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Joanne Jacobs joins the Women’s Techmakers Panel at Google

By Joanne Jacobs

Photo credit: @georgiecel

In early March, women around the world commemorated the movement for women’s liberation and voiced their right to be in control of their lives and of the future of the world. The theme for International Women’s Day 2017 was ‘Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030’ and was promoted with the hash tag #BeBoldForChange. Fittingly, Women Techmakers, Google’s global program and brand for women in technology, kicked off the Women Techmakers panel in Sydney to celebrate contributions made by women in technology and empower them to ‘pursue their dreams and build tools that change the world.’

Recent years have seen a dramatic change in the world of work, with digital innovation and the technological revolution projecting more opportunities for women. In a bid to accelerate greater female participation in the dynamic labour market, the Women Techmakers Panel in Sydney attracted roughly one hundred women from around Sydney to share their experiences and advice in the tech industry.

The topics centred around what drives women to be involved in innovation and entrepreneurship, the importance of mentoring and how one can develop a career as a techmaker whilst balancing life and work. Women tech leaders Emily Olson and Julie Demsey joined Disruptor’s Handbook’s Joanne Jacobs on the panel that covered these wide ranging topics. Julie Demsey is the general manager at Springboard Enterprises Australia and applies her experience working in Silicon Valley to helping start up companies in Australia.

Emily Olson is a travelling entrepreneur, foodie and founder of Din and Foodzie.com. During the panel, she touched on the theme of imposter syndrome and how common it is for women to believe that they are undeserving of the success and recognition that they achieve. She implored women techmakers not to downplay their achievements and instead be confident of their success and to share their stories.

Speaking after the event with Joanne, she reiterated one of her key points from the panel – that technology is an important part of an organisation, not something separate, “Technology does not operate – or at least isn’t widely accepted – in a vacuum”, explained Joanne. “You must help organisations adapt to technology as much as possible as to demonstrate the possibilities. Otherwise you risk setting up antipathy to innovate programs among those who don’t get to part of the journey.”

Launched in 2014, Women Techmakers is ‘continually launching global scalable initiatives and piloting new programs to support and empower women in the industry. It proudly boasts a global community of 17000 women from 50 different countries and provides the visibility, opportunities and resources needed to pioneer or develop their careers.

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