It’s a hot topic right now: how businesses can hire for and ensure diversity and gender equality in their workplace. And unlike a lot of hot topics, this one is here to stay. And that’s because of the women (and men) who are pushing the agenda forward so one day it won’t need to be an agenda; it will be the norm.
Taking a look at the tech space specifically, there are many inspirational females that are leading by example across many different avenues.
I’d like to share what some of the great women in tech that I’ve had the privilege of working alongside are doing to drive diversity and gender equality forward.
1. Molly Sloan
Senior Manager of Marketing Communications, Drift
Molly recently took offense (and rightly so!) to Forbes’ America’s Most Innovative Leaders list which called out the great work of 100 business leaders. The problem with this list was that only one of these innovative leaders was female.
Molly took a stand by creating her own list, 25 Powerhouse CMOs Who Inspire Me To Be A Better Marketer, where she called out the clever work of 25 outstanding female B2B CMOs.
2. Jessica Box
Managing Director, Girls in Tech Australia
After seeing the popularity of Girls in Tech across America and believing there to be a gap in the Australian marketplace, Jessica and a team of talented tech women advocated for an Australian chapter. Girls in Tech Australia launched in Melbourne more than 3 years ago and during that time has connected, engaged and inspired over 10,000 women.
Jessica went a step further and introduced a unique event to the region. #GIRLBOSSNIGHT might seem like an ordinary networking event (with amply cheese and wine!) but in fact, encourages women to forge their careers in tech by learning from the industry’s brightest.
3. Carly Irving
General Manager – Customer Market and Operations, Energy Queensland
Within Energy Queensland (EQL), Carly sponsors the Championing Women of EQL network, designed for learning and discussion in a friendly and supportive environment. The purpose of this network is to make visible some of the incredible female role models working at EQL, provide knowledge and opportunities for growth and enable valuable connections to be made across the business. This network is open to all employees of all genders to participate and support the Diversity of Thought throughout the business.
As Carly shared, “My role is to open doors and help women be the best they can be and have all the opportunities they can by helping women find their voice and their place.
Encouraging diversity of thought within all business facets is critical in ensuing our future workforce can meet our future demands. No single idea will be enough to take us forward. Instead, we’ll rely on the collective knowledge of all our people to be community and customer focused and on our ability to collaborate and create value through innovation. Prioritising diversity and inclusion is one of the ways we are positioning ourselves for future success.
I encourage you to “Dream big, life your dream while thinking creatively and don’t be afraid to rewrite the rules”.”
4. Heidi Connor
Regional Director, Solution Engineering, Asia Pacific & Japan, SAP
Until recently, Heidi chaired SAP’s Business Women’s Network (QLD Chapter) but due to a busy schedule travelling Asia Pacific, she now shares advice on career progression at various women’s events.
At a recent event about forging a career in tech, Heidi talked about not take ‘no’ for an answer. Heidi’s recommendation was to, “Challenge it. Demonstrate your passion. And when an opportunity arises, follow up for feedback”. Heidi’s determination and passion for one particular company saw her placed into a position created just for her because she followed up persistently after being declined during the interview process.
A special mention for Heidi’s LinkedIn headline: Passionate Advocate for Purposeful Leadership, Diversity and Innovation.
“Purposeful Leadership, Diversity, and Innovation“
5. Debra Underwood
Marketing Director and Inclusion and Diversity Chair, Avanade Australia
Debra chairs Avanade’s Award Winning Diversity & Inclusion program and for her diversity and inclusion is all about setting an example and the legacy one leaves behind.
“My passion is about making a genuine human impact – to one individual or many. Diversity and equality come from respect for each other’s differences and always being inclusive in your behaviour. I try everyday – through leadership, mentoring or just in sharing individually. I want to be able to look back on my career knowing I have set an example and helped shape a legacy of new leaders that will change the world we live in. #humanimpact,” said Debra.
The great thing about pushing for diversity and gender equality, is that it can take many forms:
Calling out a lack of equality, filling a gap in the market, promoting within a commercial business or sharing your knowledge.