What does community mean to you?

With Susan Brown, Director at PwC and Managing Director of Girls in Tech Australia

Community is deeply important to me, I believe that the communities you belong to become your support system, and they inform your opinions and allow you to grow as an individual.

As an individual, I’m part of various communities. In my role as Director of the Experience Centre at PWC, I’m part of a design and technical community that focuses on the future ways of engaging with customers and employers. I belong to various community groups within PwC also that focus on things like social impact, family and education.

Another community that’s important to me is Girls in Tech in Australia. Since launching in 2016, I’ve built relationships and networks from the amazing women on the board. We worked together to launch the chapter, and it was a roller coaster ride of getting the paperwork and legalities right, as well as putting together the programs and events.

What does that really mean in reality? True support, shared business visions and long-lasting working relationships that I value highly.

Events are crucial in building your network and discovering new communities – I often attend a wide variety like Silicon Block Party or F’Up Nights.

For the past year, since our inception, we have had events every month – from panels to workshops and networking events. One of our standout events for the year was the hackathon, Hacking for Humanity, where we approached nine different charities that pitched their digital issues to a room of about 80 women. The hackathon lasted a full weekend, and the women volunteered their time to create solutions for each of the charities. Some of these women continue to work with the charities.

We’re also excited about our upcoming conference, Catalyst. It’s two days dedicated to either ‘getting inspired’ or ‘learning a skill’ and for the evening, instead of a normal ‘networking’ format, our speakers will answer questions in smaller groups so attendees feel comfortable to ask harder questions.

From the very first meeting I had with the board over a year ago, we agreed to be part of an ecosystem. I think that’s very important, to be part of the larger picture and to do right by our mission – that is to empower and encourage women in tech.

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