FITT April Newsletter 2015
 
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FITT newsletter 2015 - April 

Dear Members,

Welcome to the April issue of the FITT newsletter. Hopefully everyone got to enjoy a lovely long weekend over Easter and the lucky few might have managed to get away for a few days, trying to prolong the last few days of sunshine before winter descends!

We had a blockbuster month in March with our business networking events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, plus our International Women’s Day events in Melbourne and Sydney and in April we launched the 2015 Mentoring program with the largest numbers of Mentor-mentee pairings we have had to date. We are also launching a new social media hub to accompany the mentoring program so stay tuned for blogs and testimonials for those going through the program this year. For those who missed the boat we will be opening registrations for the 2016 program in the November timeframe but you can express interest and join a waitlist before then.

For those who completed our annual survey, huge thanks for taking the time and we are excited to release our corporate diversity report this month, which you can check out below. There are some fascinating insights which our members have shared with us and many of you highlight the need for more visible senior female role models in the Industry and within your organisations. We will also be sharing this report with our corporate partners to inform their initiatives in the diversity space.

Talking of role models, our exec profile this month is none other than FITT Chair, Steph Hardcastle. Steph who heads up internal comms for BT in her day job, joined FITT as Chair in February and many of you will have met her at IWD Sydney.

Finally we have a review of our recent webinar and event from our Learning and Development Lead Chelsea Love, and the webinar recording link is available for viewing.

The FITT committee will be meeting for our annual strategy day in early May so we look forward to bringing you even more exciting programs based on your feedback in the second half of the year.

Thanks for your continued support!


Regards
Catriona Walkerden
Newsletter Editor and FITT Marketing Lead
On Behalf of the FITT Management Committee

 












Exec Profile – Steph Hardcastle

FITT Corporate Diversity report – Read

International Women's Day – Sydney Review

FITT Webinar – Review 

FITT Business Exchange – Review

Mentoring – Launch News

FITT Webinar – Save the Date

 

FITT – Executive Profile – Steph Hardcastle


What is your current role and what is your scope? 

For the past 15 years, I worked for British Telecommunications (BT) within their Global Services division. BT Global Services is a communications services company supporting international and multi-national organisations across the globe. My most recent role was Head of Internal Communications for the Global Customer Service division, which comprised of a globally diverse team of over 8,400 employees. I was the advisor to the GCS president and leadership team on how to effectively engage and inform employees using a diverse range of communication channels. 


Read More >

FITT Corporate Diversity report

FITT Research highlights women want more senior female role models to thrive in a male dominated environment


See ARN Release 


Read More >

International Women’s Day Lunch Sydney - Review



REVIEW: FITT present the 2015 International Women’s Day Luncheon: Transforming the Future for Women in ICT

Click HERE for link to photos

Read More >

FITT Webinar – Review


The ‘Art of Effective Listening – Building Empathy and Rapport’ April 16th 2015 12-1pm


Read More >

FITT Business Exchange – March 2015 Review


In conjunction with Origin Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne

Thank you to everyone who attended our recent networking events in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. Resounding thanks also to Origin who sponsored the event and provided inspiring speakers!


Read More >

Mentoring – Launch News


The FITT National and Circles mentoring programs kicked off in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane over the last month, with over 50 mentees participating this year - our biggest year yet.


Read More >

FITT Webinar - Save the Date


Get out your diary and save the date for the next FITT webinar - mBraining, Wiser Decision Making using your Intuition 

June 18th 12-1pm - Registration details to follow



Read More >

FITT - Executive Profile - Steph Hardcastle
 

What is your current role and what is your scope?  
For the past 15 years, I worked for British Telecommunications (BT) within their Global Services division. BT Global Services is a communications services company supporting international and multi-national organisations across the globe. My most recent role was Head of Internal Communications for the Global Customer Service division, which comprised of a globally diverse team of over 8,400 employees. I was the advisor to the GCS president and leadership team on how to effectively engage and inform employees using a diverse range of communication channels.

I was responsible for developing, creating and implementing clear, measurable and compelling internal employee communication strategies and programs to - align, motivate and empower employees across all levels of management to deliver high standards of customer experience. My focus was on creating communications that were credible, compelling, and emotionally connected with employees whilst - promoting pride and a sense of unity.

 
What attracted you to a career in ICT? 
When I started out on my career path I didn't 'plan' a career in ICT. Rather I ‘fell’ into it - and have never looked back. After completing my university degree in Sydney, I found myself in London (as most Aussies do). I always had an interest in joining the corporate world so, when I saw an advert seeking graduates to join BT, I applied. I went for an interview and was subsequently offered a job. I will always be thankful to BT for introducing me to the ICT industry and for giving me the opportunity to experience a variety of roles - both internally and externally focused.
 
Tell us about the highpoints and lowpoints of your career? 
I’ve had several highpoints in my career. Creating and launching my first employee communications campaign to over 8000 employees. Having the opportunity to move with BT from London to Singapore - and then Sydney. Being recognised by BT Group for my contribution to gender diversity. To watch people I’ve hired go from strength to strength, promotion to promotion. To achieving my ambition of becoming head of internal communications for global customer service.

One of my lowpoints was a few years into my career. I was informed that a number of roles were being made redundant, including mine. It was a lowpoint as I really enjoyed my role, the team and the customers I engaged with. What I didn't realise at the time was that this lowpoint was actually a pivotal moment in my career. A few days after receiving the news, I was contacted by a senior manager offering me one of three roles in her team. Looking back, this was my first experience of sponsorship. I met with three of her direct reports before choosing which role I felt best suited to. I choose the internal employee communications role, which turned out to be the role where I found my true passion – employee communications.

 
What does work life balance mean to you?
Work life balance to me means having the ability to work flexibly. When you have all the tools at your fingertips, the restrictions of 'formal office hours' are gone. Being able to devote time to work when your motivation is at it highest, when your ideas are at there brightest - is an advantage. The time of day becomes irrelevant. Likewise having the flexibility to being able to spend time with family and friends, whether it is at a school event or simply having dinner together each evening is important in maintaining a healthy balance.

Everybody has a different definition of what 'good' work life balance looks like. For me it's all about flexibility - and having choices.

 
What attracted and kept you in the ICT industry throughout your career? 
After falling into the industry, I’ve never looked back. I feel a true connection working in the ICT industry where we make a fundamental difference to the lives of people and the communities in which they live.
 
What ambitions personal or professional do you still want to achieve? 
Professionally, to know that I have made an impact and have contributed in encouraging and supporting women achieve their own career aspirations. Personally, to design and build the home of my dreams (and retirement), on the waterfront.
 
What’s the one piece of advice you'd give to yourself starting out on your career?
Be confident and believe in yourself. When you see an opportunity take it. By doing so, you'll not only make thing happen but you’ll inspire others around you.

FITT Corporate Diversity report



FITT Research highlights women want more senior female role models to thrive in a male dominated environment

See ARN Release 

This month FITT released its corporate diversity report, the annual report taken from the FITT member survey has some interesting findings this year. The report found over 50% of women surveyed did not plan their career in IT, they ‘fell into it’. Although half fell into the industry, 92% of respondents wish to stay in ICT or IT for at least the next 5 years. The top challenge faced by 71% of the women in the ICT industry is achieving a work life balance. Another problematic area for women in the IT industry as indicated by the respondents is the lack of female role models and mentors.

The motivation for when women change jobs in the ICT industry is mostly due to the role itself and the company culture, rather than an increase in salary or flexible work practices. Though when it comes to enabling women to more senior positions, flexible work options was voted the most effective program

What can organisations do to provide support to women in the ICT industry and enable them to senior ICT positions?

88% of women indicated that it was highly important to have visible senior female role models in their organisations. Also the most important attributes in a prospective employer for women is the development opportunities and evidence of career paths.

FITT members want to raise the profiles of the senior women in their organisations and provide effective female mentoring programs, as well as providing development opportunities for women with defined career paths.

Encouragingly, this diversity report has highlighted an increase in women’s satisfaction with programs provided by their employers to encourage them to progress, with almost half (42%) of respondents being satisfied. There is more awareness and interest in gender diversity than ever before however, in an industry where we’re supposed to be moving forward, little progress is being made for women.

FITT Chair Steph Hardcastle summarises the problem:

“With the lack of women entering the ICT industry, this has resulted in few senior role models for women to look up to - which further contributes to the problem of young women not considering IT as a suitable career option.


There is a real need for organisations to encourage more women to pursue careers in the ICT industry – and in providing the right framework to successfully recruit, retain and develop women in their organisations.

Gender diversity has never been more important for the ICT industry. It's not just bad for women as individuals, it’s also has the potential to hold back innovation, productivity and commercial success”

International Women’s Day Lunch Sydney - Review



REVIEW: FITT present the 2015 International Women’s Day Luncheon: Transforming the Future for Women in ICT

Click HERE for link to photos

Thanks to everyone who came along to IWD Sydney - you made this a tremendous success! It was a sold out lunch – our biggest ever, and a truly fabulous panel of speakers enlightening us all.

After a short introduction by FITTs Chair Steph Hardcastle, our MC for the day Susan Sly spoke about creating a great workplace for women, because of women, and for those women to follow. Susan explained how it’s the image of this industry that needs to change, as it is currently not seen as an attractive career option. Susan outlined some ideas including leading, greater use of mentors and working with HR departments etc. to try and combat this image deficit.

Yolanda Beattie then stepped up to share her findings from their huge dataset of employees. She outlined the structural and cultural barriers faced by women in ICT, and then turned to give positive suggestions for stepping over these hurdles, including how to ‘put up your hand’ before you think you are ready for a promotion- not after.

The hugely inspirational Tara Ridley from Cisco outlined three 3 key themes – those themes which we can all take on board whether we are at the onset or twilight of our careers.

Hilda Clune from PWC outlined how to be independent and strong; to be open minded without carer opportunities - there is now a huge flexibility for change - we are not wedded to one path anymore.

Lastly, it was great to see Geoff Wenborn from Origin step up to discuss his goal to create a balanced workforce, and how personal, functional and company bias needs to be removed in order to succeed.

We thank our panel, MC, sponsors and attendees – both male and female and hope to see you at the next great FITT event. If you need a reminder on our speakers and their bios check out the FITT website for more detailed event information. 

 

FITT Webinar – Review



The ‘Art of Effective Listening – Building Empathy and Rapport’ April 16th 2015 12-1pm

On a topic close to our hearts, Mark Bramwell from Bramwell Solutions attracted over 100 registrations for the webinar 'The Art of Effective Listening'. With a background in psychology, and as a trained coach and facilitator, Mark was able to draw on experience and theory in this webinar.

Mark covered the need to be aware of preconceived ideas and stereotypes and these may bias our opinions and affect how we listen and the effectiveness of our listening skills in that situation.

The webinar covered effective listening habits, and using a simple listening test, shows how easy it is to fall into the habit of hearing what you want to hear, or making assumptions without listening to the whole piece.

Building empathy is an important tool for developing relationships and with some guidance on why it is so important, Mark covered some tips for building empathy and developing rapport. A simple task of asking questions and ensuring you listen to the answer! Prove you’ve heard by paraphrasing and repeating terms.

Effective questioning techniques were covered, including the power of silence. Whilst how to listen might seem straightforward and obvious, this webinar reminded us all on the need to focus on the right things for more effectiveness.

LISTEN to the recording

FITT Business Exchange – March 2015 Review



In conjunction with Origin Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne

Thank you to everyone who attended our recent networking events in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. Resounding thanks also to Origin who sponsored the event and provided inspiring speakers!

125 people booked into these evenings, and the feedback was that it was a resounding success! Nights like this provide a wonderful platform to meet and share ideas, opportunities and experiences to support planning for a successful year with a rich and diverse group of Women in ICT.

We will be holding our next event in June. Details will be available shortly on our website.

Mentoring – Launch News



The FITT National and Circles mentoring programs kicked off in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane over the last month, with over 50 mentees participating this year - our biggest year yet. The strong interest in this program highlights the increased understanding of the importance of having mentors in the development and progression of women in IT.

The mentors and mentees embark on a nine month program that will see them set goals, work through challenging situations and generally increase their understanding of the ICT industry.

This year we also have two mentees who will be contributing to a blog on their experiences through the program. Keep an eye on the website and newsletter for more information about the program and to follow them through their mentoring experience.

Thank to our Bronze Sponsors Cliftons for hosting the mentoring launch events. 

 

FITT Webinar - Save the Date



Get out your diary and save the date for the next FITT webinar - mBraining, Wiser Decision Making using your Intuition

June 18th 12-1pm - Registration details to follow

We live in times of massively accelerating changes in social/business/economic spaces making the decision landscape far more complex and volatile. The impacts of Globalisation, Social interconnectivity, Technical complexity and higher expectations in Governance, Risk Management, Legal and Compliance, and Customer and Employee Expectations have combined to create challenges for organisational leadership and decision-making.

Science has proven you have a brain in your heart and your gut, and the implications for decision making, for leadership and for success in life are profound!

In this groundbreaking session, you’ll discover the latest neuroscience findings about your multiple brains (head, heart and gut brains) and what they have to offer for increasing intuitive abilities and for immediately generating wiser decision-making in your daily life.

INTRODUCING STACEY ASHLEY

Nominated for the 2013 Telstra Business Women’s awards, Stacey Ashley is the Managing Director of Ashley Coaching and Consulting.

Stacey is a Master Coach and leader within the Australian coaching community and holds an impressive array of national and international accreditations. Stacey is also a certified trainer and she regularly shares her expertise with others by delivering the most highly accredited workplace & business coaching programs in Australia. She works with executives, senior management and teams from many of Australia’s leading corporations, along with private clients.

Stacey believes we can all achieve our potential and focuses more and more on the creation of Coaching Cultures in organisations, and Happiness at Work, enabling leaders and individuals to bring out the best in themselves and the people around them.

Her passion lies in the personal and professional development field, where she utilises the latest thinking in neuroscience and positive psychology combined with ancient wisdom to support the development of authentic leadership. As part of her on-going self-development she is also the only coach within Australia to hold three specialised practitioner qualifications in the emerging fields of The Science of Happiness at work, Story Coaching and mBraining.