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Technology is advancing in the blink of an eye, providing infinite career opportunities in IT.

2021 Census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics backs this, showing a significant rise in the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Despite this, women are still hugely underrepresented, particularly in tech leadership. Only 15% of female executives make up the tech industry in Australia, so there’s still much to be done to achieving a level playing field.

Closer to home, we’re big on supporting women in tech and bridging the gender equity gap. We recently launched a program – ITG Women in Technology and Allies (WITA), with a focus on exploring the current challenges impacting the tech industry across gender and diversity equity. The program gives women in tech a platform to create an even more inclusive workplace. It also provides opportunities to consider how we can create broader opportunities for women and develop their careers.

Jane, General Manager of Information Technology Group (ITG) is a female trailblazer in IT, having clocked more than 25 years in the industry. She shares her journey to success as a female leader in the tech space.

Jane Mitchell - General Manager of Information Technology Group
Jane, General Manager of Information Technology Group (ITG)

Making it to the top in tech

“My IT career began in the Royal Australian Airforce working across all disciplines of technology, predominately ‘on the tools’ across infrastructure, network and software.

“Following my discharge from the military, I moved into professional consultancy services specialising in information, data and technology, strategy and delivery. This opened many doors for me to work globally and across multiple sectors such as resources, oil and gas, government and private enterprises.”

Jane joined us in 2016, where she’s honed her IT leadership skills in several roles including Section Manager of Information, Data and Analytics, Section Manager Enterprise Application and Head of Business Unit of Information Technology Services.

“Water Corporation has provided me with great opportunities to develop my leadership in a variety of ways. We have unique and diverse technology challenges and opportunities, and my diverse background has enabled me to share my previous experiences to seek better outcomes.

“I always put my hand up to take on challenges. It’s helped me to expand my leadership, deliver better outcomes for the organisation and keeps me excited for the future work yet to be done.”

Bridging the gender equity gap

“Our gender pay parity is currently 4.7% compared to 14.1% nationally (December 2022). We’ve made significant grounds to closing the gap, but we still have some work to do.

“Like any organisation, there is much to be done around unconscious bias. It impacts our ability as an organisation and makes it challenging to attract top diverse talent. I believe everyone can step up and take the opportunity for self-improvement in this space, to create an equal environment for all.

“Our new program WITA, will help us to develop our own unconscious bias across the group and work as a team to seek broader opportunities in this space.”

What makes a great leader?

“I admire traits in a leader that takes ownership and accountability, whether it’s a positive or negative outcome, and delivering on what you’ve committed to.

“A collaborator, ‘we’re in it together’ to deliver common goals. Authentic communication is key for me. I need to know where I’m heading and what it should look like.

“Empathy is also key for me. Everyone has something going on in the background, so it’s important to recognise and consider this, taking the time to actively listen, understand and have a general concern about people’s wellbeing. I believe empathy allows for stronger working bonds within a team. It allows people to build trust and promotes an open environment to bring more of yourself to work.”

Advice for emerging young leaders in tech

“The drive for continuous learning and self-reflection is fundamental. No matter how successful you are, there’s always room for improvement. Take time for self-reflection, don’t be afraid to receive feedback from others and invest time for further development.

“It’s important to spend time early in your career to define your goals and have a plan. This helps to focus your energy on things that’ll benefit you the most in developing in your career.

“Leadership is a lifelong journey! Everyone has the potential and capability to be a leader, it takes continual practice, seeking feedback to grow, exploration and application of traits to improve and develop. I’m dedicated to always be better than I was the day before.”

See where a career in IT at Water Corporation could take you! Head to our careers page to find out more.