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Personal reflections from the Women in IT Conference

Jeff Murray, CIO at the University of Tasmania kindly entered my name into the draw to win a registration to the Women in IT Conference jointly held by the University of Auckland and the Auckland University of Technology.  I was thrilled to be the recipient of a registration from CAUDIT and attended the conference in Auckland on Monday 3 September 2018.

I thoroughly enjoyed the conference; it was a great balance of informative speakers and workshops. The conference was professionally run and you could see that much thought went into the program and the delegate experience.  The speakers and the panel were diverse, engaging and inspiring with great messages. I particularly enjoyed hearing from Laura Bell, CEO of SafeStack who was an excellent, dynamic speaker and the things she said resonated with me.

I had just delivered our own Women in Technology program the week before and it was great to have this conference as a follow up – to expand my thinking and hear similar messages as the keynote speakers at our event. I am looking forward to taking my learnings into this program.(website for our program is  http://www.utas.edu.au/womenintechnology).

Key themes I gleaned from the speakers at Women in IT in Auckland included:

ICT is a skillset you can use to change the world. Be at the forefront and create a world you can be proud of.

ICT is about solving problems and making people’s jobs easier - it’s about people and relationships.

Make things, break things, make things better.

Be excited about technology, find the passion (we are building the science fiction of 50 years ago) so you can be authentical in the space.

If you are passionate you will want to learn, so have a growth mindset and be curious and learn as much as you can.

Say yes to things that are meaningful to you, even if they are not in your job description.

Diversity is the base for innovation and so is needed for transformation.

Know your worth; your organisation thinks you are the best person to be in this role/at this meeting, so know the value you bring

Seek different perspectives. Ask yourself - have I talked to all the same kind of people this week?

Encourage others to have a voice. To be quiet is not doing yourself, women, the team or your organisation a service.

Be brave, keep learning, be passionate, don’t let anyone stop you...

I would love to have attended all five workshops on offer, but chose Coach Co-Achieving and Story Telling as areas of interest to me.

The Coach Co-Achieving session covered thinking, leadership and motivational styles and was a good addition to my current knowledge and understandings.

The Leader’s Guide to Story Telling workshop was excellent and highlighted the importance of stories in getting messages across, as people don’t really want more information, they want meaning. I was spokesperson for my group, so it also gave me opportunity to get some practice in.

I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with wonderful women (and men) from a number of different NZ universities.  Thanks to being introduced at the start of the conference, I was the recipient of warm welcomes from lovely, friendly people, who also helped me plan the couple of days of leave I had in Auckland – Waiheke Island was fabulous! I need to go back to New Zealand to see more…

I was very fortunate a day later to have had some time with Xian Fu,  IT Procurement Manager, Digital Strategy and Architecture at the University of Auckland. She was very generous with her time in giving me some insight into her role – I took many pages of notes and this opportunity highlights the value that CAUDIT brings to the sector in connecting all of our organisations to each other.

Next steps for me is to do a presentation to the UTAS IT Services women and exec team– I have lots to share!

 

Gillian Vosper
University of Tasmania