Tag Archives: Work

ThoughtWorks Australia is an Employer of Choice for Women

ThoughtWorks Australia is an Employer of Choice for WomenOn the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, ThoughtWorks Australia was named as one of just 98 organisations that are Employers of Choice for Women.

This list was compiled by EOWA – the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, which is an Australian Government statutory authority.

This is a great (and I might say, well-deserved) honour for ThoughtWorks but it also seems a little depressing that in all of Australia, just 98 organisations met the requirements to be considered for this recognition.

The full 2011 EOWA Employer of Choice for Women list can be read here.

Why did ThoughtWorks deserve this? Well, the official criteria can be seen on the EOWA website, but from my personal point of view, I feel like that “fairness” or “equal opportunity” aspect to women in the workforce is a no-brainer at ThoughtWorks. Of course people are remunerated and hired based on their skills, not their gender. Of course they should be free from harrassment. Of course, where possible, flexible working options should be available. And so on. But that’s not the most awesome part, because that should be the case everywhere anyway.

In my opinion, what makes ThoughtWorks stand out and deserving of this recognition is that – in an industry which was was never famous for its high female participation rates – Thoughtworks has genuinely and proactively tried to get more women involved in IT. We’re official and unofficial supporters of programs like Girl Geeks, Go Girl Go For IT and Digital Divas. We pay higher referral bonuses when women are hired. Our women are encouraged to network together and support each other. When I joined the company, I was one of two female recruits. We were chosen out of a shortlist that was 75% female.

IT/ICT is everywhere in our everyday lives. The user base for all these technologies is made up by every different kind of person imaginable. So it makes sense that the people developing these technologies are representative of those that use them. Women make up 50% of the world’s population. You can do the math to figure out what proportion of this industry should also be made up of women.

ThoughtWorks have cottoned onto that. It’s not an easy task – women often don’t consider IT as a career option. That’s why we’re trying to encourage particularly younger women to think about IT at school and university. But again, this is what makes ThoughtWorks stand out. They’re trying bloody hard.

Congratulations ThoughtWorks and well done to the staff that worked towards this amazing recognition.

This is another reason why I’m proud to be a ThoughtWorker 🙂

More good news…

Wow, good news seems to come in pairs! Earlier this week I found out about being a Finalist in Google’s Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship and now I’ve received another exciting phone call – this time offering me a summer vacation position at Deloitte!

I’ll be an analyst in the Consulting division for four weeks in November/December. This is great! All of the people I met so far at Deloitte have been very friendly and very funny. It’ll be great to get to learn more about the company before I start applying for graduate positions next year.

There’s mean to be an “Under Offer” celebratory dinner in September but I just realised that I’ll be in Sydney for the Anita Borg retreat! Oh well. Plenty of time to meet more people at the end of the year!

IBL ends at Foster’s…

My twenty-week Industry-Based Learning (IBL) placement at Foster’s Group is just about to end. I was part of the Process Capability Team at the Southbank headquarters. Foster’s was really such a great place to start my corporate ICT work experience. It’s a large company and obviously a household name. The BP&IT department is headquartered in Melbourne so I had the best chance to meet, network and experience the major IT projects happening in Foster’s.

Everyone was very friendly and helpful and keen to give me as many advantages as possible. Thanks particularly to my manager Patricia for being so proactive and positive about my future career.

Of course, I learned plenty over the last 20 weeks. Perhaps what was most surprising though was learning how much I enjoy training – developing training courses and then facilitating and rolling them out. That made up quite a large portion of my work during the IBL placement and it’s something I’ll definitely be looking at doing again in the future. The other part of my work – process analysis and modelling – was also really enjoyable and hopefully I should blitz that subject next semester! 🙂

Finishing a work placement at a company where I really enjoyed myself would usually be pretty sad – but I’ll be back again! Yes, Foster’s offered me a casual position! I’ll continue working with the Process Capability Team for one day a week while I go back to university next semester. Full-time summer work is looking like an option too.

But for now, we’re in ‘farewell’ mode. There are 5 other IBL students here besides me and we’re all having our little team parties and exchanging emails. I’m happy that I can tell people “I’ll see you next week”, but I’m still happy to take part in the “last” day celebrations at the bar too!