Welcome to the August edition of the FitT Newsletter. In this issue we provide an executive profile of Ann Wlkie Pitts, Director of Advanced Services for the ANZ Business at Cisco, We also welcome Jo Roberts, our newest volunteer Account Executive at FitT.
In an update from our sponsors, Cisco recap their MentorMe Program. Currently in its fifth year the program is a great initiative aimed at nurturing future female talent in the IT Industry. We hear from Silver Sponsor Paxus as they share an informative article that provides insights on how to make your LinkedIn summary stand out. FitT is also pleased to announce and our newest sponsor Akamai!
The FItT Networking evening in Sydney sponsored by VMWare was a sell out and a great success! It was great to see so many of our members there. The article below recaps some of the highlights. We have also just launched a series of Digital Workshops. Our first program focuses on a “Mindset for Success”. We launched this in August and will be holding our next series of workshops in September. We aim to host regular e-Workshops on a variety of different topics relevant to Women in IT. Keep an eye out for the next program!
Finally, there are currently two open volunteer roles on the FitT team. Please read the below for more information on these rewarding roles.
We hope you enjoy our latest issue.
FITT Marketing Lead
On behalf of the FITT Management Committee
FITT Executive Profile
Ann Wilkie Pitts
for the ANZ business
Tell us about your career path so far.
I have had a long history of running professional services divisions, with my experience being drawn from predominately software organisations. I’ve worked with customers, sales teams and significant shareholders in the implementation of capability in the areas of Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Retail and Financial Services. Whilst implementing software and hardware is a tough gig, the challenge and the fun is working hard and delivering outcomes for joint success.
Prior to getting into the vendor side of software and delivery, I started life in freight forwarding and international transportation, then moved into warehouse management looking after warehouse and distribution centres for the likes of Elf Atochem and Greens General Food. These organisations provided me with a great background in business, both small organisations in Australia, it allowed me to be a virtual COO without the title and get involved in a large variety of business problems which in turn provided a terrific opportunity to learn.
Interestingly enough the first 12 odd years of my career was spent working with a 90% male workforce and then when I moved into software, my first role was to work with Warehouse Management Solutions, so I spent a lot of time walking around warehouses, transport depots and factory operations. I still enjoy walking around a warehouse or distribution centre as it embodies a sense of ‘real’. Working in the software space for a long time is a little bit academic unless you can walk the factory floor and see how the end users interact with the technology. Whilst I did not give much thought to diversity in the work place back then, it is a topic that is of interest to me; I’m keen to equalise the workforce in all areas including generational and disability placement.
Can you share a career highlight and a key learning you've had during your career?
As I get more experience in my career and life in general, I still mark highlights in my life as being involved in large projects that had some challenges. Challenges of any kind tend to set a tone of the relationship if you let it. My goal in all escalations is to consider all stakeholders, their personal and professional needs and the needs of the organisations. Often escalations occur when one of the stakeholders is under pressure and something slipped through the cracks. I think as I get older, I’m better equipped to reflect and respond in a manner that is not reactive, whilst still being passionate about the ‘DIFOT’ of the project.
What is one piece of advice you would give yourself if you were starting your career again?
I think the best thing that we can all do is remember to enjoy what we do. It’s easy to get stuck in the daily grind and not take a minute to enjoy. If something at work is getting you down, the best advice to everyone is to try to put the item to one side for 30 mins or more, pick up an activity that you enjoy or meet a colleague for a catch up and then get back to the issue with a new mind set. The other advice I would give myself is to not to put off the hard tasks. It’s easy to keep pushing these to the back. It took me a while to learn that sometimes getting on with the hard tasks is a better way to move forward. In reality sometimes the ‘hard tasks’ finish up not being as hard as you thought, the idea of them grows as time passes and you keep pushing them to the back of the list.
FITT’s Newest Volunteer Account Executive
Jo is the National Channel Account Manager at McAfee and she really loves her job! As like many other women within the IT industry, she never dreamed of being in IT and fell into it by accident when she started in a sales role at Check Point many years ago. Since then, her experience in the industry (from within the channel) has continued to surprise her. The ever-changing landscape, the relationships and also the challenges (both good and bad). It’s definitely the place to be!
Outside of work, Jo is married and keeps busy being a mother of adorable twin girls (4 going on 14), her other great passion is cooking. She’s told us, she’s excited to be embarking on a new journey being a part of the FITT team and is extremely happy to be involved with an organisation that’s passionate about making a huge difference.
Cisco’s MentorMe program, now in its fifth year, has kicked off with its largest cohort. Participating this year 60 female students from universities across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra have been paired with Cisco employees across different departments. Eligible students are undertaking degrees ranging from Engineering through to Business Studies.
The program encourages students to consider careers in the IT industry with first hand exposure to the variety of roles available. Through the course of the twelve weeks, the mentee develops skills necessary to enter the workforce and it is an opportunity for the mentor to develop their personal and professional development.
In addition to mentorship, students attend weekly workshops and discussion panels. These sessions cover topics including: building your personal brand, mock interviews, networking and presentation skills. Students also have access to job shadowing and hear from guest speakers presenting on the breadth of IT careers.
Cisco is dedicated to nurturing future female talent in the IT industry. The MentorMe program is the brainchild of Cisco’s Connected Women initiative run by Cisco volunteers passionate about bridging the gender gap in IT.
Your LinkedIn summary is one of the most important pieces of personal branding you have out there. When looking for a job, it is one of the first things that recruiters and prospective employers read, so it is important that it does you justice, and helps you stand out from the crowd.
When it comes to LinkedIn summaries, it is often hard to know where to start, and what to include. To help you alleviate your writers block, and get your LinkedIn summary in tip top shape, we have put together the following tips:
Know your audience
Make sure you know your audience - which as a job seeker will predominantly be recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers.
Recruiters and HR professionals use keywords when searching for candidates, so it is important that your summary (and also your job title for that matter) includes terms that your target audience will be searching for.
Think about the job that you want, and what keywords are associated with it, and have a go at incorporating these into your summary. If you are not sure what words to include, look at position descriptions and other people’s profiles who have the job you want.
Get your content
Now you have established your audience and the keywords you need to use, start to put together your content.
Think about your most important achievements and accomplishments, and jot these down. If you can, include quantifiable outcomes, and how the achievements added value to your company.
You also need to include in your summary some information about your values and passions. Think about your operating principles, and the things that motivate and energise you. Try to avoid overused buzzwords that many people use in their profile, and clichés which often do more harm than good.
Think about what GENUINELY makes you better than everyone else. It is sometimes hard for us to see our own talents and strengths – if you are having trouble, ask someone you know well or a colleague at work.
Make sure you keep it personal, and include things in your profile that make you YOU. You need to ensure your profile is a true reflection of who you are, and not a generic spiel that could be transferrable to any person in your position.
Lastly, if you can, include some external validation. This may not necessarily be in your summary, but via the skills/endorsements section of your profile. Feedback from others on your performance/skills is invaluable for recruiters and prospective employers, as it backs up all the positive things you have been saying in your profile.
Put it all together
Now it is time to put your notes into a compelling story. It is completely acceptable to write in either the first or third person ie: “I am a Network Architect with over 10 years of experience” vs “John is a Network Architect with over 10 years of experience” – decide on your approach and stick with it.
Get settled somewhere where you can focus, and get ready to put all your notes into action.
Make sure you start with something enticing that draws the reader in and gets their attention. This could be a question or a statement, or even a few words that describe you – keep it short and sharp.
Now it is time to tell your story. Put all your content that you put together in step 2 in to a compelling narrative about you. Remember – make sure that you keep it personal, use examples and quantify results and outcomes where you can.
Close with a call to action – tell your audience how they can best get in touch with you, and invite them to get in contact.
Lastly, add images, videos, and examples of your work as more proof of what you have done and what you can achieve. Visuals and examples are a powerful tool that help recruiters and potential employers see your strengths and talents.
As the world’s largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform, Akamai makes it easier for its customers to provide the best and most secure digital experiences on any device, anytime, anywhere. Akamai’s massively distributed platform is unparalleled in scale with over 200,000 servers across 130 countries, giving customers superior performance and threat protection.
Akamai’s portfolio of web and mobile performance, cloud security, enterprise access, and video delivery solutions are supported by exceptional customer service and 24/7 monitoring. To learn why the top financial institutions, e-commerce leaders, media & entertainment providers, and government organisations trust Akamai please visit www.akamai.com, blogs.akamai.com, or @Akamai on Twitter.
Our latest Sydney Executive Networking event was sponsored by VMware was a sell out! During the evening attendees were fortunate to hear from Robin Matlock, Global CMO of VMWare who spoke on “Breaking through the Glass Ceiling”. Robin shared some fascinating stories about her own rise through her career and how she almost talked herself out of her biggest career opportunity. She also shared some of the progressive work VMware is doing globally around diversity. Many thanks to Robin and the team from VMware for ensuring it as such a successful evening. Stay tuned for the next Networking Event announcement coming soon.
Announcing the brand
new FITT e-Workshops
On the 21st of July FITT announced a new program designed especially for our members. It's aim is to provide a digital platform for learning and development, allowing all members in every corner of Australia access to our career development content from FITT and its partners. The first workshops held in August were an overwhelming success. We aim to host regular e-Workshops on a variety of learning topics aimed at Women in IT. Topics that we hope will help you thrive, flourish and grow in whatever sized organisation or industry sector of the IT world you may play in.
The program has the added benefit of providing you immediate access from the comfort of your own home, office or wherever you are but designed to provide a safe, connected and nurturing experience with a heavy emphasis on two way interaction. Thus, I would also hope that this would serve as a platform for women in the industry to give back, learn from each other and share their experiences in a way that has evolved with the times and communicates the way the modern world communicates.
I am pleased to introduce Lia Zalums, CEO & Founder of Success InSight who will be running our upcoming workshops. Her topic of "Mindset for Success" is a perfect topic to launch the program. Lia will introduce us to a framework for success in 2 one hour sessions a fortnight apart that is simple yet practical.
Session #1 Friday 15th September @ 11:50am to 1pm
Session #2 Friday 29th September @ 11:50am to 1pm