#WeLead

Tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in a large family in a small town in country Victoria, and now live in Melbourne with my husband, son and our fur-kids. I enjoy travelling both overseas and within Australia. There are so many diverse and beautiful places to explore.

Growing up scared of heights, I overcame my fear by skydiving over Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays.  I loved the experience and challenging my limitations.

I started my career as an electrical draftsman at the State Electricity Commission of Victoria and through many different management and individual contributor roles, have been working in Technology at Telstra for more than twenty years. I currently work as a Senior DevOps Security Specialist at Telstra.

Before DevOps Security, I performed roles encompassing risk management for Infrastructure and cloud solutions, lifecycle management planning and implementation for infrastructure and as a Linux Domain Manager introducing the Linux operating system into the enterprise, establishing the Linux Centre of Excellence and a full range of associated service offerings.

Who are the women who have inspired you most in your life?

My mum raised eight children and ran a milk bar in a small town, with life running smoothly, or it seemed this way as a child!  She didn’t complain but just got on doing what needed to be done.  Having one child, I think she did an amazing job with what must have been a huge workload.

Any other female leaders you look up to?

Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia.  I admire how she led the way for future generations as Australia’s first prime minister, calling out the need for change with her speech on Tony Abbott’s sexism.

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand.  I admire how she led the way for future generations, showing it is possible to mix a family and a successful career, while doing a great job.

Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?

I feel diversity in the workplace is important as it provides diversity of thought, which improves innovation and for security, greater efficiency.

What do you think are barriers for women in the recruitment process?

I think there are still unconscious biases that impact women in recruitment, but these are slowly changing. I feel that as many jobs occur through informal networks, women may find it harder as it’s harder to find the time to socialise with young families or if you are a care giver.

What do you think contributes to the lack of females taking the plunge in entrepreneurship?Family commitments may hold women back when taking the plunge in entrepreneurship due to the financial risk to start a new company. Women need to balance the risk with the need for financial stability required to house, feed and look after a family.

What more can be done to support women in male-dominated industries?

I feel female support groups are great for sharing information, providing encouragement and mentoring.

I also feel that providing opportunities to learn and to enable career progression are important, as well as flexible work places to enable careers to progress while raising a family.