It’s been a while since I last blogged (almost a year, I think) as I trackback and try to find a new way forward. I have to thank @goatlady for giving me that extra push and a great excuse to get the ball rolling with her Ada Lovelace Post. For those of you wondering what the fuss is all about, you can have a look at the AdaLovelaceDay Pledge.
Over the past few months, I have been blessed with many new friends, most of whom I have met via Twitter. While I familiarise myself with this new yet not so new environment called Perth, the encouragements and suggestions from these tweeps have given me strength and hope. It is not easy to start anew in a place with zero friends. Thus, I feel these women deserve a mention in my Ada Lovelace Day tribute: @goatlady, @developit and @cindyleigh. Two other women that have influenced me were a couple of ladies I had the honour of working with while at Aviva Asia: Joanna Leong and Amy Hoe. These women are not just going with the flow like most people are; they have taken the reigns of leadership roles, each in their own way, while balancing a full life of being wife, mother, entrepreuner, friend and every other role they play.
@goatlady (Kay Smoljak) – What intrigued me about Kay was her colourful percussionist past life. Kay currently runs Clever Starfish and wants to make the web a better place for everyone. What makes her different is she’s not just saying it, but she is actively doing something about it – being in the Port80 committee, the Australian Web Industry Association, and also the sub-committee of the WA Web Awards. She’s one of the organisers of the Perth Web Standards Group, and a co-founder of Web Women, a local networking group for women in the industry. Yes, talk is cheap. Kay is a great example of “don’t tell me what you can do, just do it…”.
@developit (Frances McLean) – is a freelance software developer and consultant, who is also a part-time Information Technology lecturer at TAFE in Western Australia. She delivers PD (Professional Development) for staff members and is involved in developing Assessment tools for staff to use on PDA’s (Portable Digital Assistants). She has taken her love for technology, developed it into feasible solution and shared it with those around her to make their lives easier via mobile devices. The amount of focus and discipline needed to achieve that is tremendous and I am excited to see what she has in her sleeves for the next reveal.
@cindyleigh (Cindy Prosser) – is a proprietor and head designer of Attitude e-media. Cindy has been floating in the digital web space since 1995 and it is her passion for CSS Design & Green IT that inspires me. She believes that the IT industy has the capacity of reducing greenhouse gas emissions enormously. And her company invested in running their infrastructure on Natural Power, which is an energy that is generated from renewable sources with minimal impact on the environment. Once again, a great example of putting passion into action.
These last 2 names are by no means the least important to me. In fact, they have been my key inspiration for the last 4 years. It is unfortunate for me that we have now gone seperate ways, but I do look forward to the day when our paths cross again.
Joanna Leong – is currently a Senior Manager of the Business Systems team in Aviva’s Asia Pacific I.T. Department based in Singapore. I had the honour of working closely with her in several key projects, and her grace and strength still inspires me today. Joanna’s no-nonsense down-to-earth management style makes it possible for each of us to bring our strengths and knowledge to the table. She is a proactive manager and always has the welfare of her team at heart. She taught me that one does not need know-it-all to be a good leader. One can be successful and build a strong team which everyone is envious of, if one can tap on the strengths of the individuals within the team and unite them. She is a true leader and I see a lot of her in my leadership style. But I still have a lot to learn.
Amy Hoe – is currently the IT and Operations Director at Aviva Asia (based in Singapore). Amy is a charismatic leader and in my opinion, she is better at this role than many of her male counterparts. It is almost impossible to find a leader at her level that still takes pride in getting to know all the staff that contributes to the teams that she manages. Her ability to balance micro- and macro- management leaves me in awe and her track record is proof that her formula works. Her achievements include setting up a regional IT shared services; championing customer strategies; supporting large scale direct marketing call centres across Asia; and rolling out SOX compliance projects for CIGNA.
I am very honoured to be able to name these leaders as my friends. And am truely blessed to have such inspiration that I can learn from.