FITT April Newsletter 2014

FITT newsletter 2014 – April

Dear Members, 

Welcome to the April issue of the FITT Newsletter!

We hope all our members had a relaxing and chocolate filled Easter and that the Easter bunny hasn’t left too much of a dent in the scales in his wake! If so we encourage you to get out for a brisk walk this Anzac day and take advantage of the three day week with some exercise to get those endorphins going!

As usual the FITT team have been very busy and we’ve had a number of exciting announcements in the industry as well. Namely that Westpac CEO, Gail Kelly has committed $100 million of the banks’ funds in scholarships aimed at individuals who have the potential to shape Australia’s future. There will be a number of categories the scholarships will be awarded under, as well as the general championing of females in the dominated technology environment.  The FITT committee congratulate and commend Westpac on this fantastic initiative.

In the events space, FITT held our first event with partner Origin Energy in Melbourne on April 1 and were joined by Origin’s CIO, Olaf Pietchner and his management team for an informative session on the role energy plays in the IT sector. Attended by women and men and with senior IT Business Partners, Sue Mortimer and Monica Graham shared stories of their career journey’s and what Origin is like as a place of work for a woman in ICT. We were delighted when Sue accepted our invitation to be in the FITT Exec profile this month, please read below.

We also have the recording for the March webinar, ‘finding the talented stranger within’ and a new date for forthcoming July webinar, ‘How to communicate like a pro’, check out the details below.

We hope you enjoy a well-deserved break over the Easter period!

The FITT Management Committee

FITT – Executive Profile: Sue Mortimer 

Sue has over 25 years experience at Regional and Global levels of IT and joined Origin to become an IT advocate, responsible for shaping the demand of technological solutions, setting informed and reasonable expectations with a business unit, delivering greater business value through IT optimisation. Sue has demonstrated her credibility as a collaborative and versatile IT leader, team player and change agent with the ability to influence and advise senior management. Sue is results-orientated, and has a proven track record in leading, shaping and delivering IT solutions within a shared services environment.

  Sue Mortimer , Senior IT Business Partner, Origin Energy

What attracted you to a career in ICT?
My love of numbers, patterns, puzzles and codes etc. I found computing as an extension of this.

Tell us about the highpoints and lowpoints of your career.
A low point for me was working for a single mature aged male. He had no understanding of children and the demands that are placed on parents. My work life was complicated by his level of inflexibility. I was not given a laptop as they were too expensive, I had two desktops one in the office and one at home. There was an underlining tone that I was not available to meet my work commitments because I was not able to attend early morning meetings that could have been held later in the morning. Since I was not seen in the office I was therefore not doing anything. My stakeholders were extremely happy with my work but that didn’t seem to count in the overall view.

A high point is leading an initiative at a Global level that drove significant change across the business. One person from Australia changing the world, who would have thought. With a lot of hard work and late night conference calls a business change was made and I was recognised for this by winning a Global CIO award. 

What does work life balance mean to you?
Quality time. When you have my time I give you my focus. Trying to juggle everything in my life is very hard but when you do give someone your time give them your 120% focus as well. My children appreciate the time we have together as they know its special so we make the most of this.

Keeping your promises. Don’t make a promise that you cannot deliver. If I promise to do something I do it, at work or at home. We play such a huge role in our children’s lives, they need to see us live our lives too. 

What attracted and kept you in the ICT industry throughout your career?
Turning IT from a service provider into a true business partner. Making changes in an organisation that drove business benefits and growth. ICT has always been seen as an expense area. This is not the case in today’s world, IT can deliver growth to the bottom line. 

What ambitions personal or professional do you still want to achieve?
Personally, I paint landscapes in a number of mediums and have a list of commissions. This is my true indulgence and the first thing I drop when I don’t have time. I want to finish the commissions.

Professionally, my current role has a lot of challenges and areas that can influence the business, I want to turn these into opportunities to drive true business growth.

What’s the one piece of advice you'd give to yourself starting out on your career? 
Turn every challenge into an opportunity, however hard it seems there is an opportunity for you to learn and grow.

My favourite quote is: “If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart… I’ll always be with you,” Christopher Robin.

Industry Information: Westpac’s ‘promise to geeks’

Westpac Chief Executive, Gail Kelly will put up $100 million of the bank's funds towards the largest education scholarship program in Australian history, emerging as an unlikely champion for geek girls nationwide.

Beginning in 2015, up to 100 scholarships and awards, some worth up to $130,000 a year, will be given out annually to recipients who ‘have the potential to shape Australia’s future’.

Its main focus will be encouraging the work of young university students and researchers in technology and innovation as well as strengthening ties with Asian economies. At the same time one of its stated goals is to help lift the profile of women in the male-dominated IT industry.

This article first appeared in The Age Newspaper – Click here to view the link to the full article

FITT Webinar - Review: Finding the talented stranger within

Presented by Suzanne Mercier, Managing Director, Liberate Leadership

A hugely thought provoking and insightful webinar was held on Thursday, 27th March, outlining how and why we often feel ‘not good enough’, also known as the Imposter Syndrome. Suzanne talked about triggers, and then through coping behaviours and principles. 

It was gratifying to note that of the respondents to our post webinar survey over 97% found the session valuable and 94% found it relevant to their role. In addition over 56% found the content to be ‘excellent’ and a further 35% found it to be ‘good’. 

Suzanne quoted:
‘Knowing the problem is half the problem. Knowing the implications of the problem is even more useful as it provides an incentive to fix the issue.’
‘Thoroughly enjoyed it and found it incredibly valuable. Appreciate the practical tips we can utilise to minimise the impact of imposter syndrome.’

If you missed the webinar and would like to hear the session please go to:                                                             

With thanks to Forum Group Events for hosting the webinar.

Origin Energy and FITT Event: Review

FITT held its first event with new partner Origin in Melbourne this month, on April 1, the Origin team came together with FITT to put on a great show to almost 60 FITT members and Origin staff at their Melbourne facilities.  Lead by CIO Olaf Pietchner, Origin flew many of their IT Management team to be with the FITT members in Melbourne.

Addressing the topic ‘the energy industry and the role IT plays’ Origin set the scene on the industry and the huge investment and projects happening currently that IT is leading. The event was facilitated by people and diversity lead Stephen Baker who first introduced FITT Marketing Lead Catriona Walkerden to give an overview on FITT and our mission.  

The first Origin speaker was CIO, Olaf Pietchner who highlighted the how seriously Origin takes the discipline of having a gender diverse workforce, advocating at least one female candidate and a goal to have a 50% female workforce. 

“We saw a great opportunity to present to an engaged IT community on how Origin uses IT to lead the industry. Guests were especially interested in our diversity commitment and the changes we have made to target our 50/50 challenge in IT,” he said. 

Next up was Senior IT Business Partner, Sue Mortimer who gave the audience a great insight into her life at home and work and her career in the industry, including some great experiences traveling the world. She spoke about the difficulty juggling business and her personal life.

Finally we heard from Senior IT Business Partner Monica Graham about the variety of projects she gets involved with on a daily basis and the opportunities working for an organisation like Origin within the IT space.

Feedback from the FITT members was very positive and there was an engaged question and answer session to round things off.

Thanks to Origin for putting on a great event! 

ABC Women in Broadcast Technology sponsorship:
FITT are pleased to be able to spread the word about this great opportunity

A Women in Broadcast Technology (WiBT) scholarship is offered in each State and territory every year for Australian women studying at TAFE, or equivalent level, courses in electronics technology, electrical engineering, communications engineering, computer systems/shared technology or similar.

Successful applicants receive four weeks paid work in the Technology Division of the ABC, plus a $1,000 book allowance.

Entries for the 2014 Women in Broadcast Technology Scholarships opened Friday, March 21 and close on 16 May 2014. 

Visit the ABC Careers website for all the application details

FITT Webinar – ‘How to Communicate Like a Pro’ Pat Skalsky, Save the date - July 15th
In this webinar, Pat will share with you some of her practical coaching skills designed to help you take these back with you to your office and put in place straight away. These tools will include:
Context/content: giving meaning to your communication
Think, feel, know: Understanding the preferred processing style
Five communication skills: When am I ‘asking’ VS when am I ‘telling’
Conflict and negotiation: Judgment VS understanding 

Watch this space for registration details. 


FITT in the community: Dress for Success - Register now for Women’s dinner

FITT would like to share information about charity Dress for Success and offer FITT members the chance to register for this dinner being held on May 8th at the Mercure Central.

Starts 6:30pm. Cost $130.

The theme in 2014 is “THE REWARDS OF AN UNPAID PASSION”.

Register here




Sent by Forum Group Events on behalf of FITT