Winners of the 2023 women leading tech awards

Careers are strange things

Last night was surprising. I was at the Women Leading Tech awards in Sydney at the lovely new International Convention Centre. And I got an award. A lifetime achievement award. Which proves that if you hang around doing stuff long enough in the one industry eventually folks get to know you.

View from the International Convention Centre northwards

Thanks to the very kind folks at B&T and Atlassian I was presented with a very nice trophy and got to make a speech.

“Firstly, I wanted to congratulate the nominees and winners tonight. What an impressive lineup of amazing women in tech. I’m not envying the judges having to choose.

Thank you so much for this award.

It was a great surprise to me.

Careers strange things. As Kierkegaard said: Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

And looking back there are so many kind folks who helped me, and I cannot name them all tonight.

But some I must mention now with thanks.

Firstly, huge thank-you to my husband Boyd, who has always been there to support and encourage me to do new things.

Thanks also to Wendy McCarthy who once, a very long time ago, asked me what I was doing about my career when I had no idea a career was even a thing, let alone a career in technology. And she also gave me my first job in tech.

Early in my career in tech I can remember a moment, late last century, where I was the only woman at a very very large board table, apart from the woman who was pouring coffee. I have always remembered that moment and have worked to change that equation. And it is great to see so many amazing women nominated here tonight.

I have always believed we need to ensure that we make it easier for those who come after us from a diversity and inclusion perspective.

To my dear circle of women friends who have been there to encourage and commiserate with me through thick and thin. Thank you.

To all the kind folks who have mentored me both formally and informally over the years. Thank you.

My thanks also to all the people who have sponsored me and supported me for roles. And I particularly want to mention the value of sponsorship as well as mentoring.

And of all I’d like to thank my team members over the years. You can only succeed at scale via your team. And my teams have always gone above and beyond, and I owe them so much.

Thank you so much for this award, B&T it is such an honour. And also, my thanks to Atlassian and the other sponsors for hosting this marvellous celebration of women leading tech.”