Entries are now open for the Women Leading Tech Awards, presented by Atlassian!
Digital transformations are happening faster than ever and the gap between leaders and laggards is yawning. Driving this change are talented and creative individuals that understand how technology can be used to help industries progress.
As thankful as we are for all the minds behind this brave new world, the skew of the tech industry cannot be ignored.
According to the European Commission’s Women in Digital Scoreboard from 2020, only 18 per cent of ICT specialists are women, while women in ICT earn 19 per cent less than men on average.
The Women Leading Tech Awards keeps this conversation alive while recognising and celebrating the brilliant female tech talent out there across twelve different categories. And if the last two years are anything to go by, there is plenty!
We sat down with Atlassian’s diversity and inclusion talent acquisition lead, Alice Young, to discuss the current state of the tech industry, and how Atlassian’s involvement with Women Leading Tech speaks to their company ethos, “be the change you seek”.
B&T: What inspired Atlassian’s involvement with Women Leading Tech?
AY: At Atlassian, we aspire to be a company where Atlassians of all identities can do the best work of their lives. We understand the value that a diverse workforce in an inclusive organisation can bring to each other and our customers.
We are continuously seeking to engage with women in technology and the Women Leading Tech awards is a great opportunity to celebrate and support females in the industry from data science, IT to engineering and design.
B&T: What’s the gender divide at Atlassian?
Atlassian’s workforce is made up of 30 per cent women, which is too low and we know we’ve got work to do to change this. That’s why we’ve set ourselves ambitious goals to transform our talent acquisition practices to improve our sourcing capabilities and focus our proactive outreach efforts on underrepresented candidates. And as an organisation, we’re continuously working to attract and retain more women at all levels across Atlassian.
B&T: The tech industry has traditionally been male-dominated. How can we shift the balance for women in tech roles?
Most tech companies are male-dominated and there’s work to be done across the industry to make it more accessible (and not just for women), which needs to be a team effort. No one company is going to solve the problem.
Organisations need to be open, work together and share learnings so that we can begin to drive the change we want to see. That’s why we are members of the Tech Council of Australia so that we can change our industry together and work towards a future where everyone has the opportunity to access a career in technology.
B&T: What are some practical action plans to attract and retain more women in tech?
At Atlassian we’re really focused on structural change because we know that’s what works and that’s what lasts. We’re doing the heavy lifting to make sure that our Atlassian processes and structures from hiring to performance are inclusive and equitable and that we can measure what we’re doing so that we know how we’re progressing.
We’re auditing our performance assessment programs and training teams that work with and administer all these processes. We’re also building management tools to ensure that we’re inclusive at a team level in our new, distributed world.
B&T: Further to your last point, should organisations shake up their benefits and other policies?
Yes, organisations should also review their benefits and policies on offer and make sure they are attractive to the groups they are seeking to attract and retain. Here at Atlassian for example, we work as a distributed team.
Distributed work at Atlassian means we hire people in any country where we have a legal entity as long as they have eligible work rights and sufficient team time zone overlap (think New York to London). On top of this, whether our people are based in an office or working remotely, we provide the tools or to make their workspace right for them. This not only enables us to attract more diverse talent, but to retain them as well.
B&T: Why is it important that we celebrate women in the tech industry?
You’ll have heard of the phrase “can’t be what you can’t see”. Representation matters, as a crucial way to inspire and encourage young women to consider a career in technology (or STEM more broadly). And whilst women have played a crucial part in the technology industry, they have not always been recognised for this. For example, mathematician Ada Lovelace, who in the 1840s wrote what many call the first algorithm to be executed by a modern computer. What an achievement!
As an industry, we need to ensure we’re continuing to tell these stories and celebrate women in the modern tech industry to inspire a new generation of women to study and move into STEM careers.
B&T: How do initiatives like Women Leading Tech help women in the tech industry?
Women Leading Tech is a perfect industry example of how organisations can share inspiring stories of women in the tech world. Through these stories, we hope to reach other women in tech to demonstrate that the industry is changing and that they have a role to play in this change.
B&T: What words of wisdom do you have for the women thinking of entering the awards?
For the incredible and inspiring women thinking about the awards – I strongly encourage you to tell your story and in doing so recognise and celebrate your achievements. That might not feel natural, it might feel like you’re “big-noting” yourselves. But you’re not, so ignore your inner imposter syndrome (Forbes,) and share!
By doing so, you will undoubtedly start a conversation, you may encourage someone else to try something that they thought they couldn’t do or inspire that next female tech entrepreneur. Remember, “the world is changed by your example, not by your opinion” (Paul Coehlo).
Tickets to the awards are now on sale HERE.
Entry deadline: Tuesday 22 February 2022
Late entry deadline: Tuesday 1 March 2022
Shortlist announced: Thursday 24 March 2022
Early bird tickets end: Wednesday 30 March 2022
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