The HRD Global Top 100 is a great way to recognise the hard work of HR professionals around the world and across all industries. When I found out I was named in I was left speechless, firstly because I am humbled to receive the recognition not once, not twice, but three times. Although this recognition is shared with 99 other leading HR professionals (20 from Australia), it really recognises the work of everyone in the field that continues to deliver exceptional expertise, bold ideas and support to both our colleagues where we work, and the communities in which we live.
The announcement also provided me with a great opportunity to stop and reflect on everything I’ve achieved in my career so far.
I’ve worked in the ICT Industry for over 30 years now, but my journey didn’t begin in HR, it began in project services resourcing and project management. An opportunity arose in HR, and I ventured out of my comfort zone and initiated a conversation with the manager. Although there was that little voice in the back of my mind telling me I had something to offer and I wanted to make a difference, I guess you could say I fell into it.
I knew I was passionate about people and held a strong desire to add value and support commercial success by helping create an environment that supports and nurtures my colleagues. When I made the career transition, I made sure I asked a lot of questions, learnt from my experiences and also made sure I stretched outside of my comfort zone.
Sometimes venturing out of those comfort zones is a challenge in itself. Recently, I’ve taken a leap even further out of my comfort zone to sign up for the Youngcare Simpsons Desert Challenge and walk 225Kms over 9 days across the desert in May 2023. This means no toilets, showers, or connection with the outside world – which as someone who is very passionate about people will be a little difficult.
Venturing out of the same comfort zones at a professional capacity can often seem more daunting than walking 225km over 9 days when it is in an industry such as ICT. While the ICT industry is growing in diversity, it is still largely male dominated. Being a woman in an ICT leadership role there are still times when I feel the pressure to work harder to prove that I’ve earned my seat at the table. It’s that same nagging voice that gave me the drive to seek out new challenges and venture into HR in the first place, but it also makes me question if I am truly good enough. Through a career with as many ups and downs as you can imagine, I’ve learnt that one of the best ways to overcome imposter syndrome is by working with an organisation that has a strong and inclusive culture set on a foundation of strong values.
My passion for people that steered me into HR, also led me to Data#3. I am fortunate to have a leadership role in an organisation that embraces our people, understands how diverse we all are by nature and that we each have unique perspectives, skills, and experiences, that should be nurtured. We all have something to offer, to have a voice and more importantly to be heard.
The recognition I’ve received as part of the HRD Global Top 100 of 2022, is not only a reflection of the journey in my career but is also attributed to the success of my team. At the HEART of the business is our united passion to create a strong culture of care, one that provides support at both the operational and strategic directions of the business to support Data#3 to continue to successfully grow.
Our united success is why I can’t help but think back to that little girl who looked at the world full of endless possibilities for what could be. She wasn’t exactly sure what road lay ahead for her, but she’d be so proud to know that she has been true to herself and held onto her beliefs and values along the way.
I have been truly fortunate to have had great mentors throughout my career. There have been people I have trusted and respected, people who have coached and guided me but also challenged me to be better, do better, and think outside the box – something that has proven especially vital in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To this day I have a diverse group of “go to” mentors that I put the call out to when I find I need some extra support or even for a sanity check. I learnt quickly that no one has all the answers, but sometimes when you are in a situation where you can’t see a way forward, being able to step away or have a different voice or approach really helps you to gain clarity and focus.
It is also important to find inspiration to continuously learn and evolve. I am inspired on a daily basis by witnessing the growth of my colleagues at various levels across Data#3, and also those who overcome adversity. My passion for people is only furthered with my love of helping people navigate life through challenging times, ensuring people always feel supported.
If I can share one of the most important things I have learnt in the last 30 years, it is to not let fear get in the way. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, put yourself forward, ask for a new opportunity or to be involved in a project. The worst that can happen is the response will be no, but it could also be a yes. By doing this you will show initiative and demonstrate passion and drive. For women, regardless of what industry you are in, be bold.
If you want something and you are up for the challenge, just ask, and make sure you don’t give up.
A career at Data#3 will give you the opportunity to work at one of Australia’s leading business technology companies with a range of career opportunities across Australia. Data#3 embraces diversity, inspires our people and grows with HEART. If you are seeking a new challenge, then look no further than Data#3.