Empowering women to pursue careers in technology

Apr 15, 2021

TAFE SA hosted a Women Rock-IT event to highlight career opportunities

TAFE SA’s inaugural Women Rock-IT event brought together industry experts to share their inspiring journeys and practical advice with students and job seekers.

Organised by the IT Studies team, led by Education Manager Frank Annese and lecturer Prem Paelchen, the event was designed to inspire more women to complete Information Technology (IT) qualifications and take up careers in the industry.

In Australia, only 29% of those working in technology occupations are women. In the sector’s technical and professional roles, women make up 26% of the workforce. (ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse, Deloitte Access Economics, 2020).

An audience of 130 women heard from keynote speakers and enjoyed a panel discussion with some of the industry’s key female role models:

• Paula Oliver, Manager, AustCyber SA Node

• Rupa Mathur, Head of Integration and Automation, Pernix

• Eimer Henderson, Account Manager, Prodigy Learning

• Rhoda Miller-Birkby, Manager, DXC Technology

• Deb Farrell, Lecturer, TAFE SA Information Technology Studies

Keynote speaker Kathrine Andersen, senior executive at Gartner, said women shouldn’t be intimidated by the male-dominated industry and urged them to apply for jobs.

Jasmin Haas, a trainee completing the Certificate IV in Information Technology (Programming) (ICT40118) at TAFE SA, told guests that despite being one of few women in her industry, she enjoyed her role at SA Power Networks and the opportunities available to her.

Frank Annese said the Women Rock-IT event highlighted the demand for IT skills and the potential for women to develop rewarding careers in the industry.

“The Training and Skills Commission’s Workforce Insights report into the Information and Communication Technology sector identified a shortage of skills in the local IT industry,” Frank said.

“The report, which was released late last year, predicted demand would continue to grow by 2.3 per cent per annum as new technology continues to roll out across many industries.

“We’re hopeful that these conversations will help raise awareness of the opportunities available in the IT sector.”

Guests also had the opportunity to ask questions and network over afternoon tea. You can access a recording of the event here: Women Rock IT - YouTube.

Women Rock-IT is a global initiative launched by CISCO, an IT and networking brand, to inspire more girls to study technology now, so they don’t miss out on the jobs of the future. Training organisations, schools and industry groups are encouraged to run their own local events.