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FITT Newsletter June Edition 2017

Dear Members,

Last month we launched our 2017 National Mentoring Program! Brisbane was the first city to launch and the Sydney and Melbourne events are kicking off in the next few weeks. Thanks to all the Mentees and Mentors for being involved in this rewarding program.

We have just announced our new round of networking events, taking place in Melbourne and Sydney this June. Denise Shiffman, Senior Vice President, JDI Product Management, Juniper Networks will be sharing her insights across both events, please join us for drinks, canapes and a great evening of networking!

In this issue we also profile Riana Henning from Juniper Networks and Paxus shares insights on how to get better balance between work and life. We are excited to share Megumi Miki’s global webinar “Quietly Powerful.” Register below to learn more about her experiences of getting talents recognised and succeeding as a quieter professional woman.

FitT is also pleased to announce our two new Silver Sponsors, Autodesk and AGL LTD. We also hear from Silver Sponsor Cisco as they share their Executive Shadow Program.

Finally there are currently three 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.

Michaeli Gotley
FITT Marketing Lead
On behalf of the FITT Management Committee

'Fitt Mentoring

FITT’s 2017
National Mentoring Programme


Now Launched



Brisbane kicked off this year’s Mentoring Program launch with Sydney and Melbourne to follow in the coming weeks. 2017 has seen an increase in Mentee applications and we thank all the Mentors who have reached out to meet this encouraging demand. Best wishes to all our Mentee and Mentor matches for a successful program ahead.
Mentoring Brisbane
Setting goals and objectives at the Brisbane Mentee training and launch at the Juniper offices, thanks Juniper!



FITT New Silver Sponsor




Autodesk makes software for people who make things. If you've ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you've experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software. Autodesk gives you the power to make anything. For more information visit or follow @autodesk.


FITT New Silver Sponsor




AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated energy companies and largest ASX listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation in the country. Proudly Australian since 1837.

Fitt Networking    

Networking evenings in Melbourne and Sydney


Sponsored by Juniper Networks

FitT are excited to announce our next round of Networking evenings in Melbourne and Sydney sponsored by Juniper Networks. Come and connect with like-minded women over a glass of wine and some delicious canapés.

We are excited to hear from Denise Shiffman, Senior Vice President, JDI Product Management from Juniper Networks, about building and leading highly successful teams in complex technology environments.

You are guaranteed to have fun and learn something along the way. It is a great opportunity to meet new people and catch up with friends. Come and join us for a fabulous evening of networking!

Sydney - Monday 19 June
Zeta Bar – 488 George Street, Sydney
6.00pm - 7.30pm

Melbourne - Thursday, 22 June
Ms Collins – 425 Collins Street, Melbourne
6.00pm - 7.30pm


FITT Executive


Riana Henning PMO Manager APAC – Juniper Networks

What is your current role and what is your scope?
Heading the Project Management Office in APAC, my role is to set the standard and continuously improve the standard of PS project delivery in line with the Global standard. In my role, I also support and manage the Project Managers to successfully deliver projects. A project is successful when delivered on time, within scope and within the planned cost. Successful projects lead to customer satisfaction from our internal and external customers. Part of this is also continuous improvement in project delivery and keeping up with the latest trends and methods. In my role it is important to promote Project Management in the company and build professional relationships with Account Teams and Support Teams.

What attracted you to a career in ICT?
My career started in education, but soon moved to an interesting position in an engineering consulting company. That was a while ago, still during the days of 286 computers running on MS-dos and when everything started moving away from ‘3 paper copies’ to computers. Moving from MS-dos to Windows was already a major step forward and IT operations became much easier. Always up for a new challenge, especially when the technology could improve business operations, I was attracted to a career in ICT.

What has kept you in the ICT industry?
Over the years I have worked in many areas of IT and Telecommunications. There is always new development in technology to keep it interesting. For example, mobile telecommunications was initially based on EWSD (the old fixed line telephone exchanges). I remember the days when we still had to figure out how to get voicemail to work. The EWSD technology was not designed for mobile networks and the way we use mobile phones. It brought challenges with integration, merging voice and data networks and much more, but emerged into modern technology that is much easier to implement and operate.

Just about everything runs on IT nowadays and with so much important information to store securely, it brought new opportunities. Now there is opportunity for automation. Not many people working outside the industry know how much technology sits behind a single phone call or a banking transaction, but they understand the frustration when the technology does not work. My journey in the ICT industry has always been interesting and I enjoy the balance of working with people and working in technology.

Have you had any high-points and low-points of your career? If so, can you please share?
Sometimes you need to prioritise family and I had to decline a role when my children were young and I could not travel too often or work long hours. That was not a low-point, but my children were only more important at the time. I have been fortunate in my career to work in large blue-chip companies that provided opportunities to grow in many areas, including an international relocation. In the early 2000’s I had the opportunity to work on a high profile project in Germany for three months and in 2008 my family and I had the opportunity to relocate to Australia. I had to take a few steps backwards after the relocation, but that provided time to settle in and learn the local business culture.

What does work life balance mean to you?
Work life balance is extremely important to me. In my role at work I can always be replaced, but as a person, as a wife and mother (even with grown up children), a daughter, a sister and aunt, I cannot be replaced. It is important to me to make time for my family and myself. My wider family live across four continents and it is important to keep contact and visit them as often as possible.

Having the privilege to work from home is a great benefit. It saves at least 3 hours unproductive travel time per day to use more efficiently than sitting on a bus.

What ambitions, either personal or professional do you still want to achieve?
No one knows how his or her life could change at any point in time, so it is important to live life to the fullest. At the end of it all, I want to look back without regrets of not following any opportunities. As in the past, I will grab opportunities along my journey and that way reach my potential. Working in global organisations always provides opportunities and I get bored as soon as work becomes a routine. I also want to get more involved in community work.

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?
Most of my career was in a ‘men’s world’, especially early on when there were not that many women in technology. I had learned very early that men are from mars and women are from venus. Men focus on achieving business and career objectives and emotions are not important to them. Women are more emotional. In the workplace, you need to focus on objectives and not take anything personal. When I was young, I would be upset about something someone has said the previous day, where men would forget it immediately after it was said.

Do you have any mantra or vision that you follow or which keeps you focused?
Where there's a will there's a way and you can achieve anything as a team.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
I love exploring places with family and friends. We do a lot of camping, hiking and a bit of cycling. When at home I enjoy gardening (growing jungles) and any crafts to keep the hands busy.

Paxus Logo

Striking a
balance between
work and life


With smart phones now a given, the days of clocking off at 5pm and switching off are long gone. In a world where 24/7 connectivity is now the norm, it is important to remember to take time for the things in life that make you happy.

In Australia, we have a long way to go in terms of striking a balance between work and life, with a recent study by Seek showing that only 60% of Australian’s are happy with their work life balance. Although some elements of balancing work and life are dependent on your employer such as flexible work hours and work from home options, there are still steps you can take to help you reduce stress, and make more time for the things you love. Here are our top tips:

Remember to take a break
Sounds easy enough - but all too often you end up eating lunch at your desk hunched over your computer, hastily taking bites of your sandwich as you type. Sound familiar? Numerous studies show that taking a break actually helps to keep you on schedule, refresh your attention span, improve creativity, boost memory and learning, and lower your stress. Even if only for half an hour, it is essential that you make sure you get away from your desk - you will be surprised by how much taking a break can actually improve your productivity.

Budget your time
Time is your most important asset, particularly if you have family commitments and need to get away from the office on time. Set out your tasks for each day and try to give yourself a rough timeframe for each. Competing against the clock will help you get tasks done faster, giving you more time to focus on other things.

Make the most of your commute
With inner city housing prices/rent through the roof, many people now have a 30-40+ minute daily commute. Think about how you can use your commute effectively to help you get your work done quicker. If you don’t already, use your morning commute to get organised for your day and respond to emails. If you catch the train, consider bringing your laptop, and get a head start with the day’s work. If you drive, make work calls on your way to work via hands free, or get your phone to read you your emails so you are already up to date when you arrive.

Be kind to yourself
No one can do it all, every day, 7 days a week – it’s just not physically possible! All too often people think they have to squeeze an impossible amount of tasks into every day. Putting pressure on yourself to achieve unrealistic goals will only make things worse – and this is when everything falls apart. Take the pressure off, set realistic, achievable goals, and realise that you can’t do everything all at the same time. If you give yourself a break, you will be less stressed, and have a clearer mind to get through what needs to be done.

Recognise priorities change, and that’s a good thing
Aspects of your life and work will become more prominent at different times, and that is a good thing. Life is not about either/or choices, and life is not always predictable, so it is unrealistic to think that you can have a particular work/life structure that you will be able to stick to. For example, if you have a health scare, or if you start a new business or job, those things will temporarily become your priority. Elements of work and life will take different seats at different times, so don’t stress if one momentarily takes over the other - it is all part of the balancing act.

Talk to your boss
If you have a good relationship with your boss, speak to them about some flexible work options. Maybe you can work from home one day a week to save you the commute, or perhaps you can start and finish earlier to miss some of the traffic. You will be surprised at how much these small tweaks to your schedule will help you get more done.

How Paxus can help If you are struggling with work life balance: Paxus can help you find an employer with the work flexibility that you need. Contact your local Paxus branch to discuss some of the most exciting technology and digital opportunities in the industry.

Quietly Powerful

Quietly Powerful

Get your talents
recognised and
succeed on your own
terms as a quieter
professional woman

What would it take for you to succeed on your own terms as a quieter professional woman?

  • Are you naturally quieter and feel hesitant about promoting yourself?
  • Do you feel like you have to be extroverted, dominant and vocal to get ahead in your career?
  • Have you ever felt like your ideas are not heard or taken seriously?
  • Do you feel exhausted having to pretend to be extroverted and trying to look confident?
  • Is it a disadvantage to be quiet/introverted?

At the end of a long career working at Accenture, ANZ and NAB, Megumi felt she answered ‘yes’ to all of the above questions and she had worked very hard and was feeling burnt out. She soon came to realise that the ‘fake it till you make it’ approach was not sustainable and unfulfilling so she decided to experiment with a different approach. Last year she launched Quietly Powerful Women to share her successes, challenges and learnings from working on becoming quietly powerful.

Do you know talented quieter professional women who could offer so much more?
Do you know quieter professional women who:

  • Are highly intelligent, deeply thoughtful with substance and not enough people recognise their talents?
  • Appear to hold themselves back when you know they have so much more to offer
  • If you understood them better, you could unlock their talents?

Join Megumi Miki to explore how you could become quietly powerful and support other quieter women to succeed on their own terms. Let’s work together to expand the definition of good leadership in organisations.

Over 400 women have attended her events since starting in August 2016 and Megumi’s articles such as "Do you have to be an extrovert to get ahead?" and "Don’t tell me to “Be more confident”" have gained a lot of attention. It looks like there are a lot of women who can relate to this challenge! In the Webinar we will discuss:

  • The challenges for quieter professional women, including one that many are not even aware of.
  • Can quiet/introversion be an advantage?
  • How can we become quietly powerful?

Please join us for the first ever global webinar on this topic, moderated by Collette Murray, Engagement and Programme Manager at London Business School Leadership Institute. Quieter women and men, managers and colleagues of talented quieter people are all welcome!

Date/Time: Wednesday 7th June, 6pm Australian Standard Eastern time

Follow the registration link: Webinar registration link



Cisco’s Executive
Shadow Program

The Executive Shadow Program sponsored by Cisco Connected Women is a global inclusion and collaboration initiative focused on providing Cisco employees with career development opportunities and exposure to the broader business via cross-functional pairing. The program was first piloted at Cisco’s headquarters in San Jose in 2009, and then later expanded to Cisco’s global locations. Since then, in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) it has been very successful, now running for 6 years.

In the program participants are matched with an executive for 4 - 6 hours of shadowing, through which they are provided with advice for development, advocacy for opportunities and leadership observation.

Georgia Borghesi is a Sydney-based employee and Connected Women member who participated in the initial ANZ pilot last year:
Georgia Borghesi
Participating in the Exec Shadow Program 2016 really opened my eyes to another area of the Cisco business. I was fortunate enough to be paired with Tara Ridley, Director of Services, who was super transparent, honest and giving of her time. While I had engaged in mentor relationships in the past, the Shadow Program allowed an insight into the day-to-day responsibilities of a director’s role. The timing of the program was perfect, while FY17 planning was occurring and Q4 was well underway, it allowed me to understand the Services business and importantly how I can better leverage it in my current sales role. The opportunity also exemplified how fortunate we are at Cisco to have such a positive sharing culture, in which directors willingly trust the salesforce to attend some really influential meetings.

The program in ANZ has officially launched for FY17 and it looks like it will be a huge success!


FITT Volunteer Role

Marketing Lead

“Manage and maintain the overall marketing strategy and vision”

Learning & Development Lead

“Provide opportunities for learning and mentoring”

Account Manager

“Grow & retain corporate partnerships”

Copyright © 2017 Females in IT and Telecommunications, All rights reserved.

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