Mar 08, 2019 7 mins Read

International Women’s Day is something we always recognise and celebrate at Transpire. From development and design to management and leadership, women are strongly represented across every department, and it’s safe to say that without their invaluable contributions, Transpire wouldn’t be the digital consultancy of choice for Australia’s leading enterprises.  

But despite the fact that on average, we have more women working here than other tech companies, our people and culture team are constantly looking to balance the numbers as closely as possible. Therefore, this year’s IWD 2019 theme, which looks to build and promote a more gender-balanced world, carries even greater significance.

In light of this, we’ve asked a few members of our female team to strike the #BalanceforBetter pose and provide some insight into what it’s like for women working in tech and leadership.


What could be done to create a better gender balance in the world?

Ensuring that there is diversity in the workplace, where-ever possible a woman on a project, a woman having a seat at the table. Open the conversation to hear the views, ideas and opinions of your female colleagues. Promoting female staff and providing a supportive environment for all. And of course, equal rights, equal pay.

How have you overcome gender bias in your career?

Working in IT, you’re often the only women in the project and the only female voice at the table. I try to ensure that my voice is heard when I feel I can add value to the conversation. I work within a diverse team and within a pretty diverse company so I’m pretty lucky in that sense. I am often sharing ways in which we can improve on our diversity and inclusion.

What advice would you give to women wanting to pursue the same career as you?

Back yourself and just do it.


What could be done to create a better gender balance in the world?

It’s up to you to grab the opportunities that are available. And if there aren’t any opportunities available, make them happen. It also helps to surround yourself with people who share the same vision as you.

How have you overcome gender bias in your career?

Luckily, I haven’t experienced any obvious discrimination or bias in my career. There have been instances, for example with code base improvements, where I have surprised or shocked people with my ability – that has made me feel like a well respected developer. In the end I’m just doing my best and trying to improve all the time.

What advice would you give to women wanting to pursue the same career as you?

Just do it. You shouldn’t let anyone else define your limits. You are your own limit.


What could be done to create a better gender balance in the world?

There is no one silver bullet to such a complex and long standing issue. I believe there are changes in how we parent, market to children, educate our children and educate EVERYONE that can have small influences that will add up to big changes. In workplaces, we can look at how we attract and select candidates, how we train managers on topics such as Unconscious Bias, and how we retain women in our workforce through inclusion practices. There are opportunities to make policy and legislative changes that would help women have a smoother return to the workforce after parental leave. We also need to change the perception of working parents – the skills they bring in time management, efficiencies and communication from being a parent are skills you can’t teach. Working parents need to be seen as hugely valuable assets, not liabilities as some outdated workforces perceive them to be. We need to change our lexicon and how we communicate all round. There are subtle but insidious differences in how we describe women in power vs. men in power and that needs to change to bring more gender balance in leadership roles.

How have you overcome gender bias in your career?

I am lucky in that I was brought up to believe I could do anything, no matter what. I went to school with the most kick-ass group of women I have ever met and we simply didn’t allow gender into the conversation. They have gone on to become leading Engineers, Economists and Surgeons in Australia, so having a strong group of women with a shared belief can do wonders for confidence! Because of this I never even thought about my gender when I entered the workplace. I have worked in mining, aviation, engineering and IT, which are all traditionally male-dominated industries, and have never shied away from a difficult conversation because of my gender. I have been the only female in leadership teams and this hasn’t stopped me from speaking up and raising issues (gender related or otherwise). I have experienced gender biases and age biases but I’ve never let this stop me. In times when I need support, I reach out to other successful, strong women and get their wisdom and inspiration on how to approach the issues in a way that doesn’t make gender the issue, but makes getting the best outcomes for the project or organisation the issue, regardless of who is involved and their gender. 

I think instilling the belief that success doesn’t have to be defined by your gender and that anyone can achieve anything they put their minds to in ALL our children (regardless of gender) will help this belief flow through to future generations. 

What advice would you give to women wanting to pursue the same career as you?

Lead by example – be the one to call out the gender imbalances, be the one to lead the charge for change. Simply don’t take ‘no’ or ‘it’s too hard’ as an acceptable answer. Support and celebrate the successes of other women – we are all in this together.


What could be done to create a better gender balance in the world?

Having equal expectation and equal reward in all aspects of work and personal life. It should be the best person for the job, regardless of gender.

How have you overcome gender bias in your career?

I have the problem that the gender bias in my career is the expectation that women should perform my role. In the administration field, there is an expectation that it isn’t a career and instead a ‘caretaker’ position in any company, one always traditionally suited to a women, as we support the men who manage the companies. I have had to overcome the perception that administration is not a career worthy to pursue, and why did I bother getting a degree if I was only going into administration?

What advice would you give to women wanting to pursue the same career as you?

The career isn’t just admin work, it’s Office Management, Executive Assistant and other high end Administrative positions that require people, not just women, who are intelligent, hard working and adaptable. If you are a great all rounder, who enjoys being in a reactive environment and who is able to effectively benefit the company by providing the crucial support needed, then definitely get into the field.