#TechDiversity Foundation welcomes returning partner Vic ICT 4 Women

#TechDiversity and Vic ICT 4 Women are proud to announce their continuing partnership in support of the 2017 #TechDiversity Awards program. Vic ICT 4 Women is Victoria’s leading industry association dedicated to diversity in tech careers, with a specific focus on supporting women through the stages of entry, progression and retention. With programs that inform and support women right from school age all the way to the C-Suite, Vic ICT 4 Women ensures that female enthusiasm for ICT is encouraged, nurtured and passed along to the next generation of women. Notable programs include #BOLDMoves, which delivered a groundbreaking White Paper in late 2016, and Go Girl, a record-breaking program that successfully introduces the world of technology and its career paths to girls from years 7 to 11. This partnership enables the #TechDiversity Awards to better showcase the ongoing achievements of Vic ICT 4 Women in the gender diversity space, and to foster ideas and learning across the industry from these achievements. Chris Skipper-Conway, Chairperson for Vic ICT for Women, said: “Through Vic ICT 4 Women we showcase brave innovators and strong men and women and at the same time deliver regular programs that support and encourage women throughout their career. ” “We amplify the message and walk the talk by supporting others through their journey in Tech and Digital. The #TechDiversity Awards gives us all a collaborative platform for sharing those stories, ideas, courage, and passion, which will pave the way for technology innovation and business success.” Co-founder of the #TechDiversity Foundation and convener of the awards, Deirdre Diamante, believes rewarding these efforts is essential to promoting inclusion within STEM. “Our vision for #TechDiversity is to help others and ourselves to be courageous and committed enough to take initiative and demonstrate leadership, with the long-term view to achieving true equality and a voice for all,” Diamante said. “The #TechDiversity Foundation is proud to collaborate with leading organisations and anticipates a sustained partnership effort that spearheads diversity within technology.” Award nominations from individuals and groups are now open via the #TechDiversity Awards website and will close midnight Friday 23 June 2017. Awards will be presented at a gala dinner on 2 August 2017, culminating in the announcement of the #TechDiversity Champion and Victorian Innovation Minister’s Diversity Award.

Victorian Honour Roll of Women – 2017 Inductees

Vic ICT for Women extends congratulations to the latest Inductees to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women which recognises outstanding achievements of women past and present across a broad range of communities and endeavours. We are particularly pleased to see Wendy Steendam, Deputy Commissioner of Victoria Police and Karen Hayes, CEO of Guide Dogs Victoria amongst those honoured this year. Both Wendy and Karen have shared their stories with members of Vic ICT for Women as speakers at our Importance of Women events in recent years and impressed all with their passion and unfailing commitment to making a difference in the lives of many women across Victoria.

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2017 – #BeBoldForChange

On behalf of Vic ICT for Women we wish each and every one of you a happy International Women’s Day. It’s up to each of us, not just today but every day, to do our part in living the message of International Women’s Day 2017 and “Be Bold For Change”. We thank you all for your support and active involvement in participating in our programs aimed at turning the tide and gaining a balanced workplace for women who work in the IT and Digital space that allows all genders to reach their potential. Chris Skipper-Conway Chair of Vic ICT for Women

The words “maybe”, “second best”, and “too hard” don’t feature in my vocabulary…

I come from a small town in South Africa, a place with amazing diversity but with an unacceptable racial divide.  I learnt at an early age to aspire to change what I thought was wrong – and if roadblocks appeared, find a way to go around. My parents were English Catholic migrants desperate to fit in. I was always different.  I made my decision to leave family, friends and a cushy job as Assistant Accountant for Mercedes Benz in Johannesburg before I let myself conform to fit in! I travelled, did a range of jobs overseas that would never have fitted the mould back home and met an Aussie, came to Australia and became the mother of 2 amazing children who brought a new dimension to my life – gave up the rebel and settled down – but only for a while.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section]

How I turned my back on crime

I am by nature a competitive being, not sure if it was something instilled in me, or just something I felt growing up. It was simply that I had to do well, excel and be better than others. This was not in a bad way, but rather I measured my success on where others were at. This was to also play a part during my career. I often felt that women had to go above and beyond what men did or over achieve to be seen as successful. I started my IT journey in the 90s – it was a time of high interest rates, high unemployment rates – the recession hits hard, families start to lose jobs and their homes. One morning I began the process of looking for work. Failing to find a role suitable to my qualifications (BA (Hons), Post Grad in Criminology, ) I became a bit despondent. I held two degrees but no role to be found, yet there was water everywhere (in a vast pond called Information Technology), but not a drop to drink for me.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row]So Today, I have been –        Board member –        Mentor –        Blogger –        Go Girl Program Director –        Senior IT leader –        A mother –        A wife, a friend, a colleague Tomorrow, I want to –        Leave a legacy behind, that I have made a difference to those coming after me