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.


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June 25, 2024 Alyssa Hughes

We can’t believe the End of Financial Year is upon us, and we are so excited to dive head first into the next twelve months of incredible events, programs and conversations with many incredible women across Australia.

To celebrate, we are launching an incredible offer you won’t want to miss!

The details

To celebrate the new financial year, one lucky winner will receive 3 x 60 minute sessions with Holly Hunt, Sarah Morgan and Cherie Canning, helping you feel empowered start the new financial year with a bang!

Everyone who signs up to a new individual Women in Digital membership before July 31 2024 will have a chance to win this incredible prize.

One lucky winner will be empowered to ignite their future by joining Holly, Sarah and Cherie for 3 different sessions aimed at building your confidence, nailing your personal brand and reshaping your leadership qualities. Join our community of digital-loving, career-driven, gender-diversity-championing members today!

What you will win

One lucky winner will secure:

A 60 minute career development mentoring session, delivered by Holly Hunt, Founder of Women in Digital and Hunt & Co.

Holly is the Founder and CEO of Women in Digital. She is energised to support women in their pursuit of careers in digital and technology. She does this through building a thriving community, hosting inspiring events, and leading Australia’s preeminent awards program for women in digital and technology. Born from a love of mentoring, a passion for career guidance, and a belief that technology should be built by all people, for all people, Women in Digital is now a cornerstone of the industry.

Alongside this she is also CEO and Founder of Hunt & Co. a boutique recruitment agency which specialise in building diverse, high performing digital and technology teams for value aligned businesses.

A 60 minute professional branding session, delivered by Sarah Morgan, Managing Director of Bespoken

As a former journalist and PR strategist, Sarah Morgan is the Managing Director of Bespoken and has worked with some of Australia’s top executives in raising their professional brand to position themselves for their next job, build trust and expertise with staff and key stakeholders or become an expert in their key sector.

A 60 minute leadership coaching session, delivered by Cherie Canning, Director of Luminate Leadership

Cherie Canning is not just a speaker; she’s a catalyst for transformation in the workplace. With over two decades of experience in leadership development and organisational culture, Cherie brings a unique blend of expertise and passion to her role as the Founder of Luminate Leadership. Her dynamic approach to coaching and training has empowered countless individuals and teams to unlock their full potential. Through her engaging keynotes and interactive workshops, Cherie inspires audiences to embrace change, cultivate resilience, and harness the power of authentic leadership. As a sought-after thought facilitator, her impact continues to resonate across industries Australia wide. Get ready to be inspired, challenged, and empowered by Cherie Canning as she guides you on a journey of self-discovery and professional growth.

 

I’m ready to sign up!

 


 

T&C’s

  • Eligibility:
    • The competition is open to individuals who sign up for our membership within the promotional period.
    • Participants must be 18 years or older.
    • Employees, agents, and affiliates of the organizers and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate.
  • Competition Period:
    • The competition commences on 26/06/2024 and ends on 31/07/2024. Entries received outside this period will not be considered.
  • How to Enter:
  • Prizes:
    • One 60-minute career development mentoring session with Holly Hunt, Founder of Women in Digital and Hunt&Co.
    • One 60-minute professional branding session with Sarah Morgan, Managing Director of Bespoken. Please note, this session will be delivered after August 16th due to Sarah’s availability.
    • One 60-minute leadership coaching session with Cherie Canning, Director of Luminate Leadership.
    • Prizes are non-transferable and no cash alternatives will be offered.
  • Winner Selection and Notification:
    • Winners will be selected at random from all eligible entries.
    • The draw will take place on 01/08/2024.
    • Winners will be notified via email within 7 days of the draw date.
    • If a winner does not respond within 14 days of the notification, the prize will be forfeited, and a new winner will be selected at random.
  • Prize Delivery:
    • Sessions will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time for the winner and the respective session provider.
    • Sessions may be conducted virtually or in person, depending on the availability and location of both the winner and the session provider.
  • General Conditions:
    • Women in Digital reserves the right to cancel, suspend, or modify the competition if any problem or unforeseen circumstances arise.
    • By entering the competition, participants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.
    • Women in Digital’s decision is final in all matters relating to the competition.
  • Privacy:
    • Any personal information collected during the competition will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.
    • Participants’ information will not be shared with third parties without consent, except where necessary for the administration of the competition.
  • Limitation of Liability:
    • Women in Digital is not responsible for any technical issues, network failures, or any other events beyond its control that may cause the competition to be disrupted or corrupted.
    • By participating, entrants agree to release and hold harmless the organizer from any liability, claims, or damages arising out of their participation in the competition and the acceptance or use of any prize.
  • Contact Information:


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June 13, 2024 Women in Digital

The Game Changers: Women in Sport & Tech event, hosted with the support of our partners Cisco and Data #3, marked a pivotal moment in the journey toward inclusivity and innovation in both sports and technology. Set against the backdrop of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, this event highlighted the significant opportunities for women in these fields and explored how we can collectively drive technology collaboration in the lead-up to this global event.

The event was a melting pot of ideas and insights from trailblazing women reshaping the landscape of sports and tech. Our speakers shared their experiences and strategies for fostering inclusivity and diversity, offering a roadmap for how companies, especially those led by women, can drive technological advancements and create more opportunities in the lead-up to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

Emphasising Representation and Mentorship

Highlighting the importance of representation, Annie Devitt, Founder at iNSPIRETEK, emphasised the need for more women in non-female-founded companies and on boards and tables. She shared her journey with iNSPIRETEK, demonstrating how she leveraged opportunities to raise funds and hire a (male!) CEO, even after interviewing 30-60 women, promoting allyship and equality. Annie’s story is a testament to the power of representation and the impact of seeing women in leadership roles.

Advocating for early intervention, Thelma Dzwowa, Community Operations Manager at Brisbane Broncos, discussed the necessity of running mentoring programs in schools. By exposing young girls to different pathways and current industry plays, we can inspire them to pursue careers in sports and tech. This early exposure is crucial in maintaining their interest and participation as they grow older.

Adoption of Sports Tech

Technological advancements are revolutionising fan engagement and athlete performance. This technology is now being rolled out across the Brisbane Broncos, with Thelma providing insights into how football tokens and engagement are taking off in Europe, sports betting is booming with an $89 billion market, and fantasy sports are rapidly growing. Holographic technology and AI are customising and enhancing fan experiences, making sports more interactive and engaging.

Promoting Equality and Allyship

Addressing the topic of equality, Elia Hill, Managing Director of Connecting in Consulting, spoke passionately about handling it with eyes wide open. She highlighted the importance of equal prize money, as seen in tennis, and emphasised that we must “get that ladder and lift them up.” Her message was clear: true progress comes from deliberate actions to promote equality and support one another.

“Get that ladder and lift them up”

The Importance of Storytelling

Stressing the power of visibility, Natalie Cook, Founder of The Aussie Athlete Fund, reminded us that “you can’t be what you can’t see.” She emphasised the importance of telling and sharing our stories and by doing so, we create unexpected connections and opportunities. Her journey in fundraising, learning to handle rejection, and persevering is a powerful example of resilience and determination.

Strategic Planning for 2032

Focusing on long-term strategy, Annie shared her insight on how 95% of her revenue comes from international markets. She stressed the importance of starting now for the 2032 Olympics by objectively analysing strategic plans to play a part in the games. Companies must ask themselves, “How can we impact the games?” and align their strategies accordingly.

Opportunities and Challenges

The Game Changers: Women in Sport & Tech event was a celebration of the trailblazers and innovators driving progress at the intersection of women, sports, and technology. By sharing experiences and strategies, our speakers provided actionable solutions for fostering inclusivity and diversity. As we look towards the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is up to all of us to ensure women are given equal opportunities across both the sports and tech sectors.

Join us in this journey as we continue to advocate for change, inspire the next generation, and celebrate the women changing the game in tech and sport.

 


 

Do you know someone who is forging their leadership path? Nominate them for the 2024 Women in Digital Awards!


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June 4, 2024 Women in Digital

“Conscious reinvention throughout your career will get you where you need to be.” – Susannah Rosoman, Managing Director at Accenture

 

In an era where technology drives transformation across all sectors, the need for diverse leadership has never been more critical. Women in Digital recently hosted our Melbourne showcase event “Leadership at Every Level: Forging Your Own Path”, aimed at inspiring and empowering women to break barriers and ascend to leadership roles in the tech industry. The event brought together CEOs and founders from the tech and digital industry, each at different stages of their careers, to share their insights, experiences, and the lessons they’ve learned on their journey to success.

The Current Landscape

Despite women making up half of the Australian workforce, they remain underrepresented in key decision-making roles. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), women hold only:

  • 19.4% of CEO positions
  • 32.5% of key management positions
  • 33% of board memberships, and
  • A mere 18% of board chair roles.

At this pace, gender parity in CEO roles will not be achieved until 2100. This stark disparity underscores the importance of events like Women in Digital, which aim to accelerate progress by showcasing the achievements and strategies of successful women leaders in tech.

Embracing Challenges and Leading Boldly

A recurring theme throughout the event was the importance of embracing challenges and leading boldly. Dr. Morley Muse, Co-Founder and Director at iSTEM Co, highlighted the power of expertise and confidence. She emphasised that being exceptionally good at what you do can overshadow any biases or preferences others might have. This sentiment encourages women to hone their skills and assert their worth, regardless of the obstacles they may face.

In contrast, Nikita Fernandes, CEO and Co-Founder at Fora Health, shared a different yet equally powerful perspective: the value of cautious, considered action. She candidly admitted to feeling fear but emphasised the importance of trusting one’s gut and making bold moves despite it. Her approach resonated with many, underscoring that leadership does not require the absence of fear but rather the courage to act in spite of it.

The Power of Reinvention

Susannah Rosoman‘s (Managing Director at Accenture) journey illustrated the power of reinvention and staying curious. She spoke about the necessity of continuously evolving and surrounding oneself with the right people. This mindset of conscious reinvention ensures that one remains relevant and adaptable in an ever-changing industry.

The insights shared by the panelists provided practical, relatable advice that can be applied by women at any stage of their careers. From knowing one’s boundaries and worth to trusting in one’s value and making strategic decisions, these takeaways were not only inspirational but also actionable.

Building a Future of Inclusive Leadership

At Women in Digital, we believe representation matters. “You can’t be what you can’t see” is more than a mantra; it’s a call to action. The lack of female representation in leadership roles not only limits opportunities for women but also stifles innovation and diversity of thought within organisations. Research consistently shows that companies with greater gender diversity in leadership positions outperform their less diverse counterparts, achieving higher financial returns, greater employee satisfaction, and better decision-making.

The sentiment delivered by the expert panel underscored the transformative power of inclusive leadership. By stepping up to lead at every level, women can drive significant change within their organisations and beyond.

Moving Forward

As we look to the future, it is clear that more needs to be done to bridge the gender gap in leadership within the tech industry. Women in Digital, alongside the work being done by women such as Dr Morely Muse, Susannah Rosoman and Nikita Fernandes, will continue to create platforms for women to connect, learn, and inspire each other. By amplifying the voices and stories of women leaders, we aim to encourage more women to pursue leadership roles and forge their paths in tech.

 


 

Do you know someone who is forging their leadership path? Nominate them for the 2024 Women in Digital Awards!


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June 4, 2024 Women in Digital

“Impact is the new black” -Jenna Leo, CEO & Co-Founder of Like Family

 

Global events continue to influence the digital industry in Australia, and the intersection of social entrepreneurship and impactful change has become a focal point for technology-driven companies, especially those that have a high female representation. Recently, our ‘Women in Digital Building a Better World: Women in Tech Driving Social Impact‘ event highlighted this powerful synergy, bringing together remarkable female leaders who are making significant strides in their respective fields. The insights shared during the event were not only inspirational but also a testament to the transformative power of technology and social innovation.

Pioneering Change Through Social Impact

The showcasing of social enterprises and their contributions to sustainability, diversity, and inclusion is vital to understanding how technology can be harnessed to address some of the most pressing social issues of our time. From ending loneliness and social isolation to fostering cultural safety and promoting sustainable practices, leaders within the digital industry have been able to demonstrate the multifaceted impact of social entrepreneurship.

The recent discussions at the Women in Digital ‘Building A Better World’ event highlighted how we can be using technology to drive social impact across diverse communities.

Leveraging Technology to Combat Loneliness and Social Isolation

Voicing her compelling mantra that “Impact is the new black” Jenna Leo, CEO & Co-Founder of Like Family, highlighted the importance of community and human connection in an increasingly digital world. By leveraging technology, organisations are creating spaces where people can find support and companionship, addressing one of the most pressing social issues of our time – loneliness and social isolation.

Creating Inclusive and Supportive Communities

One of the core messages delivered by Lisa Sarago, CEO & Founder of Land on Heart, was the importance of building communities that align with your missions and values. With an emphasis on how creating inclusive and culturally sensitive environments can drive meaningful change, fostering such communities and highlighting the role of technology should be a core driver when connecting people and amplifying diverse voices.

Tackling Complex Problems Sustainably

Another key theme was the need for sustainable solutions to complex problems. Elakkiya Ramarajan, Lead Data Scientist at VAPAR, underscored the growing necessity for tech solutions that consider long-term impacts on both the environment and society. What was also illustrated was how innovation and curiosity can lead to sustainable practices that not only solve immediate challenges but also contribute to a better future.

Insights and Takeaways

With a treasure trove of valuable insights, particularly in addressing unconscious bias and making a meaningful impact as allies in the tech industry, we should all be considering how technology has the power to be a great equaliser, offering solutions to some of society’s most pressing issues.

Building communities that align with our missions and values should allow us to explore ways of creating opportunities that advance diversity and inclusion in the tech sector.

The work being done by organisations such as Land On Heart, Like Family, and VAPAR demonstrates the real-world impact of social enterprises and exemplifies how technology and innovation can drive social change and sustainability, inspiring others to follow suit.

Looking Ahead

As we move forward, it is essential to continue these conversations and build on the momentum generated by the amazing work being done by social enterprises and tech for good projects. By supporting and empowering women in technology, we can collectively contribute to a better, more inclusive world.

The intersection of social entrepreneurship and impactful change offers a promising path forward, one where technology serves as a catalyst for positive social transformation.

 


 

Do you know someone who is building a better world? Nominate them for the 2024 Women in Digital Awards!


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August 23, 2023 Women in Digital

“Once people are aware of their biases, are open about how those were formed and, how damaging they can be to those who they are directed towards, the path to changing that mindset can begin.”

In August, Women in Digital hosted our annual long lunch, powered by Cisco, on the topic, “The Path to Progress: How we can be better allies on the road to gender diversity”. For this conversation, we pulled together a panel of some of Australia’s top leaders in the Australian digital industry to share share, learn, and discuss how their organisations work to improve gender diversity and how together we can all worth together to create gender parity. The panel included Chio Verastegui (Head of Strategy & Growth, LeapFrog Investments), Michael Reid (Chief Executive Officer, Megaport), Shaden Mohamed (Chief Customer & Marketing Officer, ex SilverChef, Google, Expedia), Antony Stinziani (Chief Information Officer, the City of Gold Coast) and was moderated by Kate Jones (Executive Director, Tech Council of Australia and Advisor, Soda).

So many incredible insights were brought to the surface, particularly from our audience Q&A at the end of the panel. But with so many questions flooding in, we unfortunately ran out of time to answer them all! So we reached out to the wonderful Shaden Mohamed to get her thoughts on some of the top questions from the afternoon.

Here are Shaden’s truly pithy and must-read insights:

What can people do to address people’s misogynistic biases? Are there are any biases you have had to personally overcome?

Recognise they exist, including by those who are well intended. You can’t undo generations of conditioning in one training session. It must be an ongoing dialogue and learning process.

Are there any biases I’ve had to overcome? That, my friend, could be a book series.

What would you say is the first step to increase diversity when hiring?

Ensure the recruitment team have a clear mandate and goal to bridge the gap. What is measured is done.

Secondly, ensure they are trained to identify transferable skill sets for the role, as not all candidates will follow a traditional career path. Especially women who are more likely to take career breaks to be caregivers.

Strong women are often told they’re ‘intimidating’. Are there any quick ways to scale this down?

No. Haha… language or statements like this are another way to punish women who do not conform to the norms attached to gender. Just like the perception that men who do not display strength are considered weak. There is no quick way because these norms are deep rotted into our culture from a young age. Our little boys are told not to cry, or not to ‘act like a girl’. It’s time we stare into these damaging stereotypes head on and find ways to break the cycle.

How can allyship effectively address intersections of gender with other identities e.g. race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability?

Once people are aware of their biases, are open about how those were formed and, how damaging they can be to those who they are directed towards, the path to changing that mindset can begin.

Confidence vs. capability: Do you think hiring managers are truly in tune to the confidence gap in women? How can we work towards bringing men on that journey?

Yes I believe they are. I just don’t think they make allowances for it. How do you tell a hiring manager to hire someone who isn’t confident? Or who presents as less confident? Managers (both men and women) need to help their female team members build that confidence, and there are various ways to do that in the work place, in preparation for that opportunity when it does arise.

What are the top three skills needed for someone wanting to get into the digital space in the next 3 years?

The technical skills (practical and/or theoretical) are critical for digital generally speaking. However in the next 3 years, a focus on AI, analytics and 1st party data management would be the ones I’d foresee becoming even more important. In addition, project management and BA skills will be more important as vendors play an increasingly larger role in transformation.

About the speaker:

Shaden Mohamed is the former Chief Customer Officer at SilverChef who led their Global CX team in Product, Marketing and Customer Success. Recognised by iMedia as one of the world’s top 25 marketing innovators of 2015, Shaden has over 15 years’ consulting and corporate experience in sales, operations, strategy, marketing and ecommerce across APAC, North America and the Middle East.

Prior to her role at SilverChef, Shaden worked at Google, Expedia and the Wotif Group, Backcountry.com, Auto & General and The Travel Corporation over which time she has consulted for a number of Fortune 500 companies across several industry verticals including travel, tech, telco, retail, FMCG, media, finance and automotive. As a business leader, a first-generation Australian and a woman of colour, Shaden has built a formidable career as a woman in digital and is now paving the way for future women in digital while being an incredibly strong advocate for DEI.


 

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June 21, 2021 Women in Digital

Camille Socquet-Clerc is the quintessential woman in digital. Originally from France, Camille has always been passionate about marketing and has extensive experience working as a Marketing, Communications and eCommerce Manager within global brands including Michael Hill, Alpha Digital, Mountain Designs and L’Occitane to name a few. We can’t help but be in awe of her career!

In 2019, Camille founded Bloom – an impact investing platform that helps people invest in cleantech and clean energy projects. And just last year, she did that thing that all founders dream (and fear) doing… Taking the leap and leaving full-time employee life behind her to focus all her time on Bloom.

Camille holds a very dear place in our heart at Women in Digital HQ for her passion for diversity in tech and being a long time Women in Digital community member. We were thrilled to chat to her about her career journey from Marketing Queen to impact entrepreneur and diversity ambassador.

These are incredible professional accolades, but tell us, who is Camille the person?

I was born in the French Alps and spent my childhood skiing and being out in nature. As a result, I love being outdoors! I spend as much time as possible hiking, surfing, swimming… But I also love learning and problem solving, which means my work has always had a lot of meaning to me. I am passionate about my work. And as a person, I guess I am a very sensitive person, who loves to connect with people on a deeper level.

What is something that not many people know about you?

I absolutely love dancing. I am that person that will dance until the music stops.

What’s the most useless talent you have?

I used to be a ski teacher, not very useful when you live in Brisbane!

You have recently founded Bloom. Looking back, when did you decide to ‘take the leap’ and put this idea into action?

I decided to go full time when we got accepted into the University of Queensland’s iLab program. It is a competitive and quite prestigious startup accelerator program, which gave me confidence that it was the right time to go all in. At the same time, our community was growing really fast, which also gave me extra validation that I was on the right track and needed to take the plunge. I have to admit as well that my partner has been pivotal, he encouraged me to go all in and accepted the financial risk – I owe him a large part of the courage it took to leave my full time job.

What has been your biggest career challenge and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was to create my own company in a field (financial services) that was new to me. I did overcome my impostor syndrome and doubt by doubling down on work, and making sure that I methodically ticked all the steps to head into the right direction. Surrounding myself with mentors and advisors has been key to giving me confidence and accountability.

What are you currently watching/reading/listening to?

I am passionate about impact investing so one of my favourite podcasts is ‘Good Future‘. I am also a fan of Guy Raz (NPR journalist) so I highly recommend ‘How I Built This‘ or ‘Ted Radio Hour’. I purposefully don’t have Netflix to make sure I spend as little time as possible watching TV, but my guilty pleasure is “Adventure Time” – An American fantasy animated series. It’s incredibly witty and cute and only last 10min per episode – perfect after a long day of work.

Who is your professional inspiration?

I admire other female founders who have done really well in the green-tech field such as Katherine McConnell, Founder & CEO of Brighte. In general, my inspiration comes from entrepreneurs who have been bold in their vision and who are driven by making a positive impact.

What’s on repeat with your work playlist right now?

I don’t work with music – I need deep focus to do my work. In the past I actually suffered in noisy open-plan office environments! However I listen to music everyday when I run in the morning – I love the ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist on Spotify, always new things to discover and energising music to raise my energy levels and motivation.

What’s your most recommended Business/Marketing resource?

I love everything Harvard Business Review (podcast, magazine, website) – because it is nuanced and backed by research most of the time.

I recommend the book ‘Talking to Humans‘ (a practical guide to the qualitative side of customer development) by Frank Rimalovski and Giff Constable. This is one of the best resources I have come across to build my startup. Talking to your customers is so simple YET so few people truly do it. To me this is a skill and resource that should underpins any other business or marketing strategy.

From global brand names to Australia’s largest cleantech startup accelerator, how did this transition evolve?

My career took a turn in 2018, when I started learning more about Climate Change. I could no longer reconcile working for an industry that did not actively provide solutions to the climate crisis. As soon as I made the decision to be aligned with my value, a Communication Manager role at EnergyLab was advertised and I knew it was my chance to do the work I was meant to be doing.

What do you think can be done to improve diversity in the digital industry?

We need leaders and people in position to hire to develop progressive HR and diversity policies. We need leaders to educate themselves on the many benefits of diversity (Women in Digital activities and events are a great place to start!) – there is now overwhelming research linking diversity and performance for businesses, there is no excuse for any leader in business to be passive on this matter.

What technology development is most exciting to you at the moment?

I am excited by blockchain for its potential to create more transparency in supply chains and revolutionise the way people consume energy across the world.

What is next for you?

Launching our App later this year! For now people can sign up to our waitlist here.

A big thank you to Camille for taking the time to chat with us. If you haven’t already, go ahead and follow Camille on LinkedIn and learn more about starting your climate impact investment journey with Bloom here.

Want to see more career spotlights on incredible women in digital? Head over to our socials and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.


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April 2, 2020 Women in Digital

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 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.


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August 4, 2019 Women in Digital

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 lineup 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, the 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.

My 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. Practising 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 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 the 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 its purpose, and underpinned by its values, SportsBet doesn’t just have its values hung on the wall; they live its 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, the University of Technology Sydney
  • Catherine Nolan, Director & Principal Coach, Gender Gap Gone

Stuart Harrison, Chief Information Security Officer, Medibank, kicked-off day two proceedings by sharing some words of wisdom about 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 the 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, at Resonate Communications shared with us some great tips for 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 into 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 of 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, panellists’ 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 into 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, at 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 include:

  • 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 that 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.


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November 19, 2018 Women in Digital

Describing herself as a Human API—connector of people, programs, and ecosystems—Julie Trell is the Global Head of muru-D, SheEO Australia Lead, and self-confessed technology junky. Having worked for some of the biggest technology companies across the globe, including the multi-award winning social enterprise Salesforce.org, Trell is a true leader in the digital realm, known for her solid sense of how, and when, to connect new founders to global resources.

Passionate about both education and innovation, Julie Trell was recently recognised as UQ Business School Leader of the Year at our annual Women in Digital 2018 Awards Gala. Here, we speak to Trell about the dynamic (and often addictive) nature of the digital realm, and learn more about her famously playful approach to leadership and change.

Women in Digital: What do you consider to be the positives, and potential negatives, of living in the digital era?

Julie Trell: Well, it helps with ease of life and making things easier, and more efficient. But then on the other side of things, there’s a risk of an addiction to it, and that’s not healthy. So it’s a great tool to solve problems, a tool to connect, a tool to make the world feel smaller, and the flip side is, is it compromising our humanity? And our ability to be empathetic?

WID: What are some digital tools that affect your day-to-day, and how do they maximise your productivity?

JT: We use DocuSign at muru-D daily. I recognise how  simple DocuSign is—signing documents without having to fax or mail. These are the things that simplify the work process. In addition being able to find answers to questions without having to ask someone or go to a library makes for a faster learning opportunity. I think technology allows us to become better, or more critical, thinkers, or least I hope so. It just makes work life easier, allowing you to get things done faster.

WID: Can you tell us more about your role as Global Head of muru-D?

JT: I was brought in by Annie Parker, my predecessor, mentor and now good friend. Muru-D was started to ignite the startup ecosystem in Australia five years ago, and we’ve done that. We were one of the first, there were only two or three accelerators when we started, and there are so many now, which is really exciting. Many people are getting into the startup world to become an entrepreneur, because the traditional path of going to college, graduating,getting a full time job and then staying at a corporate for twenty years has changed.

My role is to create a space where we can bridge the corporate world and the startup world, to create opportunities, to create innovation, and to create a thriving Australian economy that’s fuelled by innovation, technology, and entrepreneurs.

We’ve been around for five years, and so now it’s exciting to see what’s next. There is a lot of opportunity for change, so in terms of the future of what it looks like next, we have an exciting opportunity to redesign that.

WID: Throughout your career you’ve worked with some of the biggest technology companies in the world. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve witnessed in the way we use technology in the workplace?

JT: I was very lucky to “grow up” at Salesforce, starting there when there was only 100 people. When I first met Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, the terms SaaS or Cloud Technology weren’t even invented yet. So being on the cutting edge of that development, and working with an incredibly innovative leader and company that set the bar so so high, and working with people who not only reached the bar,  but exceeded it was an amazing and incredibly valuable experience. Coming to Australia was exciting for me, because it was an opportunity to help move the bar here, and to get companies and startups and founders to achieve what is actually possible, challenging people to do that, and helping them to use the right tools, resources, smart capital and networks to do so.

WID: At our recent Women in Digital 2018 Awards Gala you were recognised as UQ Business School Leader of the Year, and were commended for your playful approach to leadership and change. Can you tell us more about your personal leadership philosophy?

JT: I think leadership is about creating a safe space to nurture a growth mindset. Also, a place to allow for failure, and embrace play, curiosity and experimentation. I tend to lead with a democratic leadership philosophy. I believe everyone should have equal say in the team, or, they should at least be heard. I value participation and collaboration within and without the team. The reason I first went into teaching was to be the catalyst for the lightbulb to go on, and I thrive to see that happen in my team, with the founders and their companies, as well as within the corporate environment of Telstra. My success is experiencing the success of others through their interaction with me, my team, and the programs we lead.

WID: You are known for your passion for education and innovation. What advice would you give women working in the industry regarding keeping up to speed with digital best practice?

JT: Speak up, speak out, and find a network. If you sometimes feel like you have dumb questions, they’re not dumb questions, because someone else has got the same questions as you have. And not being afraid to ask for help is huge. Humans in general are a lot more keen to give and to help others than we think, but that doesn’t work if no one is asking for that help. So, as women…I just think not being afraid to ask is so important.

WID: You are the current Australia Country Lead for SheEO. Can you tell us more about how this global initiative helps to transform how we finance, support and celebrate female entrepreneurs?

JT: At SheEO our goal is to get 500 women across Australia to contribute $1100 into a fund for female entrepreneurs. The women who contribute that money are called Activators, so you’re activating your buying power, your capital, and your network. It’s not just writing a cheque and walking away, you’re actually engaged with the process. As an Activator you get to select which five ventures will receive this 0% interest 5-year loan. It’s a perpetual loan that, once paid back, can be loaned out again and again. And it’s creating this perpetual flow of capital to women, from women, who really believe in the products that are being created; that believe in the founders themselves. Most of the companies that are chosen offer some sort of product or service that will make the world a better place, and that’s a big focus. What it really creates is this ask/give network, so that activators who participate in this fund can ask one another for help as well.

There are [also] a lot of other wonderful initiatives helping and supporting women entrepreneurs, and we’re here to work with them. I’ve already had conversations with Scale Investors, with Head Over Heels, with SheStarts. You know, this is not about us doing another competitive thing, this is about all of us playing together.

WID: What do you love most about what you do?

JT: So, the first response that came into my head—and it’s the reason why I did go into teaching—was that aha! moment. Sharing a moment with someone where they learned, or where they failed, and learned from that failure, so that they knew how to do it differently, or knew how to do it awesomely next time. The other thing that I love doing is connecting the right people with one another. I don’t know everything about everything, but what I do know is how to find the right people for the job at hand, and to help them connect and help one another.

WID: What piece of advice would you give to a woman who aspires to work in the digital realm?

JT: There are so many resources out there. But if there is something that you believe in, do it. I remember when I first started working as a technology specialist at a middle school, I had no formal technical training, and yet I was fixing and maintaining the computer networks of the school. I was literally doing things like pulling out the motherboard of the computer, smacking it with my palm, and putting it back in, and sometimes that would work. But I would also go to sleep thinking about some of the problems I had encountered with computers, and I could literally feel the synapses forming in my head trying to solve for the issue, and I was learning. The reason I am telling that story is, getting into digital, or getting into technology, if you’re eager to learn about it, as soon you start to learn you can feel that growth almost immediately.

WID: So it’s really one of those industries where you learn so much by doing, and by being involved?

JT: Yes, exactly. And  yet, there’s that whole imposter syndrome, I get it, I have it everyday. I have that voice in my head, too, and I’ve named her, her name is Beatrice. She’s getting a lot of play lately because I’ve been talking about her a lot, so hopefully that’s enough to get her to sit down and to just let her do her own thing and stop bothering me. And then you move on, and you ask questions again. It’s about being confident and doing what you believe you can do.

WID: You describe yourself as an avid technology junkie. So we have to ask; what’s one app you can’t live without?

JT: Any kind of a text (based) app, that kind of a communication tool. Whether it’s WhatsApp or text. So I can communicate to people that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise, so I have one network on Telegram, and I’m on WhatsApp, and on text.

Check out more of our Q&A’s over on our blog!


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September 4, 2018 Women in Digital

You just announced the relaunch of Collective Hub – congrats! What can we expect?

One thing I know for sure – taking the time to “break the brand” to “remake” it was the best thing (apart from starting it) that I have ever done! What I also know for sure is that our purpose remains stronger than ever “to ignite human potential”. As far as what the deliverables look like – we are still working through that – but expect a lot more digital content and a lot more face-to-face events.

What does your day in the life generally look like?

No one day is the same. I run multiple content verticals across multiple geographic locations with a very decentralised team working from all over the world. So it really depends on the focus at the time – be it an event series we’re rolling out, or a tour that I am putting together (or delivering) or a multitude of other channels. My days could involve photo shoots, interviews, strategy, planning, visioning. These days every day also includes very consciously and purposefully “time and space” for me to think and be and recreate. I love moving forward.

How do you de-stress from a busy workday?

Consciously making time for not negotiables – exercise, good food. Time to seek, listen, education myself, explore and get into nature. Time with my partner and my cavoodle Benny in nature or by the sea is bliss.

Where’s your favourite place to visit when you’re in need of inspiration?

No one place. In fact when I truly need inspiration I put myself in very counterintuitive places. I’ll purposefully go somewhere I’ve never been – be it a different suburb, coffee shop, retail store or a myriad of other things. I think if you are open and you hold your purpose close – there is inspiration and opportunities in abundance and sometimes from the most unexpected places and spaces.

What’s your go-to breakfast before a big day?

Big green smoothie packed with baby spinach, nuts, half a banana and 2 dates. YUM – fills me up and I’m starting the day right!

Name one thing that intimidates you?

Nothing.

We know you value work-life balance and embracing a healthy lifestyle. To what extent do you feel it contributes to productivity and/or innovation?

My health is my absolute number one not negotiable priority. Without it, we have nothing.

Name three women who inspire you.

We’ve done over 6000 interviews in Collective Hub print mag and online over the past five years. The pages are FILLED with inspirational women – it’s too tricky to drill down to three…

Do you have one motto or inspiring quote that has stuck with you over the years?

“Here’s to the Crazy Ones…” Steve Jobs

“The art of doing more with less.” This really resonates with us. How could this idea be applied to digital, and in particular disruptive digital ideas?

The ability to scale tapping into digital resources is unparalleled. Be it social or a myriad of apps and tools that are now available. As my team is decentralised and in multiple locations we use digital technology and tools every day to time save. We can also automate so much now using technology. I could write an entire book (and probably will) on how technological advances have helped us to be more productive and efficient.

What are you feelings or attitudes towards artificial intelligence?

I think all technological advances are good and exciting when used in an ethical and educated way. Like anything it’s about education and understanding the limitations and risks associated.

Why do you feel groups and awards such as Women in Digital are important?

I think so often we glorify being “busy” and we don’t take the time to stop and acknowledge our achievements. I think it’s beautiful to a) take the time to acknowledge yourself and use this as an opportunity to capture and document the legacy of what you’ve achieved to date. And secondly I think it’s really wonderful to give visibility to so many extraordinary businesses and individuals. We can all learn from one another and it’s great to shine the light on so many wonderful innovations, entrepreneurs and business leaders.

How important is it for women in the digital industry to support each other?

I am a strong believer that all of us – no matter our gender, race, industry or geographic location should support each other and lift one another higher. I am all about reciprocity, abundance and collaboration. There is enough room for everyone.

What would you want to tell young women starting out now?

Have an insatiable self-belief. And just know that anything you can dream is possible. This I know for sure.

Lisa, you truly are a force in your field. Any last words?

Just start.