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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!


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!


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,, 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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