Heidi Riddell - Partner, Advisory, EY
Heidi joined EY’s South African member firm in Cape Town in 1998 and began developing her knowledge of financial process controls in the external auditing environment.
In 1999 Heidi moved to the UK and completed her chartered accounting qualifications. Remaining with EY’s external auditing practice, Heidi broadened her experience of the international marketplace, working with industrial products organisations. By early 2000 Heidi had moved into the risk and compliance space working with large multinational clients.
Transferring to Perth in mid 2002, Heidi quickly progressed to Partner level within the Risk Advisory Services practice. She leads a team of over 60 professionals and advises on whole of business risks, processes and controls.
Jane Roberts - Service Management Professional, Inpex
Jane has more than 25 years business experience and over 10 years’ experience in Service Management. As well as having experience as an Operational Manager, as an IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) V3 Expert, Jane has been responsible for the successful adoption of ITIL processes within a number of organisations and provided consultancy services and direction to others. She is passionate about delivering successful outcomes and committed to the delivery of high quality services with people at the forefront of her mind.
Michelle Sandford - ICT Service & Support Manager, Programmed Group
Michelle Sandford is the Service & Support Manager at Programmed where she manages the Service Desk and the Desk Side Support functions. Prior to moving to Australia, Michelle worked at IBM Global Services in Belgium, Norway and the UK where she led delivery teams and managed services for contracts which included Heinz (Food company with over 150 #1 and #2 Brands worldwide – 57 Varieties), Anheuser-Busch InBev(the World’s Largest Brewer) and Yara International (World’s largest supplier of mineral fertilizer) – all 3 companies market leaders in their own fields.
Michelle is currently the Women’s Chair of the Australian Computer Society’s (ACS) WA Branch and an active advocate of their mentoring scheme. She is a Facilitator of the Leadership Pipeline Course at Riverview and a member of Soroptimist International (South Perth).
In an attempt to fully integrate into Australian society Michelle is learning to surf and can be found every weekend skimming away from the sharks at Fremantle & Scarborough.
Michelle has a Master of Science Computing Science from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Angela Lam – Manager IM Enterprise Architecture
Angela has worked in the IT industry for over 18 years in a variety of senior IT management roles across industries including mining, gaming & entertainment, law enforcement, insurance & risk management and the judicial sector.
Angela’s passion at work is assisting organisations to achieve their strategic business outcomes through the application of IT strategy and enterprise architecture disciplines.
Angela holds an MBA degree from the University of Western Australia and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Curtin University. She has presented at a number of Enterprise Architecture Forums and has published in the Journal of Research and Practice in Information Technology. Outside of work Angela enjoys spending quality time with the family, Latin dancing, pilates and travelling.
Jennifer Scriabine, Information Systems Operations Manager, Chevron Australia
Jennifer graduated from Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) in 1991 with a degree in computer engineering and immediately joined Chevron as computer programmer. After spending time in a variety of other individual contributor IT roles (e.g. server administration, engineering application support, help desk analyst); her first leadership role was running a small help desk.
Her early leadership roles in the central Chevron IT organisation included server/backup, enterprise system management and access management. More recently she lead the implementation of an Information Protection compliance program for Chevron’s Global Downstream organisation, managed IT for the Chevron Legal Function and is currently the head of IS Operations for Chevron Australia here in Perth. She is in Perth on a four year expat assignment with her husband and two daughters.
EY and FITT "In Her Shoes" Event
The Sydney attendees of the” In Her Shoes” Event were treated to inspirational careers stories from our panel of leading female senior IT professionals:
• Stephanie Barros, Director of IT,
Johnson & Johnson
• Judy Cole, VP & Account General Manager,
• Sally Mitchell, General Manager, CBA
• Caroline Woodhill, Manager
Information Services, Blue Scope Steel
To begin the session, the panel shared invaluable insights about defining moments that shaped their individual careers and gave advice from their own experiences to discuss ways to drive your career forward as a successful business woman in IT.
Mitchell believes in the importance of having a goal to get to a leadership position and really getting yourself out there. A view also shared by Barros who talked passionately about keeping your eyes open for opportunities and making yourself known.
For Woodhill who proudly declared “I survived the boy’s club” and had never touched a computer before starting out at Nestlé, her message was loud and clear, “don’t try to be a bossy female and wherever you go, be willing to give someone a hand.”
This was also particularly relevant for Cole, who was discovered working in an auto parts franchise and took up a role at IBM as a typewriter repairer 32 years ago. She discovered that when faced with managing a team of men who were all her father’s age, the best thing she could do was to make sure they knew she was there to learn from them; she didn’t challenge them, instead she asked them what she could do to help them.
EY facilitator, Emma Spiers, commented on how each woman mentioned the ability to ‘spot opportunities’ and asked the panel to talk more about how women can become more aware of opportunities.
“You need to be interested in what others are doing. Take the time to listen,” said Barros. “If a company is going through change, a lot of opportunities will come up and you need to keep an eye out,” advised Woodhill. Mitchell cautioned however, that “sometimes it might not be the right opportunity. You need to assess it carefully and work out if you will enjoy it. Don’t just take a role for the sake of it being a promotion”. Yet, it’s as much about spotting the opportunities, as being spotted. “Let people know you’re looking for a change. Put it out there,” said Cole.
Getting yourself out there was a great segue for Spiers to introduce the next topic: “How crucial is networking?” All panellists agreed that the term ‘networking’ needs to makeover its dirty reputation, but conceded that having conversations with the right people and finding out what people are doing is critical. Networking is a necessary evil; you have to take a few risks, and as Woodhill suggested, “if you fall off the networking perch, get back on and find the best way to make it fit within your lifestyle.” Interactions are important, as “you never know where people will end up in 10 years time,” said Barros.
Furthermore, as Cole suggested ‘value-based networking’ builds strong relationships that provides better dividends at the end of the day, “reaching out to those that can actively help me, especially in IT, provides real value to me, what I can do for others and ultimately my career,” said Cole.
To conclude the discussion, Spiers invited our panellists to reflect on what they perceived to be their biggest obstacles to overcome.
Barros began the discussion and admitted that she was her own worst enemy. “Coming back into the role as a CIO with three children, I felt everything seemed too daunting. To get past this fear factor, I really had to take stock, look at my past record, take the risk and know I had the confidence to do it,” said Barros.
Mitchell shared a similar experience and explained that she would doubt her ability because she’d constantly compare herself to her predecessors, “you have to give yourself time to learn. Be patient with yourself and don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back!”
Woodhill had everyone nodding in agreement when she spoke about the need to give yourself a break and to be careful about your health. “Whatever you do, don’t kill yourself proving that you’re Wonder Woman,” said Woodhill.
And for Cole, her greatest obstacle has been about not being able to let go. “As I moved from a technical role to management, I had to learn to sit on my hands. But what this showed me was that I was then able to move into a role of being a coach and a mentor,” said Cole. Given the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our four speakers, the themes were remarkably similar, easy to connect with and profoundly simple to follow: You don’t need to be Super Woman, you don’t need to network with every person your meet, and you don’t need to accept every role that comes your way to get ahead!
Social Technologies: Understanding the new rules of engagement
It was terrific to see over members along to our lunch event on Friday, 8 July. Our keynote speaker, David Merceron, Executive Director, IT Advisory, presented an insightful glimpse into the new digital world and what organisations will need to consider to harness the tremendous opportunity and power that it offers.
For more information on this topic, please email David directly and to make a comment or contribute your thoughts, please join our discussion at EY IT Community LinkedIn group.
Women in IT
On Tuesday 22nd March EY hosted a breakfast event for women in the IT industry in conjunction with FITT (Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications). The event provided a valuable opportunity for female professionals to network with their peers in a relaxed and informative environment.
Hosted by Sydney Office Managing Partner Lynn Kraus, the event featured a keynote address from CEO of Sphinxx, Jennifer Dalitz, who shared her experiences on challenges for women in the workplace and how to overcome them. As well as providing tips on how to manage these challenges. Jennifer also explained how smart leaders are transforming business with women.
Over 85 female IT professionals attended the event, many of whom now connect on the EY IT Community LinkedIn group.