014. He discussed how Ordermentum brings together a unique combination of supplier, retail and technology experience in the food and beverage sector. Adam discussed the similarities and differences between B2B and B2C mobile apps and offered insights into how to grow and retain a mobile app customer database, by creating a valuable experience for the customer.

Lucy Brindley discussed mobility in relation to her evolving career path, taking her from running her own successful business Little Cherry in the UK, to a new life and career in Sydney, and most recently joining Salesforce working as a Principal Mobile Sales Specialist (Marketing Cloud, J/APAC). Lucy highlighted the benefits and challenges of building and running her own company, and her journey to now working for a global corporation. She maintains a fiercely mobile mindset and the belief of working towards changing the world for the better.

Lucy spoke of the night, “What a fantastic evening filled with inspiration – the room was filled with a fantastic mix of women, from recent grads to C level execs and was a great way to network with like-minded women all joining together to learn and support their fellow women in business. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking at the Women in Digital event, and am honoured to have been presenting with such high calibre speakers”.

Peter Bray tied up the theme for the evening, discussing mobility in his career and drawing on his expertise of mobile advertising at Celtra, a UX & Creative Management Platform, where he is currently Business Development Director. Peter discussed his many different ‘lives’, from starting as a radio announcer and travelling across Europe as Contiki’s European Tour and Product Development Manager. Like so many, Pete recalled how he fell into the media game and worked his way to Group Sales Manager at InMobi, and currently Director Business Development ANZ at Celtra. He talked about the evolution of mobile advertising and the key understanding of mobile being central to a brands connection with its customers. He also discussed the importance of having mentors and friends within the industry.

Peter, who is also President of the International Advertising Association Young Professionals Australia Chapter, spoke of the night, “The WID Mobility event brought together a fantastic calibre of attendees around a topic that is at the heart of Digital. It was an honour to be able to share my thoughts and experiences with the organisation, the other speakers and to extend my network in a meaningful way. I’d happily recommend WID to future attendees and presenters.”

For those who were unable to make April’s event, our next WID Sydney event will be held on Tuesday May 9 at 6pm, with the topic ‘Negotiating the Network’ at General Assembly. This event will feature 4 digital industry leaders who will present and form a panel on ‘negotiating a pay rise’, and how to fast track building your negotiating skills in the digital business world.

Find out more details and a link to get your ticket here. http://bit.ly/2oWBnER


Women in Digital was started by Holly Tattersal in 2014 to provide inspiration, mentoring, training, and development opportunities for women in the fast-paced digital industry.

The Sydney team, headed up by Women in Sydney Director Eloise Lloyd (Salesforce), and Community Manager Clare Welsh (ROKT) organize monthly events with a relevant and applicable topic for digital industry leaders to discuss, debate and spark conversion and inspiration for women working or wanting to work in the digital space.

Women in Digital Sydney aims to provide resources and career opportunities to build the digital leaders of tomorrow. We do this by connecting our talented members around the world both on and offline, by showcasing inspirational role models and success stories, connecting digital leaders with high potential talent in a mentoring capacity, and sharing resources that give our members the tools to succeed.

 

Blog submission by Clare Welsh



September 29, 2016 Holly Hunt

A few weekends ago Women In Digital held their first all day workshop and what a day it was! The room was filled with sassy and determined women ready to open their minds and share their stories to better define and grow themselves as a woman and professional.

I wanted to share with those who may of sadly not been able to make it some take home tips and things to think about so you too can build your personal brand.

Personal branding Workshop - Women in DigitalOur first speaker of the day was one of the most genuine and energetic women I have met in years- if anyone could make me feel good about my brand it was going to be Michelle O’Hara. (If you are not already following this lady on social media than you need to do that right after you finish reading this). With our plates loaded of fruit and breakfast pastries Michelle asked us to write down our most recent jobs, best skills and to define our current brand in 3 words. Our favourite 3 word description had to be “bad ass B**ch”. Following this we were asked what our top 5 values were and if these are being met in our jobs- this was the most valuable thing I have done to assess myself and my future to date. So please take some time to think about this and how you can match your values to your career to reach fulfillment.

Another fun exercise Michelle had us do was assigning a dollar value against our skills to recognize how much we are actually worth. The final amount is surprising ladies!

With a break for lunch we were spoilt to having our makeup done by Laura Corringan. Prior to this we had learnt about colour palettes and matching and some really affordable products to feel fabulous in the workplace. A personal motto of my own is to dress for the job you want not the one you have. Following the make-over’s some really awesome new LinkedIn profiles were then taken.

Personal Branding Workshop - Women in DigitalNow I’m sure everyone can relate to being nervous about public speaking but our next guest Cyril Sansano had us all in giggles and taught us the importance of hub recognition. This is where you connect with just one person in the room and they are usually the one giving you a positive hub (a head nod, smile, giggle).

So you start with them and then this ripple effect spreads with your audience. To me this seems much more achievable than trying to win a whole room of people- just one friendly face! A great tip to apply when you may be pitching new business or strategy.

Lastly, our very own Petra Zink took us through LinkedIn. Some key tips from a recruiter:

Personal branding workshop with Petra Zink

  • Include past and present jobs but also future interests (increases your chances of being approached on this)
  • Use dot points to explain 3-7 key responsibilities per job
  • Post, like and share content to make others aware you are an active user.
  • Ensure you have contact details and other social media platforms linked

The lucky ladies at the workshop all received personal feedback from Petra and Holly on their accounts. If you are interested in feedback like this then please reach out to Women In Digital!

At then end bubbles and happy snaps were had all around as well as friend requests galore. Everyone came away feeling motivated with bite sized tasks we could do to become our very best bad ass B**ch.

We really hope to see even more great women at the next workshop we have!

Women in Digital - Personal branding workshop

If you missed this workshop, and would like to attend our next one, contact-us now to register your interest. We will let you know first about our next Personal Branding Workshops.

For a preview of what Women in Digital’ Personal Branding Workshops are all about, watch this video of our last Brisbane session:

 

 

 



September 25, 2016 Holly Hunt

If you have never heard of the Email Marketing Summit Australia (EMSA) then let me fill you in. The EMSA is a premium event designed by email marketers for people interested in email marketing! If you want to learn about how email marketing can increase your ROI or currently utilise email marketing as a business strategy then this is the place to be October 20th 2016.

There are many great items on the day’s agenda with 12 marketing experts sharing their personal stories and tips. Women In Digital are very proud to be affiliated with Vision6 and this event and highly recommend our members to come along for the following five reasons:

ONE: Out of the twelve speakers six are women- we love this! This is an amazing local opportunity to meet influential women in the digital landscape and attend a gender-balanced event.

TWO: You may not know Kim Barnard by name but she is the Content Director and Editor-In-Chief at The Urban List. I don’t know about you but I look forward to getting these emails regularly and believe with the fastest growing digital lifestyle platform Kim is going to share some up to date and in market influential information.

THREE: Question and Answer sessions are integrated into each session and there are plenty of breaks to allow you to talk to speakers and fellow marketers about the day’s content. Be sure to bring your business card! There will also be case studies to give the chance to actively access strategies and apply your own approach for best practise.

FOUR: Every speaker comes from a different background showing the diversity and effectiveness that email marketing may have to offer your current business or for that dream on the side business you are waiting to start-up. Viven Fu shares an agency point of view, John Knight used to be an accountant, Kelly Newbery has a Public Relations and Communication background. While Jacob Aldridge is an internationally renowned business coach- need I say more about what this offers energetic digital professionals?

FIVE: I kid you not… there is an ice cream break! This is in addition to the tea and coffee breaks, lunch and even a celebratory drink to conclude. You will be nourished with new ideas, skills, networks and yummy treats.

I’ve saved the best to last (other than the ice-cream), WID are thrilled in partnership with Vision 6 to be giving away 1 ticket (value of $325). For your chance to win this ticket for 20th October all you have to do is:

Women in Digital & Vision6 partnership

  1. Sign-up to the Women in Digital newsletter https://womenindigital.org/join- us/
  2. Follow us on Instagram @womenindigital or Twitter @WID_AUS or Facebook Women in Digital

The winner will be announced on the 10th of October!! Good luck and we hope to see you there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



July 10, 2016 Holly Hunt

Imagine this scenario.

You’re in an Elevator when Richard Branson walks in (perhaps ‘insert your career here’s’ equivalent) and it’s just the two of you. You both look at each other, you with dawning recognition, and them with a complacent smile. The button’s light up with each floor, 5, 6, 7 when suddenly there’s a whirring noise and the elevator shudders and stops. You frantically press the buttons but nothing is happening.

‘It appears we’re going to be here for a while’, says your elusive dream figure, ‘so what do you do?’

Though an unlikely scenario, this alone illustrates just how important it is to have a pitch ready. It may not happen that you meet the top of your field perchance, but at some point you will meet someone in your industry that has a position of authority.

Jen Burrows, author of ‘Picture Them Naked’ and public speaker and consultant, strongly reiterates this point. In Women in Digital’s event ‘Elevator Pitches and Networking Event Success’ Jen spoke of her ‘Elevator moment.’  Whilst viewing an open home, Jen was to run into a prominent figure in her industry, one that she’d been trying to attain contact with for quite some time. It was this moment, coupled with the pluck to approach him and her pitch at the ready that Jen was able to capture his attention. Now, ten years later Jen is still not only in contact with this man, but also a business partner.

Held at  Little Tokyo Two , the event was packed, with men and women from all forms of the industry including marketers, publicists and web developers just to name a few. The evening commenced with a fun, ice breaking activity titled ‘Draw a pig’, similar to one of those hand writing analysing games. A truly giggle inducing task, it was revealed to the budding artists what their pig revealed, with everything from direction of pig, number of legs and place on page factored. Many a blush from those whose little piggies had very long tails (sexual satisfaction) with one woman having drawn a tail that was bigger than the pig itself.

The main point illustrated at the event was the importance of networking, especially that of establishing relationships. Rather than pointedly diving in with a ‘What do you do?’ Jen stipulated that is was integral to create a rapport, asking a potential contact more about their life than just about their career. By asking positive things i.e. what was the best part of your week?’ the person was more likely to associate you with positive feelings.

‘People don’t always remember your name, but they’ll remember how you made them feel’

Afterwards every member was given a sheet with a series of points to help them write a short, concise pitch. Jen demonstrated an example, bringing forth Lauren Duffy from Vision 6 and patching together a pitch from the information bestowed. This included statements such as ‘Most people think’, ‘but really’ and ‘in fact.’ Within a span of ten minutes Jen had assembled a winning pitch for Lauren, proving how simple creating a pitch is using this method.

At the end of the night the group splits in two, doing what is best described as ‘pitch speed dating.’ With only a minute given, each member had to drive their pitch before moving on to the next person. Approximately a good fifteen minutes later, mouths were dry, introverts were exhausted and all pitches were subsequently memorised. Not only a great activity in regards to performing, but also a quick way to successfully meet every person in the room.

A smashing triumph, this event was enjoyed by all that came, with many no doubt leaving with a newfound confidence and a phone full of contacts.

A big thank you especially to Jen Burrows for such a fantastic night! Check out her website here: http://valueforlife.com.au/

Our next event is ‘Asking for a raise with Matt Walleart, Global Director for Start-ups and Accelerator Programs at Microsoft – RSVP HERE