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FITT Newsletter November 2016

Dear Members,

November is an exciting month as we look forward to our inaugural Executive Forum with keynote speaker David Thodey. Mr Thodey is a compelling speaker and I look forward to seeing our membership community there to hear more about the importance of encouraging Australia’s future STEM leaders.

We also celebrate the end of another mentoring period – FITT’s mentoring program is an invaluable way to create connections and gain learning experiences from others.

There has been some interesting news on the topic of diversity in the workplace shared in this issue. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency recently released its latest scorecard on pay equity for females and showed that while there has been more progress, we still have a long way to go on the gender pay gap. There was positive news with moves from BHP on changing its hiring processes to help reach its target of 50% women in its workforce. Australian Reseller News has also share some interesting articles in the lead up to its Women in ICT Awards.

Our executive profile from Isentia offers some interesting insights on the changing demands on IT and the CIO role, and Juniper provides some information on its graduate program for those of you embarking on the beginning of your career.

Finally I would like to extend a warm welcome to Allyson Corcoran who has joined the FITT Management Committee as our Finance Lead. Allyson has had a long career at Cisco Systems and is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the APAC region. It’s fantastic to have Allyson’s volunteering her precious time to FITT.

Michaeli Gotley
On Behalf of the FITT Management Committee

Don't Miss our
FITT 2016 Executive Forum Luncheon


Why we need to encourage Australia’s Future STEAM Leaders

Tuesday 29 November, 2016

Ticket sales to FITT’s inaugural Executive Forum with David Thodey close TODAY! Join us for this special event with a keynote address from David Thodey – “Why we need to encourage Australia’s future STEAM leaders” and be part of the conversation on Australia’s future.

Ticket sales close TODAY -  Wednesday 23rd November so book NOW!

As Chair of CSIRO and Jobs NSW, David Thodey is significant voice on the importance of STEAM in organizational transformation and in creating an environment for innovation and growth in the age of digital disruption. Don’t miss this opportunity to network with your peers and be part of the discussion on securing Australia’s digital future.

Date: Tuesday 29 November, 2016
Time: 12.00pm – 12.30pm – Registrations & networking
12.30pm – 2.30pm – Lunch and keynote presentation by David Thodey
2.30pm – Close

Doltone House, Hyde Park - Level 3, 181 Elizabeth Street, Sydney

$165.00 + GST (single ticket)
$1600.00 + GST (table of 10)
•Special rates available for FITT corporate partners

Ticket bookings close at 5.00pm AEST on Wednesday 23 November, 2016


Kerryn Nelson, Big Mouth Marketing Communications & Events
P: 03 9785 3050



Andrea Walsh

Chief Information Officer, Isentia


What is your current role and what is your scope?

As Chief Information Officer, I lead the IT function at Isentia. That involves all areas of IT, right from conception and analysis, design, discovery, fact finding – to providing and proposing solutions, and through to execution and supporting it as well.

At Isentia, we don’t just deliver a ‘downloadable’ product -- it is software as a service, our platform Mediaportal, and making sure data is available in Mediaportal. So IT covers the application, the data, and the infrastructure. The scope is both broad and deep.

2. What attracted you to a career in ICT?

I really like the constant change, I find it really interesting. I like the challenges that it brings, and sometimes that can feel uncomfortable, but more often it’s very energising. I had the opportunity when I was doing my degree for a placement, and it was really interesting to see how IT can enable outcomes and do things faster than humans… and get rid of the mundane stuff, to free up people’s time.

I first studied business and travel, followed by a degree in business information systems, and a Master of Business in Information Technology management at UTS in Sydney. The Masters was very practical and helped me move up from leading project management teams to the director level.

3. What has kept you in the ICT industry?

The continuous change as I mentioned earlier. I really like working with diverse people you get to work with a whole range of individuals with different skills, which I really enjoy. I do wish there were more women!

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

Any of the projects where we’ve committed to deliver a business outcome, and it is realised (in any role), that is always a high for me. It’s a really good feeling bringing that diverse group of people together, when you see people connect and they get that ‘flow’. I get a real kick out of that.

I see ‘lows’ as an opportunity to learn from the experience. Are projects late, or is there an outage or a service disruption… it’s disappointing, because you know you’re impacting clients. But it’s all about what we can do from here to move forward and keep learning.

5. What does work life balance mean to you?

It’s a strange concept! It ebbs and flows, I don’t really think about it. You have to find your own way and make things happen. I have a very supporting partner, who also travels a lot, and a young daughter. It’s just about checking calendars. You’ll be busy one time and free the next, so it’s just about working it out.

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

I did start some work last year, in relation to providing technology for children who are underprivileged, to get an education. I see technology as a big enabler - it will never replace face to face education, but then there are some children in the world that will never have that opportunity. So that’s using my professional experience for a personal goal.

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?

Take the learnings from everything. Every encounter, every milestone. Good, bad or indifferent, take the learnings from it. It took me a while to pick up on that, so I would say start as early as possible. Also, don’t stress the small stuff.

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

Yes. I’m big on commitment. Do what you say you were going to do, when you said you were going to do it. If you can’t, that’s okay, but know that you’ve tried everything to get it done. That for me is the bottom line, I say it to my team all the time.

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

I love spending time with family and friends. It’s so busy Monday to Friday, that weekends are really precious and very much friends and family-focused.

It’s time to Celebrate Our Mentoring Success


As Another Year Comes to An End...It’s Time to Celebrate Our Mentoring Success


Celebrate! FITT Mentoring will be hosting closing celebrations in early December. Mentors and mentees are invited to join us to acknowledge and celebrate what they have accomplished in their time together. Full details will be sent to all 2016 program participants via email.

Next month we will show our appreciation for the time and contributions of the mentors, formally acknowledge the value of the program and reflect on the professional and personal development our mentees and mentors have experienced over the last 8 months. Given your very busy schedules, below are some key activities and dates:

Last Week
Full details about the closing celebration arrangements in your location will be sent via email to all program participants.

This Week
Reflecting on the mentorship: A pre-close worksheet will be sent to mentees to complete in preparation for ‘wrap-up’ discussions with your mentor.

Week Commencing 28th November 2016
Program Evaluation and Review: All program participants will be asked to complete an online program evaluation survey.

Week Commencing 5th December 2016
Bringing closure is a further opportunity for growth on the part of both partners. It's an opportunity to receive feedback on this joint experience, the highs and the challenges and what you have learned and gained from participating in the program.

We look forward to celebrating with you next month.



FITT Sponsor

Juniper Graduate Program


Fuel innovation. Have fun. Make a difference. Graduate Opportunities 2017!

Would you like...
- The opportunity to launch your career by working with key industry technical experts at the heart of technology?
- To challenge yourself and expand your knowledge in an environment that is focused on attracting and developing female employees?
- To develop your current skills and acquire new ones in a global company?

Kick-start your career.
Juniper Networks invites you to:
- Gain experience in the dynamic and innovative IT networking industry
- Explore your passion and discover new talents
- Develop critical professional skills that are the foundation for a strong career.

Why Juniper Networks?
At Juniper Networks we are proud of our technical heritage and we’ve built teams of highly talented and ambitious technical experts who work daily with the world’s largest companies. We challenge ourselves to solve the unsolved. We’re looking for graduates interested in a career in networking who can join us in our North Sydney and Melbourne offices to become part of our Sales Engineering team from late January 2017.

In these newly formed roles, you’ll be part of a collaborative culture that rewards hard work and success. You will work as part of a wider community that supports our Partner community to be the best they can be. Where you make meaningful connections with industry leaders, build the next generation of technology, and own huge ideas right from the start.

Our mission: Your ideas. Connected.
Juniper builds more than just networks. We build careers. We invest in you from day one:
- We offer you business, professional skills and technical training
- We offer training trips within the APAC region
- You deliver work that matters and makes an impact from day one

About Juniper
Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. Our team co-innovates with our customers and partners to deliver the most automated, scalable and secure networks with agility, performance and value.

At Juniper Networks you’ll see how we value the ideas and contributions of every colleague. How we leverage your talent, intellect and creativity. This allows you to make your mark from the start, and to learn and grow. Learn more about how Juniper not only want to attract women but also engage and develop women globally:

If you have a credit average or above, and will complete your studies by the end of 2016 in Engineering (Computer, Networking or Telecommunications) or Computer Science, then please send through your cover letter, resume with completed academic transcript in a single PDF document to by November 11, 2016. Ensure your resume outlines any extracurricular or volunteer activities you are involved in.

Please place the word ‘Sydney’ or ‘Melbourne” in the subject field, followed by ‘your name’ and your ‘degree’.
Your ideas. Connected.



We aren’t all that comic book guy

Karissa A. Breen

Here you are sitting in the meeting with your coffee and then all of a sudden you hear “…are you the IT person”… awkward silence arises. A response of “yes” is shortly then conveyed to the group.

As females it is sometimes perceived that it is out of the question to potentially have a woman in an IT based role. Well it is and times are changing. In the world, we often paint people with certain brushes which can be wrong. It is probably because we have all watched Mr Robot and he is a male, so therefore all IT based people are therefore male… makes sense doesn’t it?

But how do we as a society change the way in which our economy perceives IT practitioners, especially females? We want to be able to be proud as women to break that stereotypical “comic book guy” approach and actually work collaboratively with others to create innovative solutions. We also want to encourage more and more females to lead our organisations and be the ones backing our future development.

What do you think the challenges are in your work place as a female? How do you think we can work as ladies to bring each other up and not tear each other down?

Have thoughts?
Write to me,
That is all,

Karissa Breen is currently working as a BDM for and IT service provider and has a back ground in Cyber Security and consulted to financial institutions. Karissa is also a Cyber Security feature writer for the national Security Solutions Magazine and publishes her own IT blog. Karissa also is a volunteer contributor of FITT and ISC2 Sydney Chapter, a security meet up.



Food for thought

News and thought leadership highlights for the month

Here are some articles that grabbed the attention of our FITT volunteers this month

Can Aussie women equal men in IT leadership roles? Australian sentiment towards women in technology more reassuring than global counterparts. – Australian Reseller News

Your body language shapes who you are with Amy CuddyTed Talk

Australia’s Latest Gender Equity Scorecard Released TodayWorkplace Gender Equality Agency

Why did thousands of Icelandic women leave work at 2.38pm? - HR Grapevine


FITT Volunteer Role

IT Manager
Volunteer Position
Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane




FITT Media

A summary of the month’s social media posts


Here are the top 3 articles shared on our social media channels – thanks to our Social Media manager Louisa Partridge

1. Can Aussie women equal men in IT leadership roles?

2. Three lessons I’ve learned during my career in IT

3. Tech Firms Borrow Football Play to Increase Hiring of Women

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

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