SHE# STORYTELLERS SERIES

Thanks to everyone for joining our She# Storytellers Speakers sessions!
May - June 2020

We were so delighted and excited to see you at our free online She# Storytellers Series, featuring interactive sessions with inspiring and remarkable leaders in technology. Event summaries and resources coming soon! Stay tuned and follow us on shesharp.org.nz and our social media channels for exciting updates!

Whilst 2020 started off with a bang, the start of a new decade, it quickly turned into unprecedented times. Yes, we’ve heard the word ‘unprecedented’ a lot over the past few months, but the truth is, the world just wasn’t prepared for what was quickly evolving to be the biggest pandemic of this generation. For us here, in little ol’ New Zealand, Kiwis too, persevered, making sacrifices for the preservation of the lives of others. She Sharp, in recognising these difficult times, decided to launch a series of interactive, digital sessions, inviting female leaders in tech to share their career journeys and experiences.

Thanks to everyone who was able to join us during May – June for the She Sharp Storytellers Series. Over five weeks, She Sharp hosted a range of tech leaders, from the likes of Google and Microsoft. We had participants tuning in from all around Aotearoa and across APAC. We hope that you were able to gain inspiration, motivation, and some new connections through the platform during these challenging times.

OUR SPEAKERS

Saba Samiei​

SPARK

Saba’s mission in life is to do her best in creating a better future for humanity and all that lives around us. She has quite a diverse experience in the tech industry from hands-on coding to leading multi-million dollar transformation projects.
Saba developed an in-depth passion for artificial intelligence back in 2017 and has dedicated her life outside of work to this topic ever since. She recently submitted her master thesis which focused on understanding the why behind the warnings about the danger of AI continues to work on this topic in more depth.
In 2017, Saba was recognised as the top 3 finalists in New Zealand CIO emerging leader awards and top 4 finalist in Women of Influence Young leader awards. In 2019 she has been recognised as New Zealand Reseller News 30 under 30 and won the audience award for her 3-minute thesis presentation at AUT. Saba is currently working at Microsoft as a partner development manager, helping New Zealand businesses grow using Microsoft technology. She is passionate about closing the STEAM skill shortage gap.
Saba’s motto in life is “I’ll find a way or make one!”

Tash Bettridge

VODAFONE

Tash is the co-founder of the New Zealand Network for Women in Security and currently working as a Graduate Cybersecurity Analyst in the Cyber Defence Centre at Vodafone. Tash transitioned from teaching to a career working in Cybersecurity. While she was studying her undergraduate, she interned at PwC, contracted as a Cybersecurity Consultant and interned at Google Australia.
During her undergrad, she faced challenges of being one of a few women taking Networking and Cybersecurity classes and was curious to understand why there weren’t many women taking those subjects. This led to her completing her undergrad and moving towards a Masters which focuses on increasing the representation of women in cybersecurity.
She was recently featured in the latest Tribe of Hackers book series called Tribe of Hackers Security Leaders which featured other well-known international security leaders and uprising security leaders. Tash has won numerous accolades, including scholarships from Google, AWIS, Udacity.

Dr. Lena Waizenegger

AUCKLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY (AUT)

Lena is a Lecturer in Business Information Systems and the founder of the Early Career Academics forum at AUT. After completing her degree in international business and economics in Austria, France and Germany, she completed her PhD in Austria and New Zealand. Her research focuses on conversational agents and the impact on the human workforce, Artificial Intelligence, digital disconnection and robotic process automation.
Her work has been published in top journals such as the Journal of Travel Research, Internet Research and International Journal of Knowledge Management. She regularly speaks at international conferences and her research was featured in renowned outlets like Forbes, Psychology today and the Daily Mail.
Before becoming an academic she used to compete in slopestyle snowboarding and rode for DC, Smith and Komperdell in international contests. Sport is and has always been the anchor point in her life; be it snowboarding, swimming, gymnastics, mountain-biking, beach-volleyball or nowadays surfing. Lena thinks that although work-life balance is important, it is often difficult to achieve in demanding jobs. Therefore it is crucial to find time for yourself and identify an energy source such as sports, reading, or playing video games to recharge. This will enable you to tackle projects whilst safeguarding your mental and physical well-being.

Alisa Edwards

GRAVITY LAB

Alisa is a Chilean-American (and almost Kiwi) who is passionate about the environment, diversity & inclusion, and tech for good. She is active in Auckland’s Salesforce community where she runs the Women in Tech group, works as a Salesforce consultant at GravityLab, teaches the Admin course at Tech Futures Lab, and collects 600+ Trailhead badges as well as ten Salesforce certifications. Alisa loves hearing from inspiring people, learning new languages, exploring vegan restaurants, hiking NZ Great Walks, attending hackathons, minimising waste, and finding ways to do things thoughtfully and a bit unconventionally.

Paola Golledge

GOOGLE

With over 15 years professional experience, Paola has spent most of her career working for large technology companies. She started her career as a business analyst in Europe and then moved to Australia where she worked in CA, Oracle and subsequently joined Google in 2011. For the first 8 years Paola was tasked to help build the Google Cloud Business across Asia Pacific and Japan. Most recently she has shifted careers and is now part of the Site Reliability Engineering team helping make some of the most loved products available for our users.
Paola has a Financial Management degree, a Masters in Environmental Sciences and is currently completing a Masters in IT in UNSW. Having gone through a couple of career changes, in her talk Paola aims to share her own personal experiences. Born and raised in Mexico, she will chat about the life journey that took her around the world to finally settle in Australia, the place she now calls home. She strongly believes that getting the balance between kindness to oneself and persistence is the key to overcoming stressful situations and will share how it has helped her own professional career first returning to work after maternity leave and more recently through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saba’s mission in life is to do her best in creating a better future for humanity and all that lives around us. She has quite a diverse experience in the tech industry from hands-on coding to leading multi-million dollar transformation projects.
Saba developed an in-depth passion for artificial intelligence back in 2017 and has dedicated her life outside of work to this topic ever since. She recently submitted her master thesis which focused on understanding the why behind the warnings about the danger of AI continues to work on this topic in more depth.
In 2017, Saba was recognised as the top 3 finalists in New Zealand CIO emerging leader awards and top 4 finalist in Women of Influence Young leader awards. In 2019 she has been recognised as New Zealand Reseller News 30 under 30 and won the audience award for her 3-minute thesis presentation at AUT. Saba is currently working at Microsoft as a partner development manager, helping New Zealand businesses grow using Microsoft technology. She is passionate about closing the STEAM skill shortage gap.
Saba’s motto in life is “I’ll find a way or make one!”​

Tash is the co-founder of the New Zealand Network for Women in Security and currently working as a Graduate Cybersecurity Analyst in the Cyber Defence Centre at Vodafone.
Tash transitioned from teaching to a career working in Cybersecurity. While she was studying her undergraduate, she interned at PwC, contracted as a Cybersecurity Consultant and interned at Google Australia.
During her undergrad, she faced challenges of being one of a few women taking Networking and Cybersecurity classes and was curious to understand why there weren’t many women taking those subjects. This led to her completing her undergrad and moving towards a Masters which focuses on increasing the representation of women in cybersecurity.
She was recently featured in the latest Tribe of Hackers book series called Tribe of Hackers Security Leaders which featured other well-known international security leaders and uprising security leaders. Tash has won numerous accolades, including scholarships from Google, AWIS, Udacity.

Lena is a Lecturer in Business Information Systems and the founder of the Early Career Academics forum at AUT. After completing her degree in international business and economics in Austria, France and Germany, she completed her PhD in Austria and New Zealand. Her research focuses on conversational agents and the impact on the human workforce, Artificial Intelligence, digital disconnection and robotic process automation.
Her work has been published in top journals such as the Journal of Travel Research, Internet Research and International Journal of Knowledge Management. She regularly speaks at international conferences and her research was featured in renowned outlets like Forbes, Psychology today and the Daily Mail.
Before becoming an academic she used to compete in slopestyle snowboarding and rode for DC, Smith and Komperdell in international contests. Sport is and has always been the anchor point in her life; be it snowboarding, swimming, gymnastics, mountain-biking, beach-volleyball or nowadays surfing.

Lena thinks that although work-life balance is important, it is often difficult to achieve in demanding jobs. Therefore it is crucial to find time for yourself and identify an energy source such as sports, reading, or playing video games to recharge. This will enable you to tackle projects whilst safeguarding your mental and physical well-being.​

Alisa is a Chilean-American (and almost Kiwi) who is passionate about the environment, diversity & inclusion, and tech for good. She is active in Auckland’s Salesforce community where she runs the Women in Tech group, works as a Salesforce consultant at GravityLab, teaches the Admin course at Tech Futures Lab, and collects 600+ Trailhead badges as well as ten Salesforce certifications. Alisa loves hearing from inspiring people, learning new languages, exploring vegan restaurants, hiking NZ Great Walks, attending hackathons, minimising waste, and finding ways to do things thoughtfully and a bit unconventionally.

With over 15 years professional experience, Paola has spent most of her career working for large technology companies. She started her career as a business analyst in Europe and then moved to Australia where she worked in CA, Oracle and subsequently joined Google in 2011. For the first 8 years Paola was tasked to help build the Google Cloud Business across Asia Pacific and Japan. Most recently she has shifted careers and is now part of the Site Reliability Engineering team helping make some of the most loved products available for our users.
Paola has a Financial Management degree, a Masters in Environmental Sciences and is currently completing a Masters in IT in UNSW. Having gone through a couple of career changes, in her talk Paola aims to share her own personal experiences. Born and raised in Mexico, she will chat about the life journey that took her around the world to finally settle in Australia, the place she now calls home. She strongly believes that getting the balance between kindness to oneself and persistence is the key to overcoming stressful situations and will share how it has helped her own professional career first returning to work after maternity leave and more recently through the COVID-19 pandemic.​