Business Design Specialist – IAG
Tell us about yourself, and your journey into tech/STEM.
I started my tech journey back in university when I decided to take Information Systems as one of my majors. I decided to do a double degree with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Science – I wanted to have that science and information element because I wanted to learn a bit more about technology while understanding business and commerce, and how things work together. Initially, my first job was at Deloitte, where I actually started as an IT risk graduate, which is more around assessing IT risk. I thought that would be the perfect blend of commerce and IT, however after a year in I realised that’s not what I wanted to do. Then I came into a business analyst role, which is working with products and software – analysing the business, designing tech solutions for the business to help them automate their process or help them do business better. And that’s really when my tech journey properly started. I am now working as a Business Design Specialist, so managing a team that builds software and solutions for the business, making sure that we take all the business needs and concerns into account, and design something technologically that is more aligned for the business.
That’s really where I see myself in the tech world, not so much as a developer, but someone who actually is solving business problems directly.
Why did you choose to go into tech/STEM?
I just saw an opportunity that was creative, I saw a lot of creativity in tech (which I’m not sure everyone agrees with!) but I just think there’s so much you can do with technology nowadays, with the tools that we have available. I started university in 2010, that was 11 years ago, even at that time it was still a very unexplored area, there were lots of new explorations being done and I just thought there’s just a lot more that you can learn. If you can understand how technology fits together, then you have the power to innovate and change the world in many ways.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in tech?
Oh, there’s plenty! Firstly, it took me some time to actually be good at technology, and become good at coding. I think that’s one of the biggest challenges I faced in university – in my first year I realised coding is not what I want to do when I’m in tech. That’s something that didn’t really fit for me, that’s not where I thought I could add a lot of value. However, I really did like the idea of what code could do to put something in front of a problem and solve it. As I spoke to people around me, I changed my course and tried to focus more on the solution side of things and solving business problems through that. That was probably my first challenge. As I came into the industry, I faced one of the more “normal” challenges – there aren’t many women in tech, so you end up being the only one or one of few women in the room. It does take some time to fit in and understand the culture. I guess over time, if you’re quite dedicated and determined to do the task you have to do, you get opportunities, and you find ways to overcome the challenges.
Tell us about a highlight from your career and why it is significant to you.
I would say my highlight is the opportunity I had to go to Stanford. I went to Stanford in 2019, and it was actually thanks to a lot of the work I had done with She Sharp that helped me align the work I had done with my career to various leadership opportunities I had, and the work I was doing with She Sharp in terms of gender equality which gave me an opportunity to go to Stanford and explore different ways we can utilise technology to help overcome the challenge of not having an equal world. That was definitely a massive highlight for me, not only personally but also professionally, and just as an experience I could tick off. It really helped me to get where I am today, and it also helped me to learn more about myself.
What are you working on now?
Today I am working on the product management space and the business design space. That involves speaking to the business, sitting down with them and understanding their business problems, and then looking at the technological expertise and seeing what fits best for them, and how we can solve these with a digital solution. So that’s what I’m doing today, and I thoroughly love what I do. I feel like I’ve found my niche, my area, and where I want to make a difference in technology, especially in large organisations, just because of the bigger impact they can have.
Why do you think we need more women in tech and/or STEM?
When solving problems and to address the various issues that the world has, and organisations have, women bring a very different perspective when sitting on the table. They bring a different view – their life experiences, their exposure throughout their lives, adds a different lens to problem solving, and I think that’s very important to be there when trying to solve problems. When you have all men trying to solve a problem for a woman, it doesn’t really hit the mark. You need women there with you, collaboratively, to do that. That’s why I think women need to be there.