IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

IWD 2021: Nintex director on challenging gender norms in IT

By Contributor
Mon 8 Mar 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Comment from Nintex director for field marketing, Americas and Asia Pacific, Eileen Tan.
 

What does the IT industry need to do to attract more women in the years ahead?

One of the biggest challenges facing the IT industry is diversity and inclusion. While there has been some progress in accelerating gender equity in the workplace, there’s still a long way ahead towards achieving greater gender diversity in the technology talent ecosystem. 

The industry needs to show more interest and provide pathways for women who want to enter the industry from a different field and change the criteria for a point of entry. At the same time, companies need to set the stage to help women acquire tech-related skills enabling them to develop a hybrid skillset, marrying their current skills with technology. 

Many women right now don’t see themselves ending up in tech, so vendors and enterprises alike need to ensure that they have mentoring programs in place to enable women at all stages in their career to progress. 

Both female and male mentors should be encouraged to support these programs. Such mentoring programs help ensure a pipeline of developing talent that will rise through the organisation to its highest levels. No one is self-made, and it’s working with others in this way that can ensure employees will reach their full potential.

What do IT companies need to do to ensure that more women have the opportunity to achieve senior leadership roles within their organisations?

Few people would disagree that there need to be more women in senior management roles within Australian tech companies. What’s less clear, however, is how this can be achieved.

While there has been some progress in recent years, there is still much work to be done. Much of the current situation can be attributed to organisational cultures. Having men at the top has been the case for so long, it’s become the norm. Unless purposeful steps are taken, the current status quo is unlikely to change any time soon.

In the technology industry, the situation is made more concerning by the struggle to attract women entering STEM studies. The reasons for this trend are somewhat unclear; however, the result is fewer women are graduating and accepting jobs within the sector. This, in turn, results in fewer women climbing the corporate ranks and accepting senior management roles.

Having support and recognition in place to support women to achieve senior leadership roles is critical. Parental leave policies and childcare support are also important. In many ways, the pandemic has forced tech companies to look at their diversity strategies, and we’ve possibly achieved more in one year than in the past ten years in recognising the need for more acceptance of working anytime, anywhere. 

This should encourage more companies to be open to new ways of working and attract more women moving forward to join and remain in the industry for the long-term. As greater numbers of women attain senior management and board-level roles, they, in turn, will be able to help to nurture the next generation.

What is the role of government in attracting more women into STEM-based qualifications?

Governments, academia and the IT industry should work together to focus on the implications of not taking action to attract more women into STEM-based qualifications. Once we all understand the real-world problem we face, if we don’t take the issue seriously, we’ll be more likely to take the steps required to improve the circumstances.

Awareness weeks run by governments might be worthwhile, but they need to be augmented by other things. These could include targeted, government-funded advertising campaigns and campaigns funded by business that don’t contain a “sales” push. Scheduled to run throughout the year, they will help get the messages across to appeal to larger numbers of people.

As awareness increases over time, it might be worth establishing a commission that would fulfil a role similar to a road safety commission. This body could coordinate campaigns nationally to ensure messages were reaching as many people as possible throughout the year.

Just as safety messages like ‘wear a seatbelt’ and health messages like ‘give up smoking’ took years to become mainstream, perhaps ongoing messages to facilitate interest in STEM-skills might just benefit the community as a whole.

What can women do to support themselves and their peers to drive a more diverse and inclusive IT industry in Australia?

I feel we still have a long way to go, but I prefer to focus very much on the positive and building on what we have done to date rather than looking back and thinking that we haven’t come very far. 

Each and every one of us has a role to play in making sure the diversity challenge is addressed bit by bit. The best team is a diverse one — the richness of differing values, varying backgrounds, and a wide range of experiences adds to a more well-rounded outcome for a company, and you’re able to be more collaborative and supportive.

How do we get more women interested in tech?

As a first step, the idea that there’s a diverse range of interesting potential careers within IT should be planted as early as primary school. Many students in early grades are already involved in coding classes, but very few would associate this with a prospective long-term job path. Both teachers and parents should be setting the context for why they are coding and explaining that it could lead to something much bigger in their futures.

There’s no question that the efforts required to achieve diversity are worth it. When you consider the world of the future, where there will be increasing usage of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics, having half the population underrepresented will mean many of the potential benefits may not be realised. Let’s take steps today to address the issue.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Malware
New vulnerabilities found in Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report
“Threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics and these exploits tend to get industry attention, but the threat posed by older and attacks still persists."
Story image
Apricorn
Data backup plans inadequate, data still at risk - study
The Apricorn 2022 Global IT Security Survey revealed that while the majority organisations have data backup plans in place, data for many are at risk.
Story image
Qualys
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Pluralsight and Ingram Micro Cloud team up on cloud initiative
Pluralsight has teamed with Ingram Micro Cloud to build upon cloud competence and maturity internally, and externally support partners’ capabilities.
Story image
Supply chain
Jetstack promotes better security with supply chain toolkit
The web-based resource is designed to help organisations evaluate and plan the crucial steps they need to establish effective software supply chain security.
Story image
SaaS
Cloudflare launches instant serverless database for dev teams
"Today we’re announcing our first serverless database which we expect will quickly become one of the largest databases in the world."
Story image
Sustainability
Legrand unveils Nexpand, a data center cabinet platform
Legrand has unveiled a new data center cabinet platform, Nexpand, to offer the necessary scalability and future-proof architecture for digital transformation.
Story image
CRM
Zendesk announces new conversational CRM solutions
“The last few years have made it obvious that digital is the front door, convenience is paramount and relationships are anchored in conversations."
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
PaaS
New digital traffic light system to tackle construction defects
Smarter Defects Management launches its PaaS digital system and says it will revolutionise managing defects in the construction industry.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS launches human-focused responsible innovation initiative
SAS has launched a responsible innovation initiative, furthering its commitment to equity and putting people first.
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implementations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Alteryx
Decision Inc. Australia enters partnership with Alteryx
Independent data and analytics consultancy Decision Inc. Australia has partnered with automated analytics company Alteryx, expanding its offering to clients.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Data solutions
South Australia state satellite makes significant progress
South Australia’s first state satellite has successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR), moving it closer to providing tangible data solutions.
Story image
Fortinet
Fortinet's Security Fabric hits new record for integrations
The Fortinet Security Fabric has surpassed 500 technology integrations with more than 300 Fabric-Ready Technology Alliance Partners.
Story image
SaaS
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
trust
9/10 Aussies to stop spending if personal data compromised
"Based on the patterns we are seeing among Australian consumers, it is evident that trust in a brand is exceptionally important."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Managed service providers: effective scoping to avoid costly vendor pitfalls
Managed security services are outsourced services focusing on the security and resilience of business networks.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Clear Dynamics closes $35M funding round, invests in global growth
The funding is a major milestone and speaks to Clear Dynamics’ vision for AI-enabled ‘composable’ enterprise software, the company states.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS unveils AI experience to improve kids' batting abilities
SAS has created The Batting Lab, an interactive experience using AI, computer vision and IoT analytics to help kids improve their baseball and softball swings.
Story image
Lightspeed
Lightspeed launches all-in-one marketing platform in A/NZ
ECommerce provider, Lightspeed has launched a new all-in-one marketing solution, Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Infoblox's State of Security Report spotlights Australian remote work hazards
Attackers exploit weak WiFi, remote endpoints, and the cloud, costing 50% of organisations over $1.3 million in breach damages.
Story image
Apple
Apple previews new features for users with disabilities
Apple says new software features that offer users with disabilities new tools for navigation, health and communication, are set to come out later this year.
Story image
Manufacturing
HINDSITE wins Aerospace Xelerated Pitch Challenge with solution to support Boeing
Brisbane-based startup HINDSITE was the winner of the first ever Pitch Challenge organised by Aerospace Xelerated in partnership with Queensland XR Hub. 
Story image
Remote Working
IT teams deploy powerful technologies to enable remote work
"We found that IT teams mastered the challenges of remote work last year in large part by employing powerful yet easy-to-use technologies."
Story image
Digital Transformation
Trading up: It's time to swap core systems for flexible digital applications
This year will see more oranisations planning and commencing high tech renovations that will shake up the way they operate.
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Telstra
Telstra, Google and Accenture launch 5G AR experience for AFL
Telstra, Google and Accenture are developing a new 5G powered augmented reality (AR) experience at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium for the footy season.
Story image
Nozomi Networks
Nozomi Networks, Siemens reveal software integration
Nozomi Networks and Siemens have extended their partnership by embedding Nozomi Networks’ software into the Siemens Scalance LPE local processing engine.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS announces new products amid cloud portfolio success
Analytics and AI company SAS is deepening its broad industry portfolio with offerings that support life sciences, energy, and martech.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The 'A-B-C' of effective application security
Software applications have been a key tool for businesses for decades, but the way they are designed and operated has changed during the past few years.
Story image
Customer experience
Research unveils precarious customer loyalty for retailers
New research has found customers are reassessing established brand loyalties as their priorities and behaviours shift.