How One Dinner Changed My Year. And I Wasn’t Even There.

This week I want to focus on an upcoming event in Melbourne that has profoundly impacted my year.

About this time last year, my boss, Clicks’ Managing Director, Ben Wood and his wife attended the #TechDiversity Awards + Gala Dinner. Ben came to work on the Monday and said to me, “I went to this dinner a few days ago…I didn’t really know anyone there, but I think they’re doing something really important. We should be part of it.” And that was that. My year was about to take a turn that I couldn’t have imagined.

I have always had a healthy interest in diversity; you can’t be a success in my industry if you don’t. I understand the legislation, I run figures for an annual report, I ensure our new starters receive training in diversity as part of their onboarding, and I oversee the annual refresher training that my Business Improvement Manager delivers so ably.

In other words, no way did I feel like a total newbie.

I reached out to one of the #TechDiversity co-Founders, Claire Marriott. Soon after, all of the co-Founders were sitting around my boardroom table, blowing my mind with the work they do, and all the things they’ve achieved in increasing diversity awareness in such a short space of time.

Boy, was I a newbie.

Fast forward to May, when I find myself standing in front of a room full of senior IT line managers and HR executives. I’m speaking as the subject matter expert, about how to increase gender diversity in their IT workforces. The last year has seen my learning in this space increase dramatically. However it also highlighted something really important – I am a subject matter expert when it comes to increasing gender diversity in IT workforces. And I have great things in my head after 20 years in the industry that can solve problems and add value to most IT functions’ diversity strategies.

Turns out I’m not such a newbie after all.

Ironic, seeing as one of the things I talk about in my workshop is women’s tendency to under-value their abilities.

Since then, my workshop has taken me around the nation and into client-specific sites to educate their line managers en masse. If even one line manager takes away one thing that results in one female being hired where she might have previously been overlooked, then I am a seriously happy camper.

So what’s my point?

You need to come to this year’s #TechDiversity Awards + Gala Dinner, Clicks is the Diamond Sponsor for the event, and we couldn’t be more proud. All the cool kids will be there. We’ve got the Hon. Philip Dalidakis, Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy; Georgina McEncroe, Founder and CEO of the all-female rideshare service Shebah; and the incredible Francesca Lachman, teenage blind pianist, headlining the evening.

Buy your ticket or book your table here. Individual tickets are just $195, students just $99, and there is a discount for tables of 10.

This year I’m actually going to attend the dinner – imagine what that’s going to do to my 2019!

I really hope to see you there.

Sam Micich, Group Operations & Marketing Manager

About the Awards:
Since 2015 the Tech Diversity Awards have been highlighting and promoting the initiatives that progressive organisations are implementing to foster diversity in the digital technology sector. The focus is on increasing the participation of women and minority groups in technology –specifically education, business, government and media. Rather than simply facilitating conversations about inclusion, the 2018 TechDiversityAwards Gala celebrates the organisations who are actively making a difference and showcase what can be achieved.

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