Last night, the Victorian digital technology industry came together to celebrate and recognise the people behind important diversity initiatives at the second #TechDiversity Gala Dinner, held at the Melbourne Town Hall.
In addition to wrapping up the inaugural #TechDiversity Awards 2016 program with the naming of an overall #TechDiversity Champion, the evening included key note addresses from the Hon. Phillip Dalidakis, Minister for Innovation, Small Business and Trade, Amanda Gome, business journalist, publisher and head of Notable Media, and Marisa Warren, Global Startup & Enterprise Advisor and Founding Director at ELEVACAO Foundation, who presented the #TechDiversity Champion Award.
The #TechDiversity alliance is proud to partner with the Victorian Government as well as many organisations and businesses to help raise awareness of the importance of inclusion across the technology sector.
Minister Dalidakis said, “Victoria is already leading the country in innovation and this is how we are going to make the industry great, with true inclusiveness at the heart of it – that is what will differentiate us from the rest of the world.”
As a surprise announcement, Minister Dalidakis also unveiled the inaugural “Victorian Innovation Minister’s Diversity Award” directly sponsored by the Victorian Government, with the award going to Code Like a Girl for providing school-aged girls with the tools, knowledge and support to enter and flourish in the world of coding.
A further highlight of the evening was the presentation of the overall #TechDiversity Champion of 2016 going to the Avanade Australia Culture Team, represented by Sarah Adam-Gedge, Managing Director and Corporate Vice President, for the two projects ‘Proudly supporting LGBTI at Avanade’ and ‘Realising results through diversity and inclusion initiatives’.
Avanade Australia has implemented an impressive number of diversity and inclusion initiatives across the company, spanning gender, flexibility and wellbeing, culture, corporate citizenship, outreach, male champion of change and LGBTI+. Initiatives include: an annual dinner to address science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), diversity and business outcomes; a campaign for improvements to parental leave policy, including paid superannuation contributions and same level of leave regardless of gender; a nationwide campaign focused on LGBT+ awareness; and a webinar encouraging women to pursue STEM careers. Based on national success, Avanade is emulating the diversity initiatives throughout the company globally.
The aim of the #TechDiversity Awards and recognition program is to showcase the successful initiatives being implemented, enabling other organisations to learn and emulate these successes. The gala dinner celebrated the achievements of all individuals and groups who submitted a nomination – and especially the 12 awarded #TechDiversity Leaders across the education, business, government and advertising award categories (see winners announcement for detail):
- Diverse City Careers (Modernising the Traditional Jobs Board)
- City of Melbourne (Melbourne Knowledge Week)
- Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Women in ICT and Diversity)
- CenITex (Women in CenITex )
- Swinburne University and the King David School (Melbourne Robocats)
- RailsGirls Australia
- University of Melbourne, Department of Computing and Information System (Team FIT UniMelb)
- Code Like a Girl
- The Yield Technology Solutions (Diversity: We Live It)
- ThoughtWorks Australia
- NAB (Women in Technology Program)
- Australian Computer Society, Microsoft, FTI, Raynesgoldie Consulting, OTOTGo and CoderDojo (Tech Community Engagement WA)
Like the #TechDiversity Champion, these individuals and groups demonstrated outstanding expressions of behaviour, initiatives, commitment and courage in the pursuit of inclusion. They are leaders in our community encouraging and leading future #TechDiversity initiatives.
Launched in August 2015, #TechDiversity is an industry alliance committed to amplifying diversity awareness and achieving a culture of inclusion in the digital technology sector, through conversation, collaboration and action. With a focus on strengthening frameworks to increase the participation of women and minority groups in the digital technology industry, the #TechDiversity vision is for inclusion to be built into all facets of the digital industry sector – specifically education, business, government and advertising.