“I’ve been in technology for a long time, and one of the key challenges the industry faces is the underrepresentation of females. That’s why Grad Girls is such an important initiative.”
Kate Adams, a Director in IT at IFM, is passionate about inspiring women to pursue careers in the tech industry, fuelled by her own experience and seeing her adult daughter be the only female student doing IT as a subject in her final year of high school.
“We can’t just say: ‘Recruit more women’ if there are none to put their hand up. Grad Girls does a great job of encouraging females to recognize the opportunities that exist in the industry,” Kate explains.
Encouraged by IFM’s commitment to diversity and providing an inclusive workplace, Kate galvanized our IT leadership team to sponsor Grad Girls, an organisation dedicated to preparing female students in schools and universities for careers in technology.
Over the past year, we’ve become certified as a Family Inclusive Workplace in Australia, introduced leadership and cultural capability development programs for women, and our regional Inclusion & Diversity Forums continue to challenge bias with all our people.
“As a female working at IFM, I have firsthand experience in seeing how opportunities to develop leadership skills and grow my career converge to create a positive working environment,” explains Kate.
Kate’s progressed through various roles in IT, from developer to program and project management. At IFM, she looks after a team of 40, responsible for managing and delivering IT projects globally across the business.
“The fact that we are doing purposeful work and making a positive impact in people's lives by safeguarding their retirement savings makes me feel like I'm contributing to a better world,” she adds.
Kate embraces the great outdoors and spends time with her family when she can. "During the summer months, my daughter and I sail a dinghy in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne. She’s the skipper while I happily assist as the crew,” explains Kate.
The positive steps taken by IFM and other organizations towards addressing gender balance in the technology industry are welcomed by Kate, because they lay strong foundations and encourage the next generation of women – like her daughter – to consider careers in technology.
“If I were to offer advice to girls and women considering careers in IT, I would tell them that gender is not a barrier to success in this field.”
Kate adds, “I find my work incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, and I want others, especially young women, to have the same experience.”
IFM sponsors Grad Girls, an organization dedicated to preparing female students for tech careers, as a Bronze Sponsor. By working together, we can create a more diverse and inclusive IT industry.
Grad Girls is just one example of IFM’s commitment to supporting early careers in Australia, partnering also with the AIST Graduate Program, Women in Infrastructure scholarships, Career Trackers Intern Program, and in the US MBA internships and Prep for Prep.