FITT June Newsletter 2014

FITT newsletter 2014 - June

Dear Members,

Welcome to the June issue of the FITT Newsletter.

Well winter is finally here! The time of year when we try very hard to resist the urge to hibernate on the sofa with a mulled wine or hot chocolate. The FITT team understands this all too well, and have ramped up our webinars so you can get the best career advice and mentoring from the comfort of your desk or even the couch!

For those who missed the ‘Planning For Life Change’ webinar yesterday (which had all spaces filled in just a few hours) we have the recording to share with you so you can watch at your leisure. We also have another fascinating webinar coming up on July 15 from executive coach Pat Skalsky on how to communicate like a pro. This webinar also sold out, so the recording will be available in the next edition of the newsletter.

The FITT Mentoring lite program in NSW has now closed for entries but we’ll be reporting later in the year on how our recent grads are doing with their mentor and how the program is helping them crystalize their career goals.

We brought you the highlights last month, and the full FITT corporate diversity report is now available on the FITT website - you can find the URL below. If you like what you see in this report and wonder how you can ensure your organisation acts on these findings, consider becoming a FITT Corporate partner. 

FITT is currently recruiting new corporate partners for 2014 and beyond. Join VMware, Cisco, Fujitsu, Canon, Salesforce, Symantec and many others as a FITT corporate partner and receive a number of benefits. To see a full list of FITT current partners click here

Finally we are very happy to have longtime supporter of FITT, Rhody Burton profiled this month. Rhody gives us a refreshing account of how she balances work and life on a fortnightly schedule, being the sole carer for her two beautiful children on a week on-week off basis; and why she will never leave the Industry that has provided her with so many opportunities and challenges.

Until next month!

The FITT Management Committee

FITT – Executive Profile: Rhody Burton

  Rhody Burton, Channel Director SAP

What is your current role and what is your scope?
I am the Sales Director for the channels organisation at SAP. I lead the establishment and expansion of our channel team across all sales segments and routes to market. I also have the overall responsibility for our small and midsize business segment, which is an extremely important focus area across SAP. 

What attracted you to a career in ICT?
After speaking to many other women in IT in non-technical roles, I know that my story is not that unique. I fell into IT. I was temping in London and I had a choice of two roles – the one in IT was way more interesting than the other. I was a young backpacker. It was the mid 90’s. I suddenly had an email address and access to the Internet, was flying to Dublin to meet hardware vendors, travelling across Europe to meet with software vendors and being involved in discussions on how to bring the two together. It was exciting stuff. My love for IT was born. I arrived back in Australia and wouldn’t settle for a job in any other industry, and I’ve never considered leaving it. 

Tell us about the high points and low points of your career?
The highpoints have been many. Working for fast growing companies in a world that is changing and evolving, being given new opportunities, having mentors, driving change. I was lucky to have strong mentors and sponsors early and throughout my career. Their faith in me gave me confidence to forge ahead, take my seat at the table and have a voice. VMware gave me so many opportunities to grow, contribute, gain confidence and force me outside my comfort zone. Getting involved in women in IT initiatives, both inside the organisation and out, also helped me build my profile, meet and network with other amazing women in our industry and even gave me an edge for my latest opportunity at SAP – which is my biggest challenge to date. I am enjoying it and feel I’m in the midst of a new stage of growth, which is so exciting. 

The low points have been tied to trying to balance building a career and a growing family. I have struggled at times to find what “balance” means. I coined a phrase called “GMS… Guilty Mothers Syndrome,” but realised that it wasn’t just women that suffered from the guilt syndrome. Men suffer from it too. Finding a company that is willing to support you is key, but a very wise mentor once said, “the company will take everything you give it. YOU have to own the balance”. I still struggle with getting it right all the time, but I am committed to being as present and authentic as I can with every situation I’m in – personal and professional. 

What does work life balance mean to you?
I measure my work/life balance over a two-week period. I know that may sound crazy to other people, but I truly believe work/life balance is different to all of us and you have to find what works for you. I share custody of my kids week on/week off. The week I have them, I made a commitment to myself and to them, to be present and available to the things that are important to them while giving what I need to SAP. So the hours I work revolve around them. Finding time to exercise and other things for myself is a challenge, but I make sure the weekends are as work free as I can make them.

What attracted and kept you in the ICT industry throughout your career?
The attraction is knowing we are changing the world. The opportunities, the people, the possibilities. Technology is driving everything we do and it is getting more and more exciting. I honestly do not know any other industry that is changing and evolving at such an incredible pace and that impacts as many other industries as much as we do. 

What ambitions personal or professional do you still want to achieve?
I want to continue to drive change, grow myself and the things that surround me. Be brave enough to make choices, but not limit myself to a pre-conceived plan. I want to continue to see my children grow into confident, polite people that have a drive to do the things they are passionate about. 

What's the one piece of advice you'd give to yourself starting out on your career?
Be confident, learn about “imposter syndrome” and ignore it, get mentors and sponsors, become a mentor or sponsor. Learn, listen and be open to ideas, people and opportunities. Most of all, stay authentic and be true to yourself. I learnt all this along the way, but who knows where I would be now if I had known it earlier! 

FITT Webinar How to Communicate Like a ProPat Skalsky, July 15

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 
Central to Pat’s coaching is her ability to be able to build trust and rapport with her clients through inspirational and meaningful conversation. She is all too familiar with the challenges that face us all on a day to day basis which include ensuring our messages are heard the way they were meant, the need to ensure favourable outcomes from our negotiations and having difficult conversations.

Pat Skalsky

Pat is an Executive Coach with AltusQ, an international expert coaching firm.
Her clients include IBM, Macquarie Bank, Reckon, Acer, Lloyds International, Bankwest, Quantium, Olympus, Coal Services, BlueFIn Resources, HR Partners, Certitude Global Investments, Rohlig, Funkis, RMG Partners, Journey Masters and the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the YWCA. 

With a strong female following, she coaches executives, high performers and emerging leaders whose challenges typically include:
  • How to increase in Executive Presence (confidence and visibility, self-awareness, profile and personal branding)
  • Managing New Promotion (stress, work life balance, new relationships and team dynamics)
  • Career Advancement (visibility, influence and perception)
  • Influential Leadership Style (solid reputation, enhanced skill set and presence)

The recording will be available in the next edition of the newsletter.
With thanks to Forum Group Events for hosting the webinar

FITT Webinar

Helen Shao presented our June Webinar 'Planning for life change'

With over 100 registrations, Helen discussed the steps needed to plan your way from ‘now’ (whatever your age and situation) through to retirement. Helen outlined her simple 8-step approach, discussing areas such as financial mapping, financial fat and changing goals regularly to keep them relevant.

Helen gave insight into her personal journey to help illustrate different investment options, and to give a focus to the needs we may have in retirement. 

The link to the webinar can be found here.

With thanks to Forum Group Events for hosting the webinar

FITT Corporate Diversity

We released highlights from our survey last month - now you can read the full report based on the research from our 4000 members.

Click here to view the report  

Corporate Diversity - Google

Occasionally, we bring you a news story that has particularly caught our interest – this month we were interested to hear that Google has released their corporate diversity report – and the findings paint a gloomy picture for Women in ICT. The good news is that Google are now aware of the challenges and are looking to ‘address the challenges.’ 

Read about it on their blog here

Optus and FITT Networking Event

Save the date for our next networking event, in conjunction with our partner Optus. This promises to be a relevant and stimulating session appealing to a wide range of women in IT.
Wednesday 13 August, 9 - 11am, North Ryde, NSW. 

More details to follow.

Awards – Telstra Women in Business awards

Nominate a brilliant business woman

There is still time to nominate for the 20th Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

As the longest-running state, territory and national awards program for business women, the Awards celebrate the leadership, determination and innovation of successful business women in our community. They also inspire other women to walk in their footsteps and reach their own goals.

Twenty years ago the Telstra Business Women’s Awards encouraged women to break through the glass ceiling; today they play an important role in encouraging diversity in business across Australia.

The Awards are open to business owners, women in the private and corporate sector and in the government and community sectors, with two specialist categories for business innovation and young business women. For finalists and winners across Australia, they also offer a share in $650,000 in cash and prizes.

The 2012 Telstra Business Women Awards National Innovation winner Maureen Clifford, CEO of Ndevr said: “The awards are a significant way of celebrating the great achievements of women in many industries. For me personally moving through the various stages of the State and then the National Finals, the highlight was meeting so many amazing women, all with their own remarkable stories on their personal journeys to achievement. On reflection I believe there could be a lot more nominations of women in the IT industry. It’s an opportunity to highlight role models that could encourage other women to look at the extensive options available in the IT sector for an interesting and successful career.”

Nominations can be made at or by calling 1800 817 536. Entries can be submitted from 26 May until 14 July. For more information head to 
Nominate a brilliant business woman.



FITT Corporate Diversity- Full report now available 

Corporate Diversity - News from Google

Optus and FITT Networking Event NSW - Save the date



Sent by Forum Group Events on behalf of FITT