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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August 6, 2021 Women in Digital

GoodNorth is on a mission to create spaces for purpose-led businesses to take on the spotlight and share their positive impact. For their latest Tribe Spotlight, GoodNorth has chosen to feature Women in Digital.

At Women in Digital, we are dedicated to connecting, educating, and empowering women in digital through services that support women to pursue a career in tech and become the digital leaders of tomorrow. In this feature article, GoodNorth interviewed Women in Digital Community Manager Carly Shearman to discuss all things purpose-driven branding. Read the full article here.

“I am very lucky as my job is literally being surrounded by amazing, go-getting, driven and high-performing people all day everyday – from our community members, corporate partners, colleagues and our founder, Holly and I absolutely draw inspiration from them.” – Carly Shearman

Read the full article here and if you haven’t already, follow Women in Digital on LinkedIn!


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June 30, 2021 Women in Digital

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the loans.com.au Women, Children & Community Program in partnership with Women in Digital. Congratulations to Women in Digital friend and Managing Director of loans.com.au, Marie Mortimer [centre]!

Through her involvement with Women in Digital as a Corporate Sponsor, loans.com.au continues to be a strong employer brand that advocates for diversity and inclusion. Read the full article here.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the loans.com.au Women, Children & Community Program. Together we will work towards the Women in Digital mission of ensuring girls and women are digitally literate by providing resources and career opportunities to build the digital leaders of tomorrow.” – Holly Hunt, Founder & CEO, Women in Digital

Read the full article here and if you haven’t already, follow Women in Digital on LinkedIn!


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June 30, 2021 Women in Digital

At Women in Digital, we love celebrating incredible women in digital and listening to the fascinating career stories they have to tell us Rachael Dagge has anything but cookie-cutter career. A former yacht stewardess, medical receptionist, private chef and product development scientist, Rachael has an impressively diverse resume that simply cannot be condensed into one short sentence.

She has not only co-founded a food wastage AI startup and studied a Bachelor of Health Science, but Rachael has also worked closely with UQ Ventures as the Chief Student Entrepreneur in 2020 and embarked on a fully funded scholarship for the SheCodes Plus program 2021 cohort. Currently a Consultant at KPMG Australia for the Health, Ageing and Human Services division and about to start her Masters in Biotechnology, we think there might be nothing Rachael can’t do.

Involved in several initiatives supporting women in tech, we were thrilled to talk with her about her career and insights into diversity in tech. Before we dive in, go and follow Rachael on LinkedIn to see her amazing journey for yourself!

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

I was born in Hong Kong because my parents lived there for 10 years and we then moved to Brisbane when I was 2.

I would probably describe myself as a high-energy, focussed people person. I am naturally very curious and I love learning anything new about the science/ technology space.

What is something that not many people know about you?

Hmm, that I used to be in circus school when I was younger!

What’s the most useless talent you have?

I’m really good at doing impersonations of people and characters from movies, particularly Dory from Finding Nemo.

What are you currently watching/reading/listening to?

I’m reading Atomic Habits by James Clear and I listen to the Fear and Greed podcast every morning before work for a news update – I would highly recommend both.

Who is your professional inspiration?

Albert Einstein – to be that deeply intelligent in both science and people is remarkable. He has one of the best quotes I know, “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

It is commonly recognised that there are fewer female leaders in digital and technology. How did you end up working in this industry?

I just found it an interesting industry and liked the speed of it, it’s always moving, changing and you’re never going to know everything about it.

Having been involved in a variety of initiatives supporting women in tech, tell us what does diversity mean to you and why is it so important?

At the core of it, I’ve always really valued fairness and I think that’s why I’ve been really drawn to this area. There are major ongoing and snowball effects to lack of diversity. For example, if you don’t hire diverse people for a team, you create a product that only comes from the lived experiences of those people. I’ve heard of image recognition software that’s been built to recognise only white skin or HR AI software that’s sexist when choosing candidates.

What technology development is most exciting you at the moment?

The biotechnology space is super interesting, I still can’t get past this start-up I saw in San Francisco called Membio who are manufacturing artificial Red Blood Cells to eliminate donor recruitment.

There are also some really interesting advancements in the food/ agriculture biotech space, such as redesigning fruit and vegetables to grow yielding a higher amount of vitamins and minerals and counteract our degrading soil quality. I’ve also met the founders of a startup called AgriSea which are designing crops to grow and absorb nutrients in ocean water.

What is next for you?

Continuing in my role as a graduate at KPMG and starting my Masters in Biotechnology.

Thank you to Rachael for taking the time to chat with us about her incredible career journey so far. If you haven’t already, go ahead and follow Rachael on LinkedIn here. We look forward to seeing where her career takes her next!

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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July 10, 2020 Holly Hunt

Elise Bentley boasts an impressive resume. Having worked as an Electorate Advisor at the Office of Premier Campbell Newman, Business Analyst and currently the Senior Director of Marketing at Tiny, Elise has dipped her toes across a broad range of industries. We were excited to sit down with her to talk about all things marketing including her impressive career, digital trends in the industry and the lack of female leaders in digital.

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

Behind the work persona is someone who I would say is pretty normal. Away from the office, I’m the person you will find avidly planning their next overseas adventure or taking time out to be with friends, family, and of course, my dogs. I will most likely always be able to tell you about what’s been happening in the latest Netflix movies and shows as well.

It is commonly recognised that there are fewer female leaders in digital and technology. You actually started your career in political communications. How did you end up working in this industry?

When my time in politics was finished, I decided I wanted to go into the commercial side of things and branch out of communications into general marketing. My first role from there was actually with a consultancy specialising in HR. It was a great experience to be able to see the impact we were able to make for clients, but I was after something that was more technical and product orientated. I then happened to land at a company which had a service arm, but was also building a tech start-up within the financial space. It was such a great experience, I thought finance was the space to be, but I ended up really missing the technological aspect, so decided to come back into tech.  It has been an interesting mix of different experiences from different industries, but having all these various backgrounds I found has really allowed me to have a strong understanding of many different viewpoints, techniques, and concepts, which you wouldn’t be exposed to if you have always sat within a single industry.

Tiny was well-primed for remote working considering your team is dispersed across countries and timezones – what advice do you have for team leaders that are new to remote working?

The most important thing is to ensure your team can reach out to you whenever they need to. I find it is important to have both a professional relationship with the team, but also the understanding that everyone is human and we have all been going through massive upheavals over the last few months. It has been so important to touch base with everyone daily, not just about what they are working on, but also stimulating more casual conversation and trying to find activities to do with more team members.

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

I have been very fortunate within all my digital and tech roles that diversity has always been fairly strong, both at the leadership level and among the wider team. I think a lot of this has been because of the human approaches these businesses have taken. It is about being willing to take risks with people who may not have been the perfect fit on paper, but have the attitude and the willingness to go the extra mile. Being in the marketing side, I have been lucky that there are always loads of really talented women marketers (along with men) and focusing on the right fit and the right attitudes has always worked out well.

What is on the cards for Tiny in the new 20/21 financial year?

We have some pretty big plans for Tiny over the next year which I cannot quite talk publicly about yet, but I’m really excited to see where we go. Watch this space!

What’s your most recommended Business/ Marketing resource?

I loath to recommend a single source, there are so many great people (and companies) out there who are doing such amazing things within the marketing space and are happily sharing their journey, and learnings, online. The digital world has opened so many different avenues to grow and explore your passion in marketing. For those who are just starting out, I always point them over to the Hubspot Blog. Love them or hate them, they provide great content on a lot of the fundamentals of marketing.

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

Real-Time Collaboration. It may sound like something that has been around for ages (Google Docs anyone), but within our niche we are seeing the pent up demand for a scalable, easily deployable system which can be integrated into any product or platform. For those that follow Tiny’s blog they will know we have been working on it, and listening to the development team talk about all the different ways they are trying to solve this problem and take it to the next level. This is something I find truly fascinating. We’ve been really public about why we have been making technical decisions, and the reaction we are getting from the developer community has been amazing. We get so many comments and thoughts from developers who have tried similar things but not been able to make them work.

What is something that not many people know about you?

I am a complete nerd about far too many things. Marketing being one of them. I truly love the way you are able to take so many concepts and ideas, and bring them together to create something truly amazing and creative, and turn it into something that resonates with your customers and helps solve their problems and fulfil their needs.

What is next for you?

Being with Tiny is such a great experience – working with the team to create software which truly makes a difference in the world of Open Source. I cannot wait to continue working to redevelop and redefine the marketing arm at Tiny and deliver a world-class experience.
It is too hard to say what will be next for me as I continue to explore marketing!

A big thanks to Elise for chatting with us. If you want to read more Q&A’s with the top women in business head over to our blog! We will also be sharing further female success stories on our socials so stay updated with our Facebook and Instagram.



August 4, 2019 Elise Le-Galloudec

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

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

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

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

DAY 1: 23 July

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What are you grateful for today?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

DAY 2: 24 July

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading.

Emma Judd

Instagram: @emajudd

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

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



November 19, 2018 Holly Hunt

 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.

Interested in hearing more Q and A’s? Read our interview with Lisa Messenger! 



October 31, 2018 Elise Le-Galloudec

Celebrating the women doing incredible things in digital. 

By Caitlin Ritter

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

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

And shout it they did.

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

The people

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

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

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

 

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

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

The place

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

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

And most importantly…the presentation

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

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

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

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

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

Our hands were numb, but our hearts were full.

 

 

 



September 4, 2018 Holly Hunt

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 decentralized 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 work day?

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 decentralized 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. 

‘Do you know an industry leader, innovative thinker, motivator or bad-ass boss lady? Nominate now for The Women in Digital Awards’



July 31, 2018 Elise Le-Galloudec

How long do you think it takes for a potential follower or customer to decide whether your brand resonates with them? 17 seconds of scrolling your Instagram profile? One minute on your website? The stark reality is a lot more sobering. According to researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, it can take around 0.2 seconds for an online visitor to form an opinion about your brand. So how can you ensure that person likes what they see? Avoid these common content mistakes.

Mistake One: Not having a consistent brand voice.

One of the simplest ways to improve how your business is perceived? Implementing a clear and consistent tone of voice across all of your business’ digital touchpoints. Does your brand use emojis on social media? Do you write your newsletter copy in a fun, colloquial way or are you a bit more serious and considered? What kind of pictures do you share and are they consistent in their aesthetic? If you’re not entirely sure, it’s time to figure it out.

When it comes to your brand’s voice, flipping and flopping inconsistently is terrible for business because your followers and potential customers won’t be able to properly grasp who you are and what your brand stands for. Figuring out your business’s specific tone of voice will allow your followers to decide if you’re a company that resonates with them and are worth trusting. Everything from your website copy, to your Instagram bio, to your blog posts needs to possess your brand’s unique DNA.

Mistake Two: Not providing content of value.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a product or a service, are a business with 5000 employees or a start-up that’s bootstrapping, the content you’re producing must do one thing: provide serious value to your followers and potential customers.

If you’re smart (and I think we can agree you most certainly are) then your business has cottoned onto the “content marketing” trend and is creating blog posts, newsletters and regular social media content. But if the content you’re producing isn’t adding monumental value to your potential customers’ lives, you might want to hold off on giving yourself a pat on the back. Sharing informative, helpful, valuable content that solves your ideal customer or client’s problems will not only show you’re trustworthy and position your brand as a thought leader, it’ll ensure your business is the one people go to when they’re ready to commit.

Mistake Three: Misinterpreting quantity for quality.

According to former Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile, your website has 15 seconds to capture the attention of the average visitor before – poof – they’re gone. If you think that’s dire, 55% of visitors actually spend fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page. The lesson here? Content that’s sparkly, concise and shares your brand’s personality and key messages is going to be way, way more effective than an About Us page so long it gives your thumbs a cramp from scrolling. Mistaking quantity for quality is a common trap many businesses fall into. No, the amount of words you can cram onto a page is not indicative of how wonderful your business is; it’s going to bore people at best and lose your brand business at worst.

 

Edwina Carr Barraclough is the founder of By Edwina, a consultancy that offers brand, social media and content strategy, sparkly copywriting and media coaching. Edwina is also a journalist who writes for The Sydney Morning Herald, News.com.au, Mamamia, Body & Soul and more. Head here to follow her on Instagram and here to follow her on Facebook.



June 12, 2018 Elise Le-Galloudec

By Lani Pauli, Deane & Co

Yep, you read that right! While it seems counterintuitive, working less and finding more balance in your life can actually have a positive impact on your business.

Thanks to social media and the fact that in this digital age you can work almost anywhere at any hour, there can be limitless opportunity to work and a never-ending supply of tasks to do. But that doesn’t mean you should just work-work-work!

Not least because an overstimulated, perpetually busy mind is not the place where the best ideas, clearest decisions, or brilliant strategy come from.

As part of our consulting work, we often talk with clients about how to get more balance in their lives, and how it’s not indulgent, but can really pay off for their business.

You only have to look at business power players Tim Ferriss, Ariana Huffington and Bill Gates – all advocates of scheduling dedicated time off – to see how working less can help you more.

If you are finding you are always ‘on’ and spending the bulk of your precious time working on business, take a moment to stop and recalibrate.

Here are 5 ways to consider bringing more balance to your life, calming your mind and running your business, so that it doesn’t run you.

#1 Take Holidays!

Having time off is one of the most sure-fire ways to be more productive. Breaks, down time, having fun and thinking about things outside work is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Travel allows you to learn new things, get new perspectives, and come at problems in different ways. If you haven’t had a holiday in ages, it can be as easy as taking a long weekend away or getting to the beach for a couple of days.

#2 Clear Boundaries

Make clear boundaries and stick to them. Leave work on time, take a proper lunch break each day, don’t reply to emails or calls outside of hours.  Some of our clients at Deane & Co now put in strict boundaries and openly take one day off a week. On this day they don’t reply to emails (unless the situation is urgent) and their success continues. If anything, this client argues (and we’re inclined to agree) that it enhances their ability to be successful as they’re giving themselves adequate time to recharge and restore.

#3 Switch Off

The best way to be a winner in business and in life is to rejuvenate body and mind, which means a good nights’ sleep. And vital to good sleep if switch off technology, social media, the laptop and cleansing the bedroom of all electronic gear. Consider social media-free weekends: Tim Ferriss switches off his phone every Saturday unapologetically.

#4 Prioritise

Take a cold hard look at how you’re spending your precious time across the different categories that matter to you, whether that’s Family, Eating Well, Exercising, Down Time, or Being Social. If you’re finding that all your time is caught up in business and busyness consider where your main priorities truly lie. Upping your wellbeing only help performance, so spending time on them is an investment in business too.

#5 Delegate

To work less you need to do less, so think strategically about how you can get things off your plate. If your business is like your baby, at some stage you need to let it grow and develop. Trust and work with others. Invest time in good people and then delegate to free up your own time and do the things you truly love and are good at. If you suck at accounting or graphic design, it’s time to hand those things over to people who excel at them so you can have the bandwidth to do what you do best.