Find out what we have been up to in the community.

Interested in having a member of Women in Digital speaker at your event? For all speaking, press or media enquiries, please send us an email.



October 25, 2019 Holly Hunt

Don’t miss out on all the fun – the 2020 Women in Digital Awards are live.

Nominations Open: Friday 24th July 2020
Nominations Close: Friday 25th September 2020
Finalist Judging Date: Friday 2nd October 2020
Finalists Announced: Tuesday 6th October 2020
Winners Announced: Friday 6th November 2020

FROM THE ARCHIVES
A look back at the 2019 Women in Digital Awards Finalists

The Women in Digital National Awards are in their second year and we were blown away with both the volume and quality of the nominations.

Our industry judges had a very difficult job but we are very proud and excited to announce the finalists for the 2019 Women in Digital Awards.

Want to see who takes home the award? It’s not too late to secure your ticket.

Our finalists for the AWS Founder of the Year are…

[error]

Our finalists for the AWS Rising Star of the Year are…

[error]

Our finalists for the BOQ AI Leader of the Year are…

[error]

Our finalists for the Canstar Diversity Employer of the Year are…

[error]

Our finalists for the Cult Digital Producer of the Year are…

[error]

Our finalists for the ERM Power Developer of the Year are…

[error]

Our finalists for the Expose Media Digital Marketer of the Year are…

[error]

Our finalists for the Microsoft Executive Leader of the Year are…

[error]

Our finalists for the Queensland Urban Utilities Community Champion are…

[error]

Our finalists for the Suncorp Innovator of the Year are…

[error]

Our finalists for the UQ Champion of Change are…

[error]

Thank you to everyone who nominated! We look forward to celebrating with you on the night.

[error]



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.



June 26, 2018 Elise Le-Galloudec

By Phyllida Yeo

With more and more content filling up our walls, inboxes and increasingly busy lives, storytellers have to pick up their game. Now, captivating, authentic and emotionally charged stories are king — anything less simply won’t cut it.

For seasoned pro, Cas McCullough, great storytelling is a passion. Starting as a graphic designer and copy editor, she learnt about the value of great content early on in her career. Fast forward to 2018, Cas is not only a talented writer and entrepreneur, but also a busy working mum.

Recently, we got to pick her brain about storytelling, her content creation platform Writally and how she holds it all together.

How did Writally come about?

In 2012, I realised content marketing was going to take over the marketing and advertising space in a big way. My clients and I were trying to take advantage of this new and exciting tool, but we were wrestling over the problem of creating original content in an easy way.

Thanks to my son, the idea of providing a structure that clients could work with and that helped them cut through their mental writing blocks popped into my head.

How important is great storytelling in 2018 and beyond?

The online space is saturated with content. Boring content just doesn’t get any traction. Search engines have shifted their algorithms to hero authority content and your readers just scroll past what doesn’t interest them.

What are some of the key storytelling ingredients?

First and foremost, you must know who you’re writing for and where they are in the purchasing cycle.

Secondly, you need a plan of attack or you could end up going off track and fast! I also find that a structure can help inject drama and suspense into the plot — there’s nothing like a good cliff hanger to leave people on the edge of their seat. A story that fails to get started, or never gets resolved, will most likely fail to leave readers wanting more.

In terms of brands, what are some common storytelling mistakes?

Readers aren’t concerned about your business’s priorities or concerns. All too often, businesses only talk about themselves or company news like everybody cares.

Authenticity and showing that your brand cares more about your readers’ lives than itself should be at the heart of every story.

What are some of the other road blocks brands or individuals can encounter?

Simply starting can be the most difficult part! A lot of people get stuck at the intro because they want to capture attention.  Start with a couple of related questions that lead into the topic. You can always go back and change it later.

What’s your top tip for a novice storyteller?

Mapping out your ideal readers and their pain points is key — that’s the trick to making it truly relevant. I also focus on an individual I want to talk to and their most pressing pain points, rather than a big group of people I’m just trying to reach.

In terms of you own story, what have you learned along the way?

The most important lesson I’ve learned is to listen to your audience. Tuning into what they want and need will save you a lot of heartache down the road.

On a personal note, I’ve also been very lucky to create the life I want. Being available to my kids is my number one priority, and I’ve always created work opportunities around them — not the other way around. If it doesn’t fit, I don’t pursue it.

What’s the next chapter in your story?

Now that Writally is a proven recipe for success, I’m looking at taking it another step further.

Marketplaces are popping up more and more and a Writally marketplace is in the works. This will give businesses access to a collection of recipes on different topics or themes so they can create their own original content in house.

This is only one of the many goals I have for 2018, so watch this space!

While great storytelling isn’t always easy, its ability to make you feel something is extraordinary. With so many ways to create emotionally powerful and relevant content, from augmented and virtual reality to video, written and ephemeral content, it’s about using multiple channels to capture attention, and as always, leaving your readers wanting more.

This article was contributed by our star blogger, Phyllida Yeo. Phyllie is a driven digital marketer based in Brisbane. Since she started her career in a graduate program, she has developed a passion for all things digital. Whether it’s content marketing, search marketing or simply getting inspired by others, she enjoys building her skills across all areas of the industry. She is currently a Digital Marketing Coordinator at Signet.

 



June 12, 2018 Elise Le-Galloudec

By Lani Pauli, Deane & Co

The notion of including a blog on your business website can seem like a big commitment, especially if you’re not a natural writer.

But let me tell you, having an active blog can be one of the most unexpectedly powerful elements in your business arsenal.

Case in point, a blog post I wrote 3 years ago – an interview with a knife maker from Tasmania of all things – still brings traffic to my site every single day! I had no idea this lovely gent was going to become a cult figure on the Australian food scene, but that’s the beauty of having a blog. Now thousands of extra pairs of eyes have come across my business website without me lifting a finger.

If you are thinking through the value of having a blog, here’s five important reasons why you might consider creating a blog for your business:

#1 It helps drive traffic to your website

Here’s a simple equation: the more pages on your website, the more opportunity to attract readers and website traffic. If you blog consistently and build up a following, that’s extra traffic each and every day. The more often your website is added to, the more search engines like Google know that they can legitimately send traffic there.

#2 It humanizes your brand

A good way to differentiate your product or service from competitors with similar products of services is to have a blog. Say if you were a professional coach and consultant you could highlight that your area of expertise was helping teams work harmoniously or you could showcase your sense of humour in delivering training. It’s these personal extras that help a client choose you over a competitor.

#3 It’s another channel of communication

A blog is another less formal avenue to talk to your customers and it presents numerous opportunities to seel, without selling. For example, if you were a jewellery brand, you could create lots of interesting content about travel, food, fashion that can include jewellery without out it being an overt sales pitch. It’s much more fun for your customer to read a blog about the fabulous jewellery you wore on holiday in Marrakech than to see your product catalogue again.

#4 It signals your business is active

An updated blog signals to new customers that your business is active, well maintained and going well. It’s a simple way to give a positive message about how successful you are.

#5 It helps establish your authority

Creating a blog and showcasing your thoughts, experiences, and expertise is an excellent way to display your authority and credibility in a particular area or industry. If you sell a food product or service, using your blog to talk about upcoming chefs, new restaurants, great cookbooks, amazing documentaries or food experiences show you know you are an expert in the food space, upping credibility to business and product along the way.



February 27, 2018 Elise Le-Galloudec

By Phyllida Yeo

To be big, you need to think big. Canva, the hugely successful online design platform empowering everyone to unleash their creativity and design anything, is doing just that. In four short years, it’s grown from a small Sydney start up to a $1 billion valuated business — and according to Liz, Head of PR and Communications, Canva, the journey has only just begun!

With 250+ innovators propelling this newly crowned “tech unicorn” into its future, we asked Liz about the business’s latest achievements and what it’s like to be part of the Canva team.

What was the team’s reaction to the new $1 billion valuation and $40 million round of funding?

This new funding round is a great vote of confidence for our vision to empower everyone to design anything and publish anywhere. No matter what you’re creating, we want Canva to be the one-stop place that makes the whole experience seamless. 

Our achievements so far have given everyone even more motivation for the huge journey ahead — everyone here is super excited to play a huge role in it!

What helped the team achieve success so quickly?

One of our values is to “Set Crazy Big Goals and Make Them Happen”. While chasing after them can be intimidating, it pushes you to try harder and dream even bigger. Without this value, our most recent achievements and projects such as Canva Print, Canva for Android and Canva Animations wouldn’t have happened. And, we wouldn’t have helped millions of people all over the globe collectively create 400 million designs since launch!

How is this new funding going to help Canva achieve the rest of its “crazy big goals”? 

Just recently, we launched in 100 languages, which brings us one step closer to making our product accessible to everyone. This new funding will enable us to implement even more enhancements and give us the ability to scale, so we can bring Canva to more people around the world. 

Our number one focus is creating a product that users continue to love, while scaling our team and culture — this chapter is definitely the most fun! 

How does it feel to work in a place where innovation and breaking the boundaries is at its core?

I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded by super smart people, all of whom share the same big dreams and plans for Canva — especially our CEO, Melanie Perkins.

She is one of the most visionary, yet down-to-earth and approachable CEOs I’ve ever worked with. She leads by example, setting a company culture and approach to teamwork that really sets Canva apart. When you see someone as dedicated as Melanie — always willing to roll up their sleeves and help out — it’s hard not to get infected by her drive for success!

Speaking of success, what helped you achieve yours?

Perseverance, bravery and learning to deal with negative feedback positively so you can forge ahead with your new learnings. This also means having a strong locus of control — you need to understand what you can control and accept what you can’t.

Also being willing to do the grunt work despite what your title says.

Lastly, where do you see the future of online design platforms and Digital Marketing going?

We continue to see a strong trend toward visual communication. Marketers will have to continue to explore new visual ways of getting people’s attention. This is why I think the trend for more personalisation will continue to grow. We’re already seeing super tailored video content become the norm. It’s that personal touch that makes all the difference.

Whether it’s creating marketing collateral or a killer presentation, the Canva team is continually pushing the boundaries to provide the best experience for all members of their design community. With no dream too big, they are well on their way to achieving even more success locally and on a global scale.

This article was contributed by our star blogger, Phyllida Yeo. Phyllie is a driven digital marketer based in Brisbane. Since she started her career in a graduate program, she has developed a passion for all things digital. Whether it’s content marketing, search marketing or simply getting inspired by others, she enjoys building her skills across all areas of the industry. She is currently a Digital Marketing Coordinator at Signet.

Read more interesting stories on Inspiring Women in Digital here.