2017 Annual Report

The Board of VIC ICT for Women is pleased to present our Annual Report for 2017. You can download a PDF here or view the slideshow below. We wanted to extend our thanks to the Board for their tireless work over the past year to deliver programs and support women in tech careers, and especially wanted to extend our thanks to our many volunteers who truly make great things happen. Thank you. Vic ICT for Women 2017 Annual Report from Row Murray

Australian businesses warned to prepare now for legislative changes on way

Australian businesses have been warned that they need to start preparing for legislative changes that will be introduced early next year. The long-awaited Notifiable Data Breaches Bill legislates that from February 2018, businesses can no longer keep quiet about cyber security breaches.  The Bill legislates that any organisation that is accountable to the Privacy Act will be required to inform the Australian Information Commissioner and members of the public if their data has been compromised. The new legislation mandates that businesses must notify government authorities as soon as is practical of a business being aware, or ought to reasonably be aware, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a serious data breach. The Bill brings Australia into alignment with other countries and will provide Australians with greater clarity about the privacy of their personal information. There have been a number of highly publicised breaches in Australia, and plenty of evidence that organisations haven’t had effective process or procedures in place to prevent the breaches. Not informing affected parties has also been an ongoing trend among companies. Australian cyber-security provider Alanta-Group CEO Rodd Cunico said there were an estimated 14,800 cybersecurity incidents affecting Australian businesses in 2015/16. These have resulted in significant direct and indirect costs, relating both to resources to investigate the extent of the intrusion, understanding the harm and the legal costs when impacted third parties may sue for negligence or breach of contract. Cyber attacks include information warfare, cyber espionage, cyber crime, cracking and cyber terror. Motivations include military or political dominance, gaining intellectual property, economic gain, ego and political change, he says. Cyber security is the responsibility of every single person within an organisation, he says. “The threat from cyber and terrorist acts has never been greater. Almost daily we hear of organisations and nation states that have been compromised, lost critical business or customer data, held to ransom or suffered material damage to their reputations,” Cunico says. “I’ve watched these risks amplify in line with the adoption of mobile devices, social applications, cloud computing and the ever-increasing range of internet and digital services including IOT connected devices.” Preventing your organisation requires coordinated efforts throughout an information system. These includes looking at application security, information security, network security, disaster recovery, operational security and end-user education, Cunico says. “Your organisation is only as strong as your weakest link. It’s paramount that employees understand the importance of avoiding phishy emails, keeping software updated, using secure internet connections and multiple strong passwords or multi-factor authentication. Chris Skipper-Conway is the CEO of Melbourne specialist IT recruitment firm GMT People. She has noticed a rapid increase in the number of employers seeking specialist IT experts with a demonstrated understanding of cyber security. “Cyber security is big business in Australia, and employers are constantly approaching us with specialist requests for IT experts with experience in the IT space. It’s not surprising given that cyber breaches result in billions of dollars’ worth of financial gain around the world every single …

Good luck to Board Member Kellee Ireland

Kellee Ireland

VICT4W is absolutely thrilled for our Board Member, Kellee Ireland, on being a 2017 finalist for the Telstra Business Women of the Year (Corporate and Private). With over 600 applicants, we’re thrilled she’s made it this far. You can read the press release here: https://www.telstrabusinesswomensawards.com/news/2017/victorian-finalists-with-generous-intentions-announced-in-telstra-business-womens-awards/ Kellee Ireland is no stranger to hard work. She was already employed full-time in the spatial industries and raising three children when she added part-time study to her load. She was then promoted to the role of Executive Director of the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) and after 9 years has recently taken up the challenge at Spookfish, a cutting edge spatial industries tech start-up. Kellee works with some of Australia’s finest thinkers in geospatial information systems – the technology that uses data to show where, why and how things happen. This technology is now available to consumers via their smartphones. Having state and federal governments regularly engage with SIBA events to shape policy around digital transformation and data, Kellee has been a crucial bridge between the various stakeholders in this growing industry. As an advocate for women in business and leadership, Kellee was appointed to the Board of Victorian Women for ICT.

Vale Fiona Richardson, Victorian Government Minister

We were greatly saddened to hear that Fiona Richardson, Victoria’s Minister for Family Violence Prevention, has died a day after announcing she was taking more time off after further cancer diagnoses. Fiona is survived by two children, Marcus and Catherine, and husband, Stephen. The Chair of Vic ICT for Women, Chris Skipper-Conway, said this morning, “She was so influential and the strongest advocate in Government I have ever met when it came to women’s rights.” “To someone who has made such a difference to the lives of so many women here in Victoria – you will be sadly missed and our thoughts go out to your family. You will not be forgotten.” In a statement on Tuesday, Ms Richardson said she had intended to work part-time next week, however she added: “My recovery is not going the way I planned”. “I remain passionately committed to the vision shared by myself and other victim-survivors to eradicate violence in the home within a generation and to end its dangerous and costly impact on families and children,” Ms Richardson said. Her family has released a statement and said she had passed away “bravely”. “Fiona’s had a significant impact on public issues at a local, state and national level,” the statement said. “Fiona had unfinished business. She wanted violence in the home to stop and she knew for that to happen, it would take dedication and leadership over the course of a generation.” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said, “In one of her first speeches as minister she said ‘we can do more and we must’. In her memory, we will,” he said. Devastated at friend Fiona Richardson’s passing. Huge support to me during my journey & for all victims. Thoughts with family, staff & all — Rosie Batty (@RosieBatty1) August 23, 2017 We’ve lost a remarkable, brave and inspirational woman. This is so sad. Thinking tonight of everything Fiona Richardson achieved. — Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) August 23, 2017 Vale Fiona Richardson. A warrior for her causes, a woman of outstanding ability, an MP of conviction. Rest in peace. #springst — Louise Staley MP (@LouiseStaley) August 23, 2017 A strong advocate for working people & tireless in her determination to end family violence. Vale Fiona Richardson. Very sad news. #springst — Vic Trades Hall (@VicUnions) August 23, 2017

#TechDiversity Champions Announced

On Wednesday 2 August, 400 members of Victoria’s digital technology industry gathered at the #TechDiversity Awards and Gala Dinner to celebrate the people and programs that are making a difference in the world of tech diversity. Vic ICT for Women was, again, a proud sponsor and supported of the #TechDiversity Awards in 2017. We are regular collaborators with Fabian Dattner and Dattner Grant, and we were absoutely delighed to be able to present them with the Awards for overall 2017 #TechDiversity Champion for the company’s Compass Program and affiliated global Homeward Bound program. Summary of 2017 winners #TechDiversity Champion: Dattner Grant for Homeward Bound and Compass Program Victorian Innovation Minister’s Diversity Award: DCC Jobs for empowerment of women in careers Victorian Innovation Minister’s Diversity Award (runner up): Cultural Infusion for Joko’s World apps #TechDiversity Winner – Business: Vodafone Hutchison Australia for a series of ‘Power to Her’ initiatives #TechDiversity Winner – Education: Dattner Grant for Homeward Bound #TechDiversity Winner – Government: Seamless for its Seamless Web Accessibility Group (focused on local government) #TechDiversity Winner – Media and Advertising: DCC Jobs for empowerment of women in careers Homeward Bound is a global strategic outreach for women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine), taking the form of transformational scientific voyages to Antarctica that equip women with the leadership, influencing and visibility skills required for key decision-making roles. The program aims to address the small number of female scientists in such roles across government, academia and the commercial sphere. Dattner Grant’s Compass Program is a women’s leadership and personal transformation program. In accepting the award for 2017 #TechDiversity Champion, Dattner Grant founder, Fabian Dattner, cited a parable where a sparrow tries to hold up the sky: “One does what one can.” The other major award of the night was the Victorian Innovation Minister’s Diversity Award, selected by the Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation & Trade, the Hon. Philip Dalidakis. This was awarded to DCC Jobs(formerly Diverse City Careers) for the company’s ongoing efforts to empower women to pursue rewarding careers and fast-track gender equality. DCC Jobs is the only jobs platform in Australia which pre-screens employers based on their policies and initiatives around supporting women in the workplace. Runner up for the Victorian Innovation Minister’s Diversity Award award was app developer Cultural Infusion for its Joko’s World series of interactive learning apps, which blend global folk music, geography and culture to broaden understanding and acceptance of different cultures in children aged 7-14. #TechDiversity Award winners were also named in the four categories of Business, Education, Government and Media and Advertising. Like the #TechDiversity Champion, these groups demonstrated outstanding expressions of behaviour, initiatives, commitment and courage in the pursuit of inclusion. The winner in the Government category was web developer Seamless for its Seamless Web Accessibility Group – a working group of subject matter experts who drive accessible web design practices across the company, leading to improved accessibility standards of more than 50 local government websites. The winner in the Business category was Vodafone Hutchison Australia for a series of initiatives designed to attract and retain diverse talent, as well as foster a diverse talent …

#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.

Quietly Powerful Women

On March 30, Megumi Miki presented to a packed house at our Importance of Women in IT event at ANZ on “Becoming Quietly Powerful at work”. If you weren’t fortunate enough to attend this event, or if you want to pass on Megumi’s message please read and share her whitepaper and other articles listed below: Quietly Powerful: Get your talents recognised and succeed on your own terms as a quieter professional woman Are you ‘covering’ your quieter self? Don’t tell me to “Be more confident” Do you have to be an extrovert to get ahead? Bias towards style over substance is keeping your real talent hidden Melbourne Quietly Powerful Women’s Introductory Breakfast Melbourne – Tuesday 23rd May If you and your friends or colleagues would like to hear more from Megumi book for her next breakfast event at https://www.trybooking.com/220688

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][/cs_content]

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