You are our second profile. You are also someone who’s been on the Girls Club scene for quite a while, and you’ve started your own girls group – SWITCH (Society for Women in Information TeCHnology) at RMIT, which is all about building a community of supportive women who love and live technology. That’s so cool. You are someone who inspires me. So, onto the questions… !
WORK + PLAY
How are you today?
I’m great, thanks!
What do you do for work?
I work part time at Legal Aid. My title is Referral Information Coordinator.
What does that involve day to day?
I make sure that the information our staff use to refer clients internally to other departments and externally to other organisations is kept up-to-date. This is to make sure that our clients are getting appropriate and timely referrals to services that will help them solve their legal and non-legal problems. I also train new staff in how to use some of our software and help out with bits and pieces of project management. On any given day I might be answering emails, attending meetings, running a training session either in person or over the phone, doing some database admin work, tweaking Gannt charts in Microsoft Project, creating flowcharts to illustrate workflows or processes and writing or reviewing documents.
How did you get to this role, this field, from school?
I have a combined Bachelors of Information Technology / Bachelor of Law. After graduating I spent a couple of years working in legal publishing and another three in legal policy. My current job was a logical next step for me as I recently decided to change careers from the legal services industry to a more technical field. I’m also studying a Masters of Computer Science at RMIT which I hope to finish by the end of next year.
What do you do for play?
Read obsessively about women in tech, help to run RMIT SWITCH (Society for Women in Information TeCHnology), work on the yarraReporter project with the Digital Inclusion team at InfoXChange, listen to music, catch up on TV shows, dabble in some sewing or other handicrafts, watch NBA games, go on breakfast dates with my friends and/or the boy, go to tech Meetups, events and conferences.
Do you have any favourite sites or blogs?
DesignSponge and The Design Files are two enduring favourites. Both are design blogs, focussed mostly on interior and product design. DesignSponge is based in Brooklyn, NY while The Design Files is Melbourne based. For career-related articles my go-to sites are The Muse, Women’s Agenda and the Harvard Business Review. For online shopping I frequent Etsy, ASOS and Book Depository.
What TV/music are you currently enjoying?
TV – Broad City, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Inside Amy Schumer, Orange is the New Black. I am also watching Twin Peaks for the first time (finally!)
Music – Blood Orange, Drake, Le1f, Ab-Soul, Shabazz Palaces
Who are favourite females in your life?
The other ladies who help to run RMIT SWITCH, Fox and Shannon for having the fantastic idea to establish Girls Club and working so hard to make it the thriving community it is today, female entrepreneurs and small business owners, any lady who is paving her own way, kicking goals, smashing down walls and marching to the beat of her own drum.
Are you part of any other meetups/groups/etc that you recommend?
I have gone along to a handful of Girl Geek Dinners Melbourne events and have found them to be an incredibly welcoming, sharing and fun bunch of people. RMIT SWITCH obviously! OpenTechSchool Melbourne run fantastic free workshops for anyone wanting to learn some new tech skills or hone the ones they’ve already got. For anyone interested in citizen/grassroots journalism I’d highly recommend the Yarra Reporter.
THE BIG PICTURE
What are your passions?
the advancement of women in technical fields, music of (almost) all kinds, the Chicago Bulls
What are you looking forward to, coming up?
I’m visiting Japan for the first time in September which will be amazing!
What would you do, if money were no object?
I would buy my own home in Melbourne and set it up as an Airbnb property, hosting interesting guests from all over the world while making enough money to not have to be employed by anyone. I’d spend my time working on my own small projects. Eventually I would found my own tech start-up which would be wildly successful. I would sell it to Google for millions of dollars and spend that money by extending my property portfolio to Chicago, IL where I would like for 4 months of the year and Austin, TX where I would live for another 4 months of the year. I’d use the remainder to invest in female-run tech businesses.
What would you do, if you weren’t afraid?
Believe that I am capable of achieving the above! But honestly, I would have confidence that I can hold my own in a technical field, dominated by guys who have been programming since they were 12 years old and could just about do it with their eyes closed.
COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE
I would love to meet other girls who…
– have fantastic ideas about anything that they’d like to share
– are passionate about the advancement of women in tech
I need help with…
– becoming a more confident programmer
– finding more hours in the day
I’d like to promote…
1. RMIT SWITCH (Society for Women in Information TeCHnology) – an organisation for female students interested in or studying tech. We are a supportive and welcoming community, helping women to feel a sense of belonging in technical degrees and careers. Do you know anyone who would like to sponsor us?
2. InfoXchange – a fantastic NFP organisation who are all about technology for social justice.
3. A friend’s fantastic Pozible campaign for Blood Moon tonic syrup.
if other girls are reading this, is there anything you’d like to ask them / say to them?
1. Don’t stay in a crappy job you don’t like because it’s easier than working out what it is you really want to do.
2. Be good to other women, especially if you are in a position of influence or power. Make sure you take every opportunity to use your status to help and promote other women. If you’ve worked extraordinarily hard to get to where you are, that is an even better reason to make the journey to success easier for other women.
3. Actually doing things is 100 times more useful than just thinking or talking about them. If you do things the way you’ve always done them, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. I’ve learnt this one the hard way.
4. Turn your envy into something constructive. For months I kept seeing this girl on my tram who was exceptionally well dressed, perfectly made up and always looked elegant. It took me far too long to realise that instead of being jealous of her, I could take what I envied most and try to emulate that in my own life. I started getting up a bit earlier so I had time to pick out a nice outfit, style my hair and put on lipstick. It became a daily habit which helped me to feel more professional and confident. Any step you can take in the direction you’d like to go in is still a step, regardless of how small.
[Image credit: Yishan Chan Photography]