No way, it’s nearly the end of June. How did that happen? Surely I’m not the only person who feels as though the days, weeks, months and even years just fly by.
I will refrain from referencing Christmas and move on, shall I?
OK, so we’re halfway through 2016, we’ve had a female Prime Minister in Australia, we have an astounding number of females in top positions in companies all over the country and the United States is looking as though they may well elect their first female President, yet we have so many Australian companies that are still struggling with the diversity agenda.
According to an article in CIO magazine earlier this month, written by Damien Ross of Davidson Technology, gender diversity and the incredibly small number of females in IT is a fairly common agenda item for Australian companies.
Davidson Technology recently published a DiversIT Report which found that of the 435,000 IT professionals currently found on LinkedIn, only 31 percent are female.
Despite the fact that some of our leading IT brands in Australia are led by capable women, the number of females in executive roles drops to just 14 percent.
As Ross notes, “As these results suggest, it quickly becomes clear that 50:50 gender targets aren’t realistic,” as there are quite simply not enough females in IT to fill these roles.
We all know that the IT industry has an image problem, an identity crisis, a perception that we can’t seem to shake that we’re all ‘geeks’ (and why can’t geek be cool anyway?). We also all know that we need to get more girls studying STEM subjects (from primary school) and from there, making a natural progression into taking on technology based careers if we’ve got any chance of continuing to drive growth in our industry.
The article goes on to quote Sally Kennedy, Executive General Manager of Information Services at State Trustees, who notes. “We need to start educating girls about the benefits of a career in technology at a young age. We should be providing evidence to convince young women and their parents that dropping mathematics in year nine closes many career doors. We have to start educating girls that a career in technology can mean many things…”
While I encourage you to read the article as it really does have some food for thought, I’d also like to let you know that the FITT team are working on some projects that we feel will help spread the word about how ‘cool’ it is to be working in IT. Stay tuned for more in coming issues.
The full article can be found here, http://www.cio.com.au/article/601666/report-shows-just-how-many-females-key-it-jobs/
Now, as I step down from my soapbox, I wanted to close by encouraging you to read the great content that we have in our newsletter this month. We’ve got some exciting news from FITT sponsors Cisco, who deserve huge congratulations for their recent recognition as ‘Best of the Best Employer’.
We also have some news and updates from FITT sponsors Phoenix HSL, who have clearly had a lot ‘going on’ of late and also some news about our Avanade and FITT Networking events… and much more. Enjoy the read.
Take care, keep smiling and stay FITT!
Newsletter Editor and FITT Marketing Lead
On Behalf of the FITT Management Committee
What is your current role and what is your scope?
Customer Services Lead in Juniper for the leading Service Provider in Australia. I am responsible for the support and service delivery of the Juniper portfolio of equipment and software in order to ensure a remarkable customer experience. I work closely with the Sales Executive team on sales opportunities and delivery strategies, as well as collaborating with the internal customer support and education services teams for positive customer engagement.
I am recognised by our customer as the single point of contact for service performance at Juniper and I’m the person who listens and acts on new requests, requirements or improvements.
2. What attracted you to a career in ICT?
I embarked on a career in ICT when I went to University. I had interests in Mathematics and Electronics, which led me to a course in Communications, Electronics and Computer Engineering.
The timing of my entry into the industry was at the start of the deregulation of Australia’s telecommunications business which enabled alternate operators to make a stand and create a footprint to service customers all over Australia – both end users and business users. It was an exciting time to be part of.
3. What has kept you in the ICT industry?
ICT has continued to push boundaries all over the world to bring people together and share information and it makes a positive impact on users day to day in many different ways. The opportunity to be a part of an industry and a company that makes a meaningful difference to people’s lives is both challenging and exciting.
4. Have you had any high-points and low-points of your career? If so, can you please share?
The early days of the evolution to a digital ICT age and the rollout of wireless technologies in Australia was a boom time for all those involved. The constant updates and change for higher speed and bigger data size on smaller technology has been fascinating. Travelling the world, working with customers to implement the technology of the moment has also been incredible.
A low point for me was the demise of Nortel. It was a company with over 100 years of history in the industry that came crashing down after the dot com crash of the 00’s. The up-side of Nortel shutting its doors, however, has been the regular re-connection of former colleagues who were instrumental in my career development.
5. What does work life balance mean to you?
Work, life balance is a challenge that each person defines according to their lifestyle needs. ICT has developed an industry that enables the flexibility for all people to work remotely or part-time - or at different start and stop times each day. For me, this enables the ability to deliver my work to my business and customer that meets my and their needs.
6. What ambitions, either personal or professional do you still want to achieve?
Professionally, I want to continue to be a part of an industry that challenges how people connect with each other.
Personally, I love to travel and would want to visit all continents of the world whilst I am able and willing.
7. If you were just starting out in your career, what’s the one piece of advice you'd give to yourself that’s taken from lessons learnt? Why this advice in particular?
Believe in your abilities and capabilities. Self belief is integral to success and success will beget more success.
8. Do you have any mantra or vision that you follow or which keeps you focused?
What is the worst thing that could happen? A reality check of the activities that you do is important to realise that there are solutions, or proactive steps, or rational steps that can be taken for most things - whether work or personal.
9. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
I love being in the outdoors, living life, experiencing life and learning from others. I am involved in sport and love competition, which also reinforces the efforts to always find ways to improve – practice makes perfect. Always practice to be a better person.
Thursday, 21 July 2016
Ms Collins - 425 Collins Street, Melbourne,
5.30pm – 7.30pm BOOK HERE
Thursday, 28 July 2016
Avanade Australia Pty Ltd, 48 Pirrama Road #3, Pyrmont, NSW 2009
5.30pm – 7.30pm BOOK HERE
Get ready for the next networking event sponsored by Avanade in Melbourne and Sydney. We will explore why Women in IT are uniquely placed to impact the gender parity issues currently evident in the Australian workplace. As IT experts, we have the necessary skills to influence and design a flexible workplace supported by digital systems and technology providing scale, security, mobility and anywhere anytime availability. Let's get together to discuss and determine what initiatives we can all take back to our places of work to empower our companies to support change in the way women (and men) work. This is a great opportunity to enjoy some drinks and network with your peers.
Best of the Best employers in Cisco Australia & New Zealand
What makes a place a ‘great place to work’? Is it the challenging work, the people, the technology, the office environment, benefits, flexibility? We all value these differently. Fundamentally, you want to get up and make a difference each day. That is why it is so rewarding when your employees give you feedback that they’re engaged coming to work every day. As the leader for Cisco Australia & New Zealand, I could not be prouder of our people and the strength of our team culture. Last week, Cisco Australia & New Zealand was awarded Aon Hewitt’s 2016 Best Employer. And not only that. We were awarded, ‘Best of the Best’.
Underpinning this recognition is the Cisco culture and company transformation. Cisco’s People Deal is about unleashing every employee’s potential by connecting everything, innovating everywhere and benefiting everyone. As a company, it’s about what we can do for our people and what we expect in return. And it’s what makes it unique to be part of Cisco. Our employees are empowered, driven to succeed and make a difference through the work we do with our customers and partners. We want our employees to thrive in a positive work environment, with meaningful work that impacts the world around us. It’s no surprise that our employees value the flexibility Cisco offers thanks to our technology, giving choice in where and how they do their work, and is a big plus supporting work-life balance.
Our technology leadership through our Innovation Centres or Cybersecurity leadership or the biggest tech event in Australia – Cisco Live!
The diversity and inclusiveness of our culture. We appreciate a range of perspectives and backgrounds, and this cultivates innovation and connects our diverse workforce across our nine sites in Australia & New Zealand.
The difference we make in our communities and specifically through mentoring, with our target of 20% of our workforce mentoring 20 hours by 2020 – that’s AUSTEM2020.
Our long standing history celebrating 25 years in Australia. It was a humbling experience accepting the award of behalf of Cisco Australia & New Zealand. And I can absolutely share that it’s never been a better time to work at Cisco in Australia & New Zealand.
Phoenix HSL’s ‘Goings on’
It’s been another big year at Phoenix HSL, with continued growth seeing our Sydney office peak at 45 people and still growing. We’re literally bursting at the seams of our Potts Point offices. And so, whilst the search continues for alternate digs somewhere a little more central, we’ve been having lots of fun checking out some of the amazing and innovative fit-outs and collaborative spaces of our tech colleagues in Sydney including Atlassian, Twitter and Dropbox. We’re looking forward to being able to create a creative and inspiring workspace for our teams.
Our international Phoenix group event was recently held on Boracay in the Philippines, with almost three hundred team members from around the globe coming together for a few days of rest and recreation. This biennial event is a valuable opportunity for teams to come together and take part in a myriad of events, from cross-country tours to diving expeditions, and a fair amount of lazing by the pool! Training sessions were also held, covering business strategies and the latest technological developments. Highlights included the corporate games event held on stunning White Beach, and also the Battle of the Bands, where we were witness to an impressive array of musical talent.
Several key roles are currently available in our Sydney office, including a Junior .NET Developer and also the Global IT Service Support Manager, an integral role which reaches across the global Phoenix network. Check out www.phoenixhsl.com.au for more information.
FITT Industry Article
Avanade MD, Sarah Adam-Gedge shared her thoughts with Business First Magazine about the importance of digital culture in Australian business to ensure a vibrant future.