Home' HR Monthly : October 2018 Contents Women share a joke at a
Code Like a Girl workshop
INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY
CODE LIKE A GIRL
Code Like a Girl’s goal
is to make sure women
are equal creatives in
building our technology-
focused future. That’s
why we offer workshops, coding camps,
internships and more.
In terms of the difficulties of getting women
into tech, I think a number of issues are at play.
‘ You can’t be what you can’t see’ has a lot
of truth to it. If you don’t have those visible role
models doing the role you want, it can be hard
to envisage that future for yourself.
And in some cases I think we have a way to
go in terms of structures and policies that we
have in place in our companies. At the moment,
they sometimes act as a barrier, for women in
particular, to move into senior roles.
One example is around gender-neutral
parental leave. We still see terminology around
a primary carer getting a certain amount of
support, but the secondar y carer not. As women
are typically tagged as the primary carer, it limits
the help their partners can give.
When I think about the changes that
organisations can make, it’s basic things. It’s
around flexibility, part-time work, a bit of return
to work support, maybe a bit of training – but so
many organisations just don’t provide that.
Unfortunately, it’s easier for them to hire
someone who doesn’t require that support, and
I think in a lot of cases that’s quite gendered.
Support diversity in your organisation by
building your team’s understanding of how
conscious and unconscious bias can affect
decision making at work, with AHRI’s in-house
training or toolkit ‘Managing unconscious bias’.
I also don't dwell on things when they don't
go right. I'm a big believer in innovation, so I
also own mistakes and move on.
TC: Are there any times throughout your
career when you've experienced sexism, or
felt that you r gender came into play?
CL: You know what? No. But that doesn't
mean other women haven't experienced that.
I'm a strong advocate for other females –
there's nothing worse than seeing situations that
could be perceived as women not supporting
other women. There's enough room in the
C-suite for all of us.
So I've just done what's worked for me and
along the way been aware of other females’
challenges, been supportive, mentored, paved
the way, and created opportunities and exposure
where I could for other women.
TC: You have five young children, including
three-year-old twins. How do you juggle it?
CL: I have a very, very supportive husband.
But it's really hard some days. It's rewarding,
it's busy, it ebbs and flows – sometimes I'm
a little run ragged and other times I feel like
'I've got this'.
Being a parent has made me a way better
leader. I double-down on challenges, I have
more empathy. I understand that everybody
who comes into the office may be carrying some
hardship – it could be getting home to kids, a
divorce, an illness – so it's important to make an
open, inclusive, empathetic environment where
people don't feel they have to hide.
TC: A former head of Queensland
government recently told HRM that juggling
work and family is chaos, and women who
try to pretend it all 'works' are torturing
themselves. How important is it for women
to be honest about the fact that sometimes
it's not all going to work?
CL: I'm sure many women feel like it's
chaos, some women may feel like it's bliss.
I often feel like chaos has some negative
undertones, so we've just got to talk about
our own experience.
I don't like to put myself in the position of
other women, make assumptions or tell them
how to feel. I won't say to a mother, 'Oh it must
be hard.’ Instead I try to role model.
A lot of the young women I mentor are
looking for someone to tell them 'You can do
both.’ But can you have it all? Well, it depends
what your definition is. But you can absolutely
be a career person and also be a mother, and I'm
here to show you that you can. •••
20/9/18 5:02 pm
Links Archive September 2018 November 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page