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FITT Newsletter February 2016

Dear Members,

Happy ‘Leap Year’ February. It’s hard to believe that we’re already into the second month of the year and Christmas (and the summer break) seems so long ago.

As you can see, we’ve been extra busy over recent months – creating our new look, new FITT branding. We hope you like our refreshed, revitalised FITT branding as much as we do. We feel that it captures the vibrant kaleidoscope of different elements that make up our wonderful ICT community.

I’d like to make an extra note of thanks to Jeannine and Dom and the 2Camels team for their tremendous work and incredibly generous pro bono support in creating the new look FITT branding. If you want to refresh your brand, the FITT team would encourage you to speak with 2Camels.

Thanks also to Chris and the YouChoose team for their incredible work in creating our new FITT website. We’ve tried to make our new site easier to navigate and more relevant to our member network and FITT community. We hope you like it.

Special thanks to Maggie Jackson of FITT who has been a valuable, enthusiastic member of our re-branding team.

This month we are very pleased to be bringing you not one, but two, executive profiles. You can read about Wendy Anderson of Cisco and also learn more about one of our 2016 IWD panel members, Tara Commerford, Managing Director of GoDaddy.

This leads me to urge anyone who has not already booked tickets to attend our 2016 IWD events to do so now. Tickets are selling fast and we now have only limited space available.

This month we are delighted to include an article from former FITT Management Committee Member, Cat Walkerden who has started her own blog ‘Techno Femme’. We’re sure you will enjoy Cat’s insights.

As you know, each year FITT’s Corporate Diversity report provides valuable insights and information in relation to women in the ICT workplace, diversity programs and more. If you want to make sure your voice is included, please take a few minutes to complete the survey today HERE

Until next month, keep smiling and stay ‘FITT’.


Kerryn Nelson

Newsletter Editor and FITT Marketing Lead
On Behalf of the FITT Management Committee




IWD 2016 Speaker

Tara Commerford

Managing Director,


1. What is your current role and what is your scope?

I’m the Managing Director of GoDaddy Australia & NZ. GoDaddy is the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses. I’m responsible for establishing our operations in this region, accelerating business growth and promoting GoDaddy’s products and services in ANZ, including domain name registrations, websites and SME productivity tools.

2. What attracted you to a career in ICT?

I’ve worked across a number of industries – starting my career in traditional media in a publisher role leading growth into North America and Asia for my then employer, after which I made the switch into technology. I have over 15 years’ international and commercial experience in the operation, management and expansion of companies with a focus on market entry, business development, team-building and brand strategy.
I’ve always gravitated to fast paced roles, out of the box business models and companies with an entrepreneurial way of operating - and we see a lot of that in ICT; you get a lot of opportunities to build, transform, change and innovate quickly, which is unique to this sector.

3. What has kept you in the ICT industry?

There is so much to love about this industry – the pace of change, problem solving, fast decision-making and tangible outputs. I enjoy being in the business of creating meaningful technology that actually helps people.

4. Have you had any high-points and low-points of your career? If so, can you please share?

Highs and lows are inevitable but it’s important to remember the lows can be turned into opportunities to learn from and refine for personal and professional growth. I’ve spent much of my career in roles building businesses and brands from the ground up.

Prior to my role at GoDaddy, I was leading LinkedIn’s brand and partnership strategy in Australia and Southeast Asia. I was part of the founding team for LinkedIn in Australia in 2010 so it’s great to be back in startup mode again.

5. What does work life balance mean to you?

Understanding and accepting that balance isn’t equal. For me, it’s about prioritising every day and making sure I find purpose and meaning both at work and outside of it.

6. What ambitions, either personal or professional do you still want to achieve?

In my role at GoDaddy, I’m currently in build phase with a focus on establishing our presence in the local market. I get to work alongside great people, and for a company with a vision that I can align to.

I also serve on the board of a NFP – the parent company of an Employee Assistance Program provider. Given most of us spend more than half our waking hours at work, I’m passionate about providing people with support within the workplace and empowering HR to be equipped to better care for their staff.

On a personal note, I have a 40 before 40 bucket list that I’m ticking off at the moment!

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?

Never think you’re ‘stuck’ in a role or with a company – you have to always find opportunities to move, transform & grow. I also think it’s important to work for a company that truly appreciates your contribution.

Watch, observe and consider whether you identify with the company, its leader or their business approach and whether it aligns to your values.

8. Do you have any mantra or vision that you follow or which keeps you focused?

The opening line of Rick Warren’s global bestseller, “The Purpose Driven Life” sums things up nicely; “It’s not about you”. It’s about understanding that when you shift your focus off yourself to others, you become a better leader, a better person

9. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?

I enjoy spending time in central west NSW where we run an Angus cattle stud. I also enjoy serving the community through C3 city church at Darlinghurst.




Wendy Anderson

Services Director,


What is your current role and what is your scope?

Technical Services Director – Strategy, Operations & Planning, APJC
To drive transformation and execution across the Technical Services organisation, responsible for all Strategy, Business Operations & Planning activities for Asia Pacific, Japan and China.

What attracted you to a career in ICT?

I wanted to work in an industry that was new. At the start of my career, 26 years ago PC’s and broad scale business software were in their infancy.

What has kept you in the ICT industry?

The speed of change within the Technology industry and market has been exponential, especially in the last 10 years, this keeps the industry exciting and challenging!

Have you had any high-points and low-points of your career? If so, can you please share?

I have been fortunate to meet some very talented people; Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer from Microsoft and the UK Prime Minster and Chancellor. 

Late last year I was nominated for the ARN Women in ICT Achievement Award for which I feel very proud and humbled. Some of my low points have been when I have changed career path or role and that has meant also leaving great teams, colleagues and leaders.

What does work life balance mean to you?

This can be seen as a challenge, by that I mean technology supports the ‘always on mentality’. For me, work life balance is being able to work in an environment where you have the flexibility, and that your organisation supports you, to work where and at times when you work. I am pleased to say that Cisco embraces and supports that culture.

What ambitions, either personal or professional do you still want to achieve?

There are many! I am learning the Japanese language, which I am determined to master.

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?

It’s ok to not have a clearly thought-out career plan. Your early experiences and opportunities will help to define your thinking and often impacts your path, whether defined or not. 

Do you have any mantra or vision that you follow or which keeps you focused?

Have an opinion; do not be frightened to speak up.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?

A cliché possibly, but spending time with my husband, going for a run and enjoying some of the fantastic cuisine that Sydney has to offer are often top of the agenda!

Women’s Day
2016 -

Friday 4 March, 2016

Wednesday 16 March, 2016 BOOK HERE

If you haven’t already booked your tickets for FITT’s International Women’s Day events in Melbourne and Sydney, make sure should do so soon – so you don’t miss out!

We are thrilled to let you know that we have we will be joined at both events by special guest keynote presenter Lynwen Connick - First Assistant Secretary, Cyber Policy and Intelligence Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

We also have a fabulous panel of guest speakers that will inspire you with their insights and knowledge within the ICT sector.

IWD 2016 Melbourne Speakers – Friday 4 March 2016

  • IWD Master of Ceremonies & Panel Facilitator : Sarah Adam Gedge – Managing Director and Corporate Vice President, Australia, Avanade
  • Sue Bailey – Vice President, Future of Yes, Optus
  • Joanna Batstone – Head of Research, IBM
  • Sharryn Napier - Vice President & Regional Director Australia & NZ, Qlik
  • Vanessa Sulikowski – Distinguished System Engineer, Cisco
  • Margie Warrell – Author, Speaker & Forbes Columnist

IWD 2016 Sydney Speakers – Wednesday 16 March 2016

  • IWD Master of Ceremonies & Panel Facilitator : Sarah Adam Gedge – Managing Director and Corporate Vice President, Australia, Avanade
  • Kate Burleigh – Managing Director, Intel Australia
  • Tara Commerford – Managing Director, GoDaddy
  • Pip Marlow - Managing Director, Microsoft
  • Sharryn Napier - Vice President & Regional Director Australia & NZ, Qlik
  • Dr Susan Pond - Steering Committee Co-Chair, Science in Gender Equity (SAGE)
It is going to be an amazing celebration for International Women’s Day.

Make sure you book your tickets today!

Stay tuned to what’s happening with the 2016 IWD series by following us on Facebook & Twitter: pages/Females-in-Information-Technology-Telecommunications-FITT/131291833615373 FITT_AU

Go to our website to see more details of IWD 2016 Speakers and book your tickets today HERE

FITT Member Survey

There is still time for your voice to be heard in our annual membership survey. Thanks to those who have already completed this important survey, which aims to help us understand both the wider ICT industry but also how FITT can engage more efficiently with our members. This is the last chance to give us your thoughts and opinions.

Membership Survey will close March 11th. The survey is available HERE


FITT volunteer role

Subcommittee Member -
Video Learning

Read More



FITT Industry Article


Catriona Walkerden
‘Achieving Balance’



There has been a lot written about what, when and how women should to pursue their career dreams whilst managing their biological/evolutionary responsibilities. A recent statement I mulled over is ‘Women can have it all but not all at the same time’.

Aside from the obvious that the statement is true for anyone, male or female I have personally pondered over my own ambitions and the recent decision I took to ‘fold’ my cards in order to give more time to the things that required more focus in my life.

Almost 4 years ago, I was invited along to A VMware diversity council event, sold by the promise of free bubbles and canapés, I took my seat, ready to sit through a talk and have a chance to raid the buffet and chat to a few people after. I was always a fairly ambitious but adopted a head down bum up approach that many of us do.

The speaker took the podium, and what I was expecting a vibrato delivery of a corporate robot, devoid of gender or personality, what I heard was a stark contrast to that which made me sit up in my seat. A soft Irish accent, delivered with humility and humour, recounting her Journey from developer to CIO in just a few years.

A workaholic’s reflection on achieving balance Knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em by Catriona Walkerden The speaker, Grainne Kearns, now Jetstar CIO, spoke authentically about the need to develop a network, and put into it as much as you take out. The need to use what you have, working smarter not harder and that the head down bum up approach does not always pay rewards, especially to the minority female population in the IT industry.

That 30 minute talk changed my life. I went home talked to my partner (now husband) about what I wanted to do in my life and set about a plan to get more involved with the industry.

I researched some organisations that involved women and IT, there were some local ones and national but I decided to offer my help or services to females in IT and Telco (FITT). By some strange fate, FITT were looking for marketing volunteers and I became involved straight away, by some even stranger fate a role on the management committee came up 3 months later, after short contemplation and concern over the time commitment, I jumped at the chance.

The three plus years that followed has given me something a course or job experience never could. I got to contribute to a think tank comprised of some of the most brilliant dynamic women from a range of disciplines all committed to a world where gender diversity wasn’t an issue anymore.

I got the best observational mentoring a fledgling leader could imagine, watching big picture strategy discussion, program management and conflict being managed by some exceptionally smart women. In my own development, I began to speak and write (my passion) on a topic (gender diversity) that I was becoming a subject matter expert on. I wrote for the Diversity Council of Australia, Technology decisions and Women’s Agenda and interviewed with so many publications including Marie Claire and BRW.
See the full article and link to techno femme on our website HERE

FITT Sponsor

Keen to work with a young and dynamic specialist in data analytics service based in Sydney, Australia? FITT's corporate partner, Phoenix HSL is looking for talented individuals for a few key roles:
Senior Market Quant Analyst
Junior Quant Analyst
.NET Developers (Junior and Mid level)
Visit Phoenix HSL Here or contact Ashdown People Here to  find out more


FITT Sponsor

Read about how Tech and ICT brands are dominating according to independent brand valuation. Telstra has now overtaken supermarket giant Woolworths to become Australia’s most valuable brand. Read more of the CRN article HERE

TEXT100 Joins FITT
to Support 2016 IWD Event Series

FITT is delighted to announce that Text100 Australia have partnered with FITT to support our 2016 International Women’s Day event series.



The Text100 team will be working with FITT to bring our event series – and the important theme of ‘Educating and Empowering Women for Future Roles in ICT’ - to the attention of the media and the wider ICT industry.

“Text100 is delighted to come on board as FITT’s integrated communications partner and we are excited to be supporting the International Women’s Day event. Empowering women to pursue careers in ICT is an extremely important initiative and we look forward to working closely with the team, and the broader ICT community to continue to raise awareness and drive change,” said Karen Wells, Managing Consultant, Text100 Australia.

About Text100:
Our work combines digital expertise, traditional PR and influencer relations for B2B and B2C brands. We’ve built and executed campaigns that deliver on our clients’ business goals, setting the agenda on topics ranging from sustainability and technology innovation, to executive leadership and the workplace of the future.

Find out more about Text100:

FITT Media

A summary of the month’s social media posts

"We are very pleased to welcome a new social media guru to the FITT Marketing team this month – Louisa Partridge. Louisa is a senior marketing specialist for Telstra and is a valuable FITT volunteer in her spare time.

Louisa has found that the the top 3 ‘FITT Friendly’ posts from Facebook in January were:

1. IBM Asks Women In Tech To Hack The Hair Dryer, Women Tweet Back To Let IBM Know It’s Not the 1950’s.

2. Silicon Valley V.C. Firm Can’t Find Any Women. The problem is you, not him.

3. Fresh calls for education overhaul and new targets for women in tech.

Copyright © 2016 Females in IT and Telecommunications, All rights reserved.

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