When Andrea Walsh first made it to the top of the tech world in Australia, she didn’t see herself as a role model for other women wanting to follow in her footsteps.
But the chief information officer (CIO) of leading media monitoring company iSentia tells Game Changers’ host Sarah Harris (Shark Tank/Studio 10), she looks around today and wonders where all the other women are.
“There is just a real shortage of women in technology, which is a real shame, so perhaps I am a role model,” says one of Australia’s highest ranking female tech executives.
The strong supporter of Females in IT and Telecommunications (FITT), a not-for-profit network whose purpose is to inspire women to achieve their career aspirations and potential, believes the key to redressing the gender imbalance lies in education and more support at every level.
She says young girls should be encouraged to move into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at a much earlier age by parents and institutions, and continue to have their support right through to university level, and beyond.
“I don’t think girls are encouraged to take up science and engineering when they are younger,” adds the passionate coding advocate, who is also a regular contributor to The Carousel’s sister site, the award-winning Women Love Tech.
“It’s very much seen as something for boys, and I also don’t think enough women put themselves forward for opportunities and roles.”
Andrea tells Sarah in the latest episode of The Carousel’s popular video and podcast series that women must take every opportunity that comes their way.
“Just go for it – what can you lose at the end of the day?
“I think work with other areas of the business as well; get to know the business and the industry in which you work. Do things that are outside your remit so you can grow from them.”
It’s that kind of attitude that now has Andrea helming a tech team disseminating seven million daily news items across 18 countries for more than 5000 clients at iSentia.
Starting out as an Australian family business more than 30 years ago, and becoming a publicly listed company in 2014, iSentia is a global leader in delivering crucial business intelligence for many of the world’s leading brands, companies and governments.
Andrea also tells Sarah that we are now on the cusp of a tech revolution, with many exciting developments to come.
“I think cloud technology has enabled a lot of organisations to experiment with things like artificial intelligence; I think that will really shape future roles and jobs.”
You can read Andrea’s stories on why girls should learn to code here: