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March 18, 2024 Women in Digital

Ten years. More than 13,000 members. An awards program that has seen 2,328 nominations, 238 finalists, 95 winners and more than 5,500 attendees across all our events. From humble beginnings in Brisbane a decade ago, Women in Digital (WID) has forged a name as a peak body for women working in Australia’s digital sector. 

Holly Hunt founded WID on March 18, 2014, after she realised the digital industry was missing something – a strong female presence. As a future-of-work specialist, she was particularly fascinated by the confidence gap between women and male candidate, plus the lack of inclusive digital events. Fast forward to today, WID collaborates with some of Australia’s leading technology businesses and industry heavyweights to deliver events, workshops and awards designed to promote diversity in the industry.

Terry Weber, Regional Manager – QLD, NT and PNG at Cisco and Platinum Corporate Member of Women in Digital said, “Partnering with Women in Digital has been an amazing collaboration for Cisco. It not only boosts our workforce, but also sparks innovation, diversity, and resilience in a fast-changing digital world. It has helped us change the conversation and support equality and inclusion for everyone.

So in honour of our 10th birthday, we asked 10 of our biggest supporters about Women in Digital and the state of the industry. Here are their answers!

How have you seen the digital and technology industries change for women over the last decade, or since you have been in the industry?

Rowena Samaraweera, Head of Customer Experience Design at Auto & General – I am really pleased to say that I can now see a lot more senior women hitting the CIO/ CTO role which was still quite rare even 10 years ago. Not far behind them are a more visible group of female senior leaders, as well as a wonderful cohort of female founders establishing their own businesses and social enterprises.”

Gavin Douglas, Head of APJ Alliances at Wiz – “I’ve seen increased awareness of the benefits of a more diverse workforce to employers (and their customers), an increase in employer programs to support women at work, eg. career breaks, paternity leave, work from home/flexible working hours etc. to support those with families/carer responsibilities (male + female) and more resources like Women in Digital for women wanting to forge a career in digital and tech.”

Lisa Sarago, Chief Executive Officer of Land on Heart – “Although I only recently joined the tech industry, I have already seen a massive change, with more visibility of women in tech, and championing their successes. There has been a lot more emphasis on women in tech from leading tech giants promoting their own, as well as through our social media, seeing the number of networks, events, and awards becoming established institutes – highlighting and celebrating the deadly female talent in tech.”

Nicola Lambie, Group Head of New Business Solutions at Findex – It’s been fantastic to see the rise of women across all aspects of digital and technology, from trailblazing senior leaders in traditional and start-up businesses to the shift in developer and engineering teams away from being dominated by males to more balanced or even female-led, and all supported by the wealth of networks and courses for women in digital and technology (shout out to the amazing She Codes, for which I’m an alumni of!) and the increasing accessibility within schools for girls to participate in STEM subjects and opportunities.”

Michael Reid, Chief Executive Officer of Megaport – “Over the past decade, I’ve witnessed a significant shift in the IT and tech industry towards inclusivity and opportunities for women. There’s been this incredible wave of initiatives and programs aimed at levelling the playing field and ensuring we tap into the full potential of women. From mentorship programs, diversity training, and equal hiring panel requirements to women represented in leadership, we’re making strides to address gender disparities. There has been a growing recognition and studies that have highlighted the invaluable contributions that women bring to the table, leading to increased efforts to foster full participation in all aspects of technology and innovation. I’ve had opportunities afforded to me by women in leadership; I’ve had the chance to learn from those leaders, including colleagues and team members, which would not have been possible if the room was only filled with men.”

Brooke Powell, Partnerships and Account Manager at Rivernet – “When I first started working in the technology industry, I was the only female in my team and had only met two other women in the company during my year in that organisation. As a 19-year-old looking ahead at a career in the tech industry, I found that uninspiring and unacceptable. My next role saw more female colleagues, but it was still a very disproportionate ratio of male to female. From the conversations I shared during my career there, I noticed a significant pay gap between men and women doing the same work. This was a real blow, as I had believed that a gender pay gap was a thing only companies that are ‘old school’, had a ‘legacy mindset’, had ‘boy club’ leadership, were ‘change-resistant’ (and all the synonyms that go with those terms) would continue to allow in this day and age – not a cutting edge, modern tech company!? Since completing my degree and starting my current role, I have to say there has been a huge change of tune. I started in 2022 as the second female employee, and now in 2024 we have 6 female employees – which occurred without aiming to meet any sort of gender ‘quota’. The pay is fair and even across the board and the team is the most cohesive and well-retained team I’ve ever been a part of.”

Zoe Ackerman, Safety & Wellbeing Data Analyst at Collins Foods Limited – “With increased awareness regarding gender diversity, there has been a significant increase in access to initiatives that are trying to close the gap. Initiatives such as Rails Girls and Women in Digital are helping to open paths for women in the technology space. Government and companies are clearly measuring gender diversity and what gets measured gets managed, as they say.”

Vinojini Nair, Major Pursuits & Planning Lead at GHD Digital – “Over the past decade, I’ve witnessed significant strides in gender diversity within the digital and technology industries. There has been a notable increase in initiatives aimed at encouraging and supporting women in tech, from mentorship programs to networking events and advocacy campaigns. Companies are placing a stronger emphasis on diversity and inclusion, recognising the value of diverse perspectives in driving innovation and success. That said, there is still significant work that needs to be done to deliver on these so they don’t stay as empty promises/cupcakes in meetings – this is decades of habits that need undoing!”

Rebecca Dredge, CEO & Founder of Kiddo – “The landscape has transformed significantly in just the past four years I have been in the industry. Companies have undergone a remarkable evolution towards greater support and inclusivity. We’re witnessing a surge in women leaders and entrepreneurs, serving as inspirational role models for future generations. While there’s been considerable progress, the journey towards full equality is ongoing, promising even more positive change on the horizon.”

Bel Lloyd, Founder of Zandi Group Consulting – “The rise of remote work, increased funding for STEM education for women and increased representation of women are standout shifts that have helped drive momentum for gender equity in the digital and technology industries over the past decade. Remote work has helped level the playing field. Providing women with greater flexibility and access to job opportunities in the digital and tech industries as we can now balance work and caregiving responsibilities more easily.

STEM education and initiatives for adult women are better funded now than ever before. I’ve personally experienced the momentum to promote women into STEM education and industry roles. Through COVID I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to re-invent myself and joined She Codes a coding education community with the sole mission to get more women into the tech industry. I’ve been actively involved as a mentor and now as a Lead Mentor due to the strong sense of community and progress being made by programs such as this.

How has Women in Digital been part of your diversity journey over the last decade, or since you have been in the industry?

Rowena Samaraweera, Head of Customer Experience Design at Auto & General – I joined WID to see if I could help raise awareness of the amazing digital and technology career paths out there as I wanted to see more women applying for my roles, learning new skills and representing the 50% of the community and user base we are designing for. I have enjoyed being part of the awards program and being able to hear the stories of women’s success and celebrate the achievements of the companies who really are embracing diversity and reaping the rewards. I also have found so much personal inspiration from networking events and meeting people in the digital community.”

Gavin Douglas, Head of APJ Alliances at Wiz – “Women in Digital has been hugely educational for me. I had a very simplistic view of diversity; what it meant and why it was important when I first got involved in WID, though I still have so much to learn and as the question implies, diversity is a journey. I still get a lot wrong but bring a curious mindset to learn from others on actionable ways to empower women. The experiences I have had, the information I have gathered/read and most of all the people I have met – have helped me to better understand a few things: Diversity is multi-faceted and so much more nuanced than simply having more of one minority (or another) in the workplace. eg. diversity of thinking is critical; Diversity won’t just happen – even if everyone in an organisation has the right intentions, explicit steps need to be taken & programs created to ensure diversity is front of mind and becomes a part of the every day.”

Lisa Sarago, Chief Executive Officer of Land on Heart – “I came across WID as was nominated for an award with WID by my team in 2022 and subsequently won the award. During this time, I was able to expand my network to include some amazing female tech experts and innovators – my fellow nominees – and also in the broader tech industry. I continue to support and work with WID as I see it as a critical platform for women, including Indigenous women, to be recognised for their skills and achievements. Particularly this year, when we called for #CountHerIn, WID saw the value of including a category for Indigenous women, but also called for Indigenous women to be nominated for any award.”

Nicola Lambie, Group Head of New Business Solutions at Findex – “Women In Digital has been the ONE constant network in my career journey over the past ten years. The leadership demonstrated by Holly and the team puts women firmly on the agenda in the digital and technology industries and I have enjoyed so many events, webinars and meet-ups that have allowed me to meet, interact and learn from a diverse group of women (and men!) through this time.”

Michael Reid, Chief Executive Officer of Megaport – “Women in Digital has been an integral part of my leadership and diversity journey over the past seven years. In 2017, I stepped into a role leading 60 folks in QLD. At that time, 6% were female. With the support of Holly, we made a tremendous turnaround to 30% female diversity over three years. This partnership led to my contributions back to the WID Advisory Board. WID has provided me with invaluable resources, support, and networking opportunities. It has also offered a safe space for males to ask difficult questions and understand best practices when approaching sensitive topics or decisions. Without male champions of change, it’s almost impossible to re-write the status quo since they continue to hold most positions of power. I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative impact Women in Digital has had on empowering women, breaking down barriers, and offering a community that celebrates & recognises their achievements. The Women in Digital awards ceremony was an idea Holly and I devised on the back of a napkin. To think that today, more than 1,000 people attend each year is astounding!”

Brooke Powell, Partnerships and Account Manager at Rivernet – “I was first introduced to Holly at WID in 2019 while I was studying a Bachelor’s in IT and Business Management at UQ. Being involved in the events through volunteering and invitations, I was able to see that not only did women exist in the industry, but also that they held influence and impact in the industry. The statement ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ that is often WID’s north star, is extremely accurate – when you can’t picture yourself in a role, how can you possibly begin to aim for it? WID’s community has been a real highlight throughout my journey over my career, having that connection to other women in the industry has provided a support network, enabled mentorship, and exposed me to a wealth of knowledge through the sharing of experiences and advice.”

Zoe Ackerman, Safety & Wellbeing Data Analyst at Collins Foods Limited – “I have only been a member of Women in Digital for about a year. However, the advocacy, networking, community and informal mentorship, and leadership have all influenced me and are no small part in helping build my confidence and support me in my current role. Many thanks to the community.”

Vinojini Nair, Major Pursuits & Planning Lead at GHD Digital – “Women in Digital has been a crucial component of my personal journey, providing a platform for women to connect, learn, and advance in their careers within the digital realm. This community has played a vital role in fostering support networks, sharing experiences, and advocating for gender equality in the industry. There is an unspoken appreciation when women who are facing similar challenges, support each other and cheer each other along… especially when not many others are voicing us!”

Rebecca Dredge, CEO & Founder of Kiddo – “Women in Digital has been instrumental in fostering invaluable connections, providing me with exposure in the industry, and offering unparalleled networking opportunities for my business. The WID community stands out for its unwavering support, extensive reach, and remarkable diversity. As an entrepreneur, the connections I’ve forged through WID have propelled my business forward, enabling me to establish strong ties within not only the industry but with corporates, other entrepreneurs and business leaders alike.”

Bel Lloyd, Founder of Zandi Group Consulting – “Women in Digital has played a huge part in helping me see what I can be. Bringing together influential and inspirational women in the digital arena to network with and be empowered by. Winning the award for Digital Marketer of the Year with WID was an incredible feeling. It was empowering and gave me confidence I didn’t know existed. WID is fostering a community of empowerment and encouragement for women to be seen, heard and recognised – a powerful combination for contributing to the increase in representation of women across the digital and technology industries. Efforts from WID have contributed to not only raising awareness but also in creating opportunities for women in these fields to advance and gain seats at tables where once there were none.”

Where do you hope the industry is in 10 year’s time, in regards to gender equity?

Rowena Samaraweera, Head of Customer Experience Design at Auto & General – There is still a lot of work to be done, both to move forward and to hold onto the progress we have already made. I’d like to see more progress in young women studying in STEM, or mid-career women cross-training so that women are participating equally in what will be a heavily digitised economy. Research shows that gender stereotyping starts early, so we also need to bring schools, even at the primary level, into the conversation, as well as parents. We need to make sure women are part of the move to AI, to ensure safe and non-biased application of AI technology. In 10 year’s time I hope we have removed the ‘surprise’ around gender in the digital and STEM industry, dismantled as many of the unconscious biases as possible, and are being led by talented men and women who are confident to embrace all differences in their teams.”

Gavin Douglas, Head of APJ Alliances at Wiz – As I see it, gender equity is a human right, my hope is that there are some aspects that are addressed well before 10 years, for example, compensation (address the gender pay gap) and access to digital tools and education. Others may take longer to become equitable but we must see: more women studying digital/tech courses and choosing careers in the digital/tech industry; women representing 50% of leadership roles – to provide role models; making digital environments safer for women and girls.”

Lisa Sarago, Chief Executive Officer of Land on Heart – “Hopefully beyond parity for both gender and Indigenous representation.  In 10 years, my vision is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls across Australia, regardless of whether they live in remote, rural or urban areas – know that they can be the next tech giant if they want to – that if they dream of being a tech professional, they know that there is a path for them to follow, and it isn’t a difficult one, because we have already created and walked that path before them.  Just like our ancestors did for us.”

Nicola Lambie, Group Head of New Business Solutions at Findex – My daughter turns 10 this month and we speak a lot about equal opportunities for all. My hope is that by the time she turns 20, we don’t even have to mention the issue or need for gender equity and that digital and technology can be one of the leading industries where this is the case.”

Michael Reid, Chief Executive Officer of Megaport – “In the next decade, I hope that ALL industries, not just IT/Tech, empower and support women to reach their full potential. For the IT and Tech industry specifically, I see us serving as a beacon for women to join this industry, feel appreciated, and make an immeasurable impact. I hope to see a time where women are not only equally represented across all levels of the workforce but also thriving in leadership positions, shaping the direction of innovation and driving positive change. 50% of Megaport executives and Board are women today. I envision a culture where gender biases and stereotypes are dismantled, and women aren’t just “breaking glass ceilings” but designing the whole ceiling itself. I have no doubt we will get there. With initiatives like Women in Digital leading the charge and companies doubling down on diversity and inclusion, we can all look forward to a future where Women In Digital is no longer needed, a time without gender bias… We’ve still got a ways to go yet.”

Brooke Powell, Partnerships and Account Manager at Rivernet I hope in 10 years time, the gender pay gap (which is still present between men and women today) in the industry has been closed. I hope that technology companies have modernised and adapted their workforce with the same sense of innovation and thought as their own products and services. We know a diverse, equitable workforce produces long-term staff retention and improves innovation – so it only makes sense to invest as much thought and effort into your workforce as you do your solution offering – one can only be as good as the other. I hope that in 10 years time in the tech industry, there is a strong representation of women in leadership. I’m hoping for an even split between men and women across C-suite, board, and management roles. I really hope to see strong representation of non-binary leadership in these positions as well.”

Zoe Ackerman, Safety & Wellbeing Data Analyst at Collins Foods Limited – “I hope the sector is well on its way to achieving gender parity at all levels. Not just overall numbers but equitable representation in all departments and sectors, including technical roles where women are currently underrepresented. I also hope that the workforce, in its entirety, is working towards gender equity. That the complex and nuanced forms of discrimination that can affect women of different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, abilities and health and biological cycles.”

Vinojini Nair, Major Pursuits & Planning Lead at GHD Digital – “Looking ahead, in the next decade, I hope to see even greater progress towards gender equity in the tech industry. This includes not only increased representation of women in leadership positions and technical roles but also a culture shift that prioritises inclusion, equity, and respect for all individuals regardless of gender. I envision a future where women feel empowered to pursue and thrive in any aspect of technology they choose, where diversity is celebrated as a driving force behind innovation, where leading with vulnerability and other attributes that make us feminine are seen as strength and essential in ensuring optimal outcomes and where gender equity is not just an aspiration but a reality. And if I’d really allow myself to dream without any boundaries, I’d love to see a time when every voice gets listened to in the board room, not just those of women.”

Rebecca Dredge, CEO & Founder of Kiddo – “In a decade, I envision a world where the concept of ‘gender equality’ becomes obsolete, where our daughters and sons inhabit a realm where they’re acknowledged solely for their abilities and actions. A world where mothers receive support in the workplace, where such support is the norm, and where every individual can thrive and reach their utmost potential within a nurturing environment.”

Bel Lloyd, Founder of Zandi Group Consulting – “Let’s pick up the pace, keep the momentum and in 10 years imagine a world where diversity isn’t just a buzzword as part of a conversation, but the norm in which society operates, where companies in all industries will prioritise inclusion, creating safe environments where everyone, regardless of gender, thrives. Remote work needs to stay. The future of remote work isn’t just about flexibility—it’s about levelling the playing field for gender equity in the workplace.

Overall, while progress has been made, there is still much work to be done. My hope is that the next 10 years bring us the opportunity to focus on progress over perfection, to make mistakes as we go, but to keep moving in the right direction, fail fast, learn together, lift each other up and continue to address systemic barriers, biases, and stereotypes to achieve equity. So that my daughter is free from many of the burdens inequity brings and has the opportunity to focus instead on driving humanity forward into what will be an incredibly enlightened future we may have only ever dreamed of, shaped by the powerful forces of technology emerging today.”


March 8, 2024 Women in Digital

March 8, 2024

Cancel the cupcakes. This International Women’s Day we are licking the status quo – quite literally.

Bin the usual tokenistic cupcakes and serve up some real and sticky conversations this International Women’s Day (IWD) to drive greater equality in the workplace.

That’s the call from Women in Digital (WID), a national organisation representing Australian women in the digital industry with a community of more than 13,000 people.

To encourage IWD conversations that spark actual tangible change, WID will lick the status quo – quite literally – by handing out giant lollipops, not cupcakes, at its sold-out breakfast event in Brisbane on Friday, March 8.

The colourful lollies are sweet but come with a serious side, by way of stickers spelling out what women really want:

  • Real change, not tokenism
  • Equal parental leave
  • Universal childcare
  • Super contributions during parental leave
  • Equal pay for equal work
  • More women in leadership
  • Promotion pathways
  • Men championing workplace change

All 250 people attending the WID IWD event at the Emporium Southbank will receive giant lollipops, and be encouraged to share pictures to their socials with messages of changes they’d like to see in the workforce.

At the breakfast, WID will also launch its 2024 Women in Digital Discourse, which will ask women in digital about their real insights and experiences in the workforce and thoughts around areas for improvement.

The in-depth survey which will form the national discourse – the first sentiment of its kind to be published later this year – will be filled out by women at the event and emailed to thousands of in WID’s network.

WID CEO Holly Hunt said IWD was an opportunity to have real conversations – not just cupcakes and coffee – to help advance women’s career prospects.

“The stark reality is women continue to confront a myriad of barriers in the workplace, from a lack of flexibility in senior roles to poor policies around maternity and paternity leave.

We also know there is still much work to be done to close the gender pay gap, with landmark data released a couple of weeks ago revealing many large organisations pay women substantially less.

“What women really want from IWD is advocacy for tangible change, but what they largely get is an unfortunate exercise in corporate tokenism, with talkfests accompanied by cupcakes, tea and coffee, all of which lead to nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, women like cupcakes but on IWD we want something more meaningful. We want our cake, and we want to eat it too – that’s not much to ask.”


For more information, or to speak with Holly, please contact Melissa Grant at Bespoken Agency on / 0402 717 107.

About Women in Digital: Women in Digital is a national organisation offering events, mentoring and corporate services for organisations that value diversity and inclusion in digital.

With a community that’s grown to more than 13,000 people during the last nine years, Women in Digital has become a cornerstone of the Australian tech community with the key focus of improving gender diversity in the industry.


November 6, 2023 Women in Digital

Winners announced for the 2023 Women in Digital Awards

Women in Digital is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2023 Women in Digital Awards. From 75 finalists across 15 categories down to just 15 incredible women in digital, we are proud to introduce you to this year’s winners.

“The Women in Digital Awards were founded in 2018 based on the idea ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ and celebrate incredible individuals within the digital industries and the organisations that support them. We are now in our sixth year of spotlighting these incredible leaders so the next generation can see it, and be it.

From Founder of the Year to Software Engineer of the Year, the Women in Digital Awards provides a platform for women to celebrate their achievements, an opportunity for the digital community to lift up others in the industry and finally, a chance for us to come together to celebrate organisations and individuals that are making outstanding contributions to the industry and improving diversity in digital. All entries to the awards were incredibly compelling and everyone who was nominated should be incredibly proud of themselves. – Holly Hunt, CEO & Founder of Women in Digital

You can learn more about the 2023 WID Award Winners and their entries here.

2023 Women in Digital Award Winners

Renee Noble – CEO, Tech Inclusion (NSW)
Winner, Champion of Change powered by BlackCard

Renee Noble is CEO of Tech Inclusion, CEO and Founder of ConnectEd Code and Cloud Advocate for Microsoft, where her passion for technology, education, and community is at the heart of her professional journey. Renee’s nomination was centred around her incredible work with the Girls’ Programming Network (GPN) working to improve tech education for people of all ages and levels of experience, particularly women and girls.

Abby Phillips – Senior Designer, Kablamo (VIC)
Winner, Customer Experience Leader of the Year powered by Symplicit

Abby Phillips is a Senior Product Manager at Kablamo and has been crowned the winner for her contributions to Firestory, a cloud-based data and AI platform for bushfire management that is turning limitless data into life-saving decisions. Leaning into social media and how users propagate important information online, coupled with Machine Learning, AI and data mechanics, Abby and her team have created an efficient way of distilling geolocated data that allows rescue services to predict fire and disaster outcomes more accurately.

Elakkiya Ramarajan – Lead Data Scientist, VAPAR (NSW)
Winner, Data Leader of the Year powered by Shell Energy Australia

Elakkiya Ramarajan is a Lead Data Scientist at VAPAR, a leading provider of AI for managing pipe condition assessments. Leveraging her expertise in AI, ML and computer vision, Elakkiya has transformed workflows and decision-making within VAPAR, propelling the organisation to the forefront of innovation.

Belinda Lloyd – Marketing Projects SME, Servco Australia (QLD)
Winner, Digital Marketer of the Year powered by Salesforce

Belinda Lloyd is a Scrum Master, tech mentor and Marketing Projects SME at Servo Australia where she explores the power of data and technology in marketing to deliver business results that exceed expectations and create positive customer experiences.
From her expertise in data-driven and growth strategies to her innovative use of MarTech, Belinda has shown she is a leader in digital marketing.

Carrie Hu – Head of Digital Product, New Aim and Chief Digital Product Officer, Dropshipzone (VIC)
Winner, Digital Transformation Leader of the Year powered by TechnologyOne

Carrie Hu is the Head of Digital Product at New Aim and Chief Digital Product Officer at Dropshipzone, Australia’s leading B2B2C marketplace delivering digital solutions to real-world problems. Navigating a saturated marketplace and supply chain disruptions, Carrie has lead her team to overcome digital transformation challenges with true finesse and deliver a truly impressive project.

SAP Australia (NSW)
Winner, Digital Workforce for the Future powered by the Queensland Government

SAP Australia is a market-leading software and technology company with a vision to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. Our judges were very impressed to see SAP lead from the front with their digital skills initiative, achieving fantastic results as they work toward their major commitment to equip two million people with digital skills by 2025 globally

Private Media (VIC)
Winner, Employer of the Year powered by Hunt & Co.

Founded in 2001, Private Media is Australia’s leading independent media company who were chosen the winner for their impressive initiatives and growth, including but not limited to, delivering impressive parental leave inclusions, partnerships with Indigenous communities, improvements to the recruitment process and emphasis on diversity, inclusion and wellbeing.

Fiona Boyd – CEO, ipSCAPE (NSW)
Winner, Executive Leader of the Year powered by Avanade

Fiona Boyd is the CEO of ipSCAPE, an Australian cloud-based SaaS company. Fiona is a dedicated and collaborative senior leader with a passion and demonstrated track record for building successful teams, businesses, and new products over her 25+ year career. Fiona’s submission was incredibly compelling and it is abundantly clear Fiona has made a significant impact as a leader whose authentic leadership style, courage to lead through uncertainty and upstanding character has transformed ipSCAPE into a thriving organisation.

Christina Hobbs – Co-Founder and CEO, Verve Super (NSW)
Winner, Founder of the Year powered by the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur

Christina Hobbs is the CEO and Co-Founder of Verve, Australia’s first superannuation founded by women, led by women and tailored for women. It is the only super fund in Australia that invests with a gender lens that is also ethically screened. Ultimately, Christina’s entrepreneurial vision, strong social impact and exceptional purpose executed with tenacity has landed her the title.

Louisa Warren – Manager Office of Indigenous Engagement, CSIRO (QLD)
Winner, Indigenous Leader of the Year powered by RACQ

Louisa Warren is a proud Torres Strait Islander passionate about working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous organisations to create positive outcomes for her community, leading a first-of-its-kind project in her role in CSIRO – an Indigenous Jobs Map, an Indigenous-led online platform leveraging AI to support Indigenous employment outcomes.

Rebecca Dredge – Founder and CEO, Kiddo App (QLD)
Winner, Innovator of the Year powered by Auto & General

Rebecca Dredge is the Founder and CEO of Kiddo, an app launched in 2019 that connects parents to local, verified and affordable babysitters, nannies and NDIS care for children. It is the first care platform in Australia that provides both C2C, B2C and NDIS functionality.

Shenal Harakh – Founder and Developer, Shenal (NSW)
Winner, Rising Star of the Year powered by Entain

Shenal Harakh is a freelance Digital Strategist, a no-code Developer and is currently on the cusp of creating her own agency firm. Despite being so early in career, Shenal has expertly carved out a distinctive niche for herself in the Australian no-code space and shows an inspiring commitment to giving back to the community.

Riva Mendoza – Associate Software Engineer, Canva (QLD)
Winner, Software Engineer of the Year powered by Youi

Riva Mendoza is an Associate Software Engineer at Canva whose outstanding passionate display of ownership, strong technical ability and leadership as an early career Software Engineer earned her the title of Software Engineer of the Year.

Teena Glassick – Senior Director, Product Engineering & Operations, Skedulo (QLD)
Winner, Technical Leader of the Year powered by Culture Amp

Teena Glassick is the Senior Director of Product Engineering & Operations at Skedulo, leading a global product engineering team of 90+ engineers and driving Skedulo’s culture, process and delivery across all product engineering teams globally. Teena is described as an inspiring leader, a dedicated mentor and a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion.

Demelza Green – Principal Experience Engineer, Patient Zero (QLD)
Winner, UX Leader of the Year powered by Rio Tinto

Demelza Green is the Principal Experience Engineer at Patient Zero whose sophisticated AR app in partnership with Indigenous-owned and operated cultural hub, Birrunga Gallery, won her the 2023 UX Leader of the Year title. Demelza’s entry deeply demonstrated strategic leadership, a focus on user-centred design, innovative design thinking and a deep commitment to cultural integrity.

Women in Digital Awards Partners

The Women in Digital Awards is only possible with our partners. Thank you to our following partners:

Gold Partners – Cisco and Data#3
Silver Partners – Rivernet and Amazon Web Services
Bronze Partners – Jumbo Interactive, Youi and Shell Energy Australia
Photobooth Partner – Rio Tinto
Entertainment Partner – Vocus
Events Partner – Bright Humans
Category Partners – the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, Avanade, Salesforce, Auto & General, Entain, The Queensland Government, Shell Energy Australia, Culture Amp, Rio Tinto, RACQ, Youi, Symplicit, Hunt & Co., BlackCard, TechnologyOne


April 28, 2023 Women in Digital

The University of Sydney Business School recently hosted a Women Leading in Digital breakfast with Business School alumni and 2022 Women in Digital Awards winners Emily Bobis, Stevie-Ann Dovico and Elisa Chan to discuss the future of digital careers. 

Here are some of our favourite quotes from the event:

“What’s wrong with maybe assuming that the woman runs the company? At worst, they could (run the risk) of giving a compliment.” – Emily Bobis, 2022 Innovator of the Year

“My career is a degustation menu, I never pick a career on the traditional criteria of seniority or pay. I know if I don’t have something that’s going to be really hard to crack or challenging, I’ll get bored. It’s a like a degustation selection, I like to try interesting thing.” – Stevie Dovico, 2022 Executive Leader of the Year

“When it comes to risk and innovation, think of it as moving one step forward. ‘F’ for forward instead of ‘F’ for fail, is really important. That will help create that competitive landscape and encourage people to choose (tech) as a career path.” – Elisa Chan, UX Leader of the Year

Read the full University of Sydney article here.

Meet the 2022 Women in Digital Awards winners here.


March 10, 2023 Women in Digital

2022 Women in Digital Awards Champion of Change Kate Kirwin shares how She Codes is cracking the code for gender equity in tech in an article by Curtin University.

In this article, Curtin graduate and She Codes Australia Founder Kate Kirwin shares how she is empowering women to pursue and advance in tech careers all over Australia. Meet the 2022 Women in Digital Awards winners here.

“The impact we’ve made through She Codes has been life changing and I’m proud of the doors it has opened for so many women. Many of our graduates have formed highly valuable connections with industry, dozens have returned as mentors and some have even gone onto win awards. Of our 160 Plus alumni, 72 per cent have pivoted into tech roles.” – Kate Kirwin, 2022 Champion of Change

Read the full Curtin University article here.


January 20, 2023 Women in Digital

Introducing the 2022 Women in Digital Awards Customer Experience Leader of the Year, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Rebecca Mitrevski!

Rebecca (Bec) is a Product Lead at Canva – an online design and publishing tool with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere.

Rebecca was crowned the Customer Experience Leader of the Year for her work on Canva’s Creator Marketplace, a space built for creators to give Canva users a truly localised experience when they come to Canva.

Executing such a global project of this scale was ambitious and bound to be challenging. Throughout this project led by Rebecca, she demonstrated a totally different level of thinking and creativity, brilliantly leveraging internal resources and talent across Canva to build an efficient, scalable solution to help creators create more local content faster.

The judges were really impressed by the project’s return on investment as well as Rebecca’s ambition, leadership, and mentorship of women in CX.

We were thrilled to talk to our 2022 Customer Experience Leader of the Year about her winning entry, career journey and thoughts on diversity in digital.

Click here to meet all the 2022 Women in Digital Award Winners.

Congratulations Bec! We are so impressed by your entry and obviously so were our judges, but tell us, who is Rebecca Mitrevski?

Well first up, I’m only called Rebecca if I’m in trouble. Otherwise, everyone calls me Bec. My team has also recently given me other nicknames including T-bex, and chew-becca. When in doubt, though, just call me Bec.

Now that that’s out of the way, in a nutshell… I’m Bec, I am a Bikram yoga fanatic, I have a co-dependent relationship with my dog, Bella (pics below, you can see why I’m so attached), and I love building things. At work, that manifests in building products and teams, in my personal life it manifests in mentoring start-ups, and students.


What is something that not many people know about you?

I haven’t been to a hairdresser in 4 years. The last time I went, I was in shock after I got the bill and I haven’t been back since. Not proud of it. Part of me admitting this to someone is me reminding myself to get over it.

Who is your professional inspiration?

Mel Perkins. She is so good.

‘Product’ is still largely an emerging discipline. You can’t yet go to university to study a Bachelor in Product and often, people pivot into Product once they are in industry. Tell us, what did your journey to becoming Product Owner and now Product Lead look like?

Yessss this is so true.

First up, I didn’t study tech. I don’t come from a tech family. Both parents were from migrant families, my parents didn’t go to university – my mum didn’t finish high school, and my dad was a bus driver. I grew up in South Western Sydney (Campbelltown, 2560 represent).

Tech was not on my radar when I was growing up and if someone had suggested I go into tech, I would have been waaaaayyyyyy too intimidated. I am here because people opened doors that I didn’t know existed.

When I decided to go to university, I was convinced I was going to be a child psychologist so that I could help children from underprivileged backgrounds. I went to an interview for a psychology scholarship, and afterwards, Nicola Ronan from the university called me and said “Hey, I’m going to put you forward for a double degree scholarship. Take on a commerce degree too. I think you’ll like it.”

And so I studied psychology and commerce and I loved it. In my final year, I did a forensic psychology subject and realised that I probably didn’t have what it takes to be a child psychologist. That was a scary realisation after 5 years of study and when it was time to find a job. 

I then went into Human Resources but realised that also wasn’t for me.

Thankfully, a mentor called George Robinson then took me under his wing and invited me to spend time with his team, which did due diligence on internal transactions >$10m. This is where I learned about the tech space. I remember George saying to me “Go where the money is – Digital or Mandatory, Compliance-led projects”. Digital was way more “Me.”

From there, I spent time in a Strategy and Operations role before I went into Product. And I found my fit. I’ve been in Product since.

About 5 years ago, I was with another very influential leader in my life, Stephen Bowen. We were building a team in India, from Australia. And it was hard. The tech wasn’t great, we could barely hear people in India when we were in video conferences with them, we didn’t understand each others’ culture, and we hadn’t chosen the team leaders to ensure their values and way of working aligned. It was hard. Stephen suggested I head to India and spend 6 months there building the team from the inside. I lived in Pune for 8 months, building that team and product and we achieved great, unprecedented things together.

From there I moved to Canva. I was one of those people who was told they were crazy for joining a startup during Covid. I couldn’t be dissuaded, though, I’d found my people. And here I am, still at Canva. It’s a place where I’ve been able to do my best, most impactful work yet.

Again, I am only here because people opened doors for me and I could not be more grateful to Nicola, George, and Stephen for lifting me into greater challenges.

How did you end up working in this industry?

After spending time in banking and telecommunications I wanted to flex different muscles by going to a much smaller company. I also wanted to be somewhere that was female-led and Canva ticked both of those boxes.

What do you wish people knew about a career in Product?

I’ve read the book “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” maybe 6 times now, which is hilarious because I’m not married* BUT this book gives me so many tips for managing relationships. I’ve found the better I become at growing and improving relationships, the easier Product becomes.

*Unless you’re my mum or my grandmother, in which case, this is not hilarious.

What’s your go-to resource recommendation for Product people?

Lol. See above. It’s not a product manual but it’s the best thing any product person could read.

What has been the best career advice you’ve ever received?

It hasn’t been explicit advice but watching Mel lead Canva has been transformative for me.

She invests so much in storytelling and bringing people on the journey. She exudes joy. She’s kind. She’s empathetic. I feel like I have a model of the kind of leader that I want to be from watching her.

Welcome to our WIDAwards Alumni! We want to know… what does winning this award mean to you?

It’s been a good moment to pause, feel proud and then reflect “Ok, I’ve had a positive impact, am I doing the most that I can to amplify that and apply that where it’s needed most” and it’s inspired me to plug into schools and start-ups more so that I can help and support others’ growth.

Obviously, Canva is a game-changer in terms of design software (and our go-to at Women in Digital HQ)! But tell us why you think Canva is so important for creators (and the wider public for that matter)?

Canva is on a mission to empower the world to design and diversity and authentic representation are at the heart of that.

With our Creators, we are able to partner with designers, videographers, photographers and illustrators all over the world to provide truly diverse local content for every Canva user.

Users benefit from this, they can come to Canva and find content that represents their culture and use that to authentically express themselves.

Our Creators benefit too. The last 2 years have been turbulent for artists, worldwide. First, we had Covid hit. When this happened we had just started the Creators beta and it was at a good time because many designers had been laid off. Many of us were also locked down. The Creators product gave us a community to connect, learn, explore, grow and earn together. Even now we have Creators share how meaningful the partnership between Canva and Creators has been.

Tell us more about your journey with Canva! Do you have any key personal highlights?

There’s so much I could talk to here… the impact the Creators team has had is so wonderful. The biggest highlights, though, are notes that the Creators send us. 

Here are some of the highlights and stories, which make me smile, which I regularly go back to:

“Something that started as an extra, dedicating a little time when I could, became a very important pillar in my life.”

“I realized that it wasn’t just a job, it was something that fulfilled me. From the creative freedom it offers, the human quality of all those who are part of it and the joy of sharing my designs with many people, it really is something unique… Thank you #Canva for making my days happier and to all the team that accompanies us every week. Today we are a #canvafamily and we have a lot of love and templates to share”

“Just want to say thanks to the Canva team. I am going through the toughest time as my father is admitted in hospital for the last three months and has no insurance. It wouldn’t be possible for me to bear all the hospital expenses but Canva creator’s income helped me a lot. Canva is just not saving time it’s saving lives too.”

“At late evening, when the [baby] is asleep we both thank god that you found us. We are so happy to be with you guys on this adventure. Lifetime experience and feels like we are actually working with you guys, feels like we have a team! :)”

“I really, really appreciate all that you and the team are doing at Canva. This is my first time working with a company that really listens to and understands designers, and also takes quick action to make things easier! I really love the experience and can’t wait to see how things progress”

What do you consider the biggest challenge you faced while working on the Canva Creator Marketplace? How did you overcome it?

The war in Ukraine has been – by far – the greatest challenge that we have faced.

When the war broke out, we had a heartbreaking moment when we realised we had thousands of Creators in Ukraine and they were at risk. Some of these Creators I know personally and would consider a friend (Hi Ilona!). Canva quickly mobilised to distribute $500k to Ukrainian Creators via our Peacefund, knowing many would not be able to design at this time but would need money.

Seeing their appreciation filled our hearts with so much joy. Soon after that, Canva made the decision to exit Russia. 

We had so many stories of everyday Russians who weren’t supportive of the war but wanted to continue creating for Canva. We were incredibly sad that we could no longer continue that partnership.

We worked through both of these challenging times, by banding together as a team, as a company and as a community.  

It was the most challenging time for us, but we leaned on each other, we kept communication lines flowing and we worked tirelessly to respond in the way that was the most aligned with Canvas values.

What is next for you and Canva in 2023?

We’re really just 1% of the way there. It will be another massive year ahead as we continue doubling down on the huge opportunity for Canva, especially among teams and workplaces. We’re also continuing to hire around the world. Finally, we’re continuing to double down on innovation. We were the first to market with our Text to Image product which we announced at Canva Create. We’re excited to be working on lots more in this space like the recently released AI-text generator, Magic Write as well as continuing to build upon all of our new Worksuite products.

What’s your personal philosophy when it comes to customer experience design?

Don’t be afraid of doing things manually and hackily (is that even a word) first. In fact, have fun doing that, it’s how you learn what your customers actually need.

What would you tell someone interested or unsure about what a career in tech looks like?

It’s the way of the future.

If you aren’t in tech, you are cutting yourself off from the industry that has and will continue to have the greatest and most accelerated earnings opportunities. Women need to be in this space, or else, you will miss being in a space that is experiencing steady earnings growth.

What do you think can be done to improve diversity in the digital industry, particularly in more technical positions?

I mentioned Nichola Ronan and George Robinson earlier. What was probably a small gesture for them (suggesting I do a double degree and inviting me to join his team so I can explore a career out of HR, respectively), changed my life and career path.

If more people in leadership create these micro opportunities for the next generation, these tiny opportunities shape people and send them on a different path. Sure, you might be in a tech space and they probably won’t understand what’s going on but it matters. Every opportunity matters.

What do you believe is the importance of industry awards such as the Women in Digital Awards?

It spurs so many convos about women in tech. Social proofing and opening doors.

And finally, Bec, if you could leave the Women in Digital community with one parting word of wisdom, what would it be?

Give young people micro opportunities. Have a work experience student shadow you for a week, volunteer in a mentoring program, suggest an intern spends time in your team – do something that opens students’ eyes to other spaces – esp if they come from disadvantaged backgrounds, they won’t even know that these areas exist.

Once again, congratulations Bec on this achievement and thank you for taking the time to chat with us!

To read more Q&A blogs from our line-up of Women in Digital Award Winners, head over to our blog and keep an eye out for more stories on our LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. You can also see our incredible list of 2022 WIDAwards here.


December 21, 2022 Women in Digital

At the 2022 Women in Digital Awards, the Employer of the Year award was awarded to GLASS, proudly powered by Hunt & Co. – a boutique digital recruitment agency based in Brisbane. Following the WIDAwards Gala, Hunt & Co. reach out to Co-Founders Erin McCarthy and Wayne Custodio to talk all about their incredible achievement!

GLASS is a future-focused management and technology consultancy that adopts a human-centred lens to innovatively solve business problems across digital transformation projects. They are driven by a desire to bring together a diverse range of people committed to changing the way the digital industry works. The WIDAwards judges were incredibly impressed by GLASS’s commitment to championing diversity of all kinds, demonstrating the importance of culture in everything they do from the top down.

We loved reading this Q&A with Erin and Wayne talking all about their win as well as GLASS’s diversity goals, recruitment strategies and employer branding. You can read Hunt & Co.’s Q&A with GLASS here.

“I firmly believe that diversity in our team creates an environment that has more collaboration as our people are eager to learn from each other and bring their unique ways of looking at the world to the table. We are living proof that investing in more diverse teams has created better connections and collaboration, leading to a culture that for GLASS has been more open and welcoming.” – Erin McCarthy

Click here to meet all the 2022 Women in Digital Award Winners.

Learn more about Hunt & Co. here and if you haven’t already, follow Hunt & Co. on LinkedIn!


December 8, 2022 Women in Digital

Women in Digital are thrilled to announce the launch of the Queensland Government’s Connecting Women in the Workforce webpage with a featured list of professional networks available for women in Queensland to join, including Women in Digital.

Women working in male-dominated or non-traditional fields can sometimes feel isolated and unable to access information and support that’s right for them. To address this challenge, women working across a range of industries have created more than 40 ‘Women In’ networks across multiple industries in Queensland. We are proud to see Women in Digital on this list created by the Queensland Government which is also a proud supporter of the Women in Digital Awards, powering the 2021 and 2022 Digital Workforce: Skills for the Future category. Learn more about the Queensland women’s strategy 2022-27 here.

“Our vision is that Queensland is a place where women and girls have equal rights and equal access to opportunities, and that they are safe, valued and able to freely participate and succeed in the economic, social and cultural opportunities available.” – Queensland Government

View the Queensland Government’s list of professional networks for women here.

Learn more about the Queensland women’s strategy 2022-27 here and if you haven’t already, follow Women in Digital on LinkedIn!


November 29, 2022 Women in Digital

The University of Sydney has acknowledged Business School alumni Emily Bobis, Stevie-Ann Dovico and Elisa Chan – three winners of the 2022 Women in Digital Awards.

The University of Sydney Business School alumni winners were recognised for their innovation and leadership, with achievements ranging from advancing the safety of cities with car data to transforming customer service with AI. Meet the 2022 Women in Digital Awards winners here.

“Women everywhere need to see other women succeeding, and where we are succeeding, it’s super critical that we are casting our net wide to bring others along with us on the way up.” – Stevie Dovico, 2022 Executive Leader of the Year

Read the full University of Sydney article here.


November 18, 2022 Women in Digital

First Nations Learning Designer April Phillips is celebrated by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation for her 2022 Women in Digital Awards Rising Star of the Year award.

April Phillips is the ACTF’s First Nations Learning Designer and a proud Wiradjuri-Scottish woman of the Galari peoples of Regional New South Wales. In her role, April works to bring a learning lens to digital content creation, build the next generation of digital makers, and champion First Nations digital art education. Meet the 2022 Women in Digital Awards winners here.

“Since starting with the team 12 months ago, April has delivered virtual workshops with students at The Canberra Hospital School, experimented with screen based multi-modal lessons and collaborated with ACMI to achieve fun special effects for live audiences. Congratulations to April on this incredible achievement!”

Read the full ACTF article here.