Welcome to the March edition of the FITT Newsletter, I would like to thank everyone for the support we received for the FITT 2017 International Women’s Day Luncheon’s and welcome all new members who have joined the FITT community after attending these events.
In this issue we recap on the success of IWD and the feedback we have received from the Keynotes presented by entrepreneur Solange Cunin from Cuberider, and Kelly Ferguson, CIO of Origin Energy. This newsletter also includes some interesting and informative articles from our sponsors. We introduce our new FITT sponsors SMS and PluralSight, and hear from gold sponsors Avanade and ISentia as they share their opinions on current issues for women in the IT industry.
We hope you enjoy our latest issue.
FITT Marketing Lead
On behalf of the FITT Management Committee
The 2017 International Women’s Day Luncheon
‘Be Bold for Change’
We had close to 600 people at each event in Sydney and Melbourne, which was a fantastic turnout. We were lucky enough to hear from Kelly Ferguson, Origin CIO and Solange Cunin, CEO Founder and of Cuberider, and students from the Cuberider programme in Sydney. Both Kelly and Solange are amazing women with a stellar career trajectory and much ahead of them, and it was amazing to hear their personal stories of their journeys.
Solange is a country girl from Grafton whose childhood living off the grid left her fascinated with the brilliant stars. Her journey to the stars started with harassing her parents for a telescope and – whilst it is far from over, has her payloads being loaded onto the International space station. She’s liaised with 16 foreign governments, NASA and the ISS – whilst successfully running her company which trains high school students to code. She’s just turned 24.
Kelly is really not that much older and spoke eloquently about the women who have made her successful. She’s managed to grow her gender diversity to 60% from 0 in just 12 months. I get the feeling she doesn’t really understand the meaning of 'can’t'. She reminded us that we all rest on the shoulders of the women who lift us up, who support us, who send us on our way to be a little more confident, informed, and connected than we were before. She’s never forgotten them and she takes her responsibility to pay it forward seriously. Watching her reflexively support the young students on stage and engage and support them at lunch was heartening and gives me great hope going forward.
The Cuberider students from East Hill Technical College that joined us were no less impressive, and so when I asked who wanted to hire them at the end of the lunch the whole room raised their hands. They have bright futures and, thanks to Solange, a head start in technical careers. I can’t wait to hear from them a few years from now.
An inspiring panel of women featured at FITT’s IWD Luncheon
In Melbourne we were joined by graduate programme staff from our Platinum sponsor, Telstra. I was struck by their stories – again, so articulate, amazing and so young – of the lack of female role models and the characterisation of engineering as unfeminine and unsexy. It’s so important we change this story for these girls and young women.
So to that end I’d like to flag the programme we are embarking on for next year’s International Women’s Day. This year, women went on strike from paid and unpaid work, and whilst that sent an important message, there’s another, more critical one. Young women and girls need to see female role models in tech, in business, everywhere. The amazing women we heard from need to tell their stories and we need to give the young women from schools like East Hills Technical a way forward. Someone from the audience asked what their biggest challenges were and their answers were saddening – having their options limited by the roles their families deemed “acceptable” for women, and just being girls. We need to show them a different way.
So this year, let’s not strike. We need to be visible. We need to be seen. We need to run business, government and tech to show the world we can do it. So next year, let’s send the boys home. Please get in touch with FITT around your desire to participate – we’d like as many corporates as possible to promote their most senior women into the next job up, on March 8th 2018. We may not have our events actually on IWD next year – we’re all going to be too busy running the country. So see you next year on March 8th in the boardroom, in the office, and sometime later for lunch, where we can share our experiences. #sendtheboyshome
I hope you will all, like me, be looking forward to the release of the corporate diversity report, stay tuned for details on the events in Melbourne and Sydney.
- Jacqui McNamara, FITT Chair
in the Media
FITT’s IWD lunches were featured in the media. In case you missed it on the day, here is some of the new coverage:
The FITT Management Committee warmly welcomes our newest Silver Sponsors – Pluralsight and SMS Management & Technology. They have joined our growing community of Corporate Sponsors to support the promotion of diversity in the IT&T industry.
SMS is a leader in advisory, solutions, managed services and recruitment. Our Diversity & Inclusion Working Group actively progresses our diversity agenda, promoting the merits of inclusivity both internally and for our clients and wider community. Partnering with Females in IT & Telecommunications is one of the ways we support this important message. http://www.smsmt.com/
Pluralsight is the global leader in online learning for technology skills. We are on a mission to democratise professional technology learning for people around the world. We believe our content and our people can be a powerful catalyst to inspire and enable more people to choose and train for technology careers. www.pluralsight.com
FITT Sponsor Avande Featured in 'Where Women Work'
FITT Gold Sponsor Avande has recently been featured in the ‘Where Women Work Magazine’. Since their Diversity and Inclusion programme was launched in 2011, there has been a 40 per cent increase in the number of women joining Avanade as new hires worldwide. To read the full article follow the below link and go to page 7-9
Andrea Walsh - CIO of ISentia has been featured in IT Wire discussing how current moves to increase the number of women in the industry are not working. The article touches on pay gaps, the lack of female CIO’s and programmes for women interested in tech industries. Read the full article by following the below link: Female CIO calls for more women in tech
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Learning & Development Lead
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