How to be a (tech)fluencer

Technology enables almost everything we touch, from healthcare to making your resume look beautiful. Yet only 8 per cent of girls are likely to grow up to work in tech.

In celebration of International Women’s Day we’ve compiled a list of a few women from the Tech Council community who #breakthebias in tech to help make your life better.

Katherine McConnell makes sustainable living easier

After 16 years in investment banking and financial services, Katherine decided to refocus her skills to help people transparently finance sustainable home improvements. So, she founded Brighte, an Aussie company on a mission to make every home sustainable.

Driven by technology, Katherine leads a team that connects customers with tradies to install improvements such as solar systems, battery systems, and even pool heating systems. 

“By making everyday technologies more accessible, we know we can fundamentally change the way Australians control their energy and shift power to the home.”

Joanna Shepherd connects you to the internet

Did you know that Optus owns 5 satellites and flies 7? Recent graduate Joanna is in the team that keeps them “healthy and earth pointing”.

“People don’t really realise how much satellite is integrated into our lives. Even just using Google Maps to get anywhere is satellite technology – which most people do, most days or every day. It’s been really cool to be involved and learn about the ways that this technology is improving people’s lives.”

Erica Berchtold delivers the latest fashions directly to your door

Technology and data science are the secret sauce in THE ICONIC’s recipe for success, according to their CEO Erica Berchtold. Erica leads a team of over 1000 people, with 20 per cent of their corporate office made up of technology roles.

“I look at COVID, and the way some retailers were saying, ‘We got a chance to experience what it’s like to be pure-play online.’ Oh come on, it takes more than your physical stores to be shut (except for click-and-collect) to be a pure-play!”

“But I then remember, before I worked for a pure play, I ‘didn’t know what I didn’t know’ either. THE ICONIC has had a 10-year head start on being a pure play, and whilst COVID acted as a bit of a pace-car and evened out the track for a little bit, the pace-car has gone and we’re back to racing ahead as we’ve always done. The data and insights and technology that is baked into our DNA, I think most retailers would be astounded by.”

Holly Hutson enables an efficient public health system

With public healthcare under a microscope after the last few years, we’re aware of how critical logistics is to deliver a high level of patient care.

Holly is currently working on a machine learning project which helps hospitals receive surgical sets more quickly so more surgeries can happen. 

After a few years in academia, Holly took the leap into the tech industry as the Machine Learning Team Lead at Max Kelsen where she focuses on helping businesses and government agencies have a competitive advantage using analytics, machine learning and science. 

“What really drew me to Max Kelsen from academia was the opportunity to take the techniques I was working on in academia, and see them put into production and impacting people’s lives. I was especially inspired by the work Max Kelsen is doing to use machine learning to improve patient outcomes.”

Angela Lui helps you access healthcare

Angela jokes that she got her job as a Lead Designer at HealthEngine by dropping out of medical school. HealthEngine is a consumer healthcare platform that helps people navigate the complex world of healthcare.

It turns out that taking this path into tech with a wealth of medical knowledge helps her make a bigger impact on the lives of Australians. 

“After the events of the pandemic in the last couple of years, digital health seems to have kickstarted into high gear and we’ve tried to innovate different ways of supporting the patient throughout their healthcare journey.”

“I love that there’s always something to do and influence that can ultimately positively impact many people in Australia.”

Melanie Perkins makes the world look better

Canva’s co-founder and CEO Melanie has transformed the way we work and visually communicate. Whether you’re updating your CV or creating a show-stopping presentation, more often than not, we turn to Canva.

Now that Melanie’s made the world look better, she’s turning her attention to making the world a better place. Along with her Co-Founder Cliff Obrecht, they’re committing the vast majority of their equity (30 per cent of Canva) to do good in the world.

Explore the tech job opportunity in our Australia’s Tech Jobs Opportunity – Cracking the Code to Australia’s Best Jobs report.


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