Women in IT

Our inspirational women in IT

IT is for everyone, regardless of gender. This is proven by the accomplished women in our leadership team, alumni network and student cohort – fully supported by all members of our faculty.

Senior leaders in our faculty

Professor Ann Nicholson

Interim Dean

Professor Nicholson is a world-renowned AI specialist and leading researcher in Bayesian Networks – the dominant technology for probabilistic causal modelling in intelligent systems.

She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, co-authored the well-received ‘Bayesian Artificial Intelligence’ and attracted more than $8M in research funding.

Professor Nicholson has also contributed her expertise to solving challenges in many domains, such as meteorology, epidemiology, medicine, education and environmental science.

Leisa McGuinness

Leisa McGuinness

Faculty General Manager

Leisa brings almost 20 years’ leadership experience in higher education across a number of senior management positions within Monash. Notably, she has led a number of schools within the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, including Nursing and Midwifery, Psychological Science, Biomedical Science, and Indigenous Health.

Leisa is a committed, collaborative leader with great expertise and success in delivering strategic business outcomes through effective and long-term partnerships.

Her skills in business planning, data analysis and employee engagement are invaluable in furthering our mission and vision.

Professor Maria Garcia De La Banda

Deputy Dean (Research)

Professor Garcia De La Banda was Deputy Dean of the Faculty of IT from 2013 to 2016. Before this, she was Head of the Caulfield School of IT.

Since 2010, Professor Garcia De La Banda has been Area Editor of the Journal of Theory and Practice of Logic Programming. She has also been Chief Investigator in nine Australian Research Council grants and Principal Investigator in an National Health and Medical Research Council program.

Throughout her career, Professor Garcia De La Banda has won the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid's Best PhD Award, the prestigious Logan Fellowship and the International Constraint Modelling Challenge. What’s more, she has been an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Logic Programming and Program Co-Chair of the International Conference in Logic Programming.

Associate Professor Yolande Strengers

Associate Dean (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion)

Associate Professor Strengers is a digital sociologist and human-computer interaction scholar. Her work investigates the sustainability and gender effects of digital, emerging and smart technologies – particularly in relation to the home.

At Monash, Associate Professor Strengers leads the energy futures theme in the Emerging Technologies Research Lab. She’s also an Associate Director of the Monash Energy Institute.

Throughout her career, she has written over 50 journal articles and conference papers. Associate Professor Strengers is also the author of several books including The Smart Wife, published by The MIT Press in 2020.

Associate Professor Rashina Hoda

Associate Dean (Academic Development)

Associate Professor Hoda is highly respected for her research in software engineering processes. She's also known as a specialist in human-computer interaction, with work spanning child-computer interaction, design for learning and human-centred design for smart energy consumption.

Throughout her career, Associate Professor Hoda has written over 70 publications on agile transformations, agile project management, customer collaboration, team practices, reflective practices and culture.

She also received a Distinguished Paper Award at IEEE ICSE for her theory on ‘Becoming Agile’.

Professor Sarah Pink

Director, Emerging Technologies Research Lab

For over 20 years, Professor Pink has been researching how people live and use technologies in their homes – across Australia, the UK, Spain, Brazil and Indonesia. A world-leading design anthropologist, she’s known for her innovative digital, visual and sensory approach to research.

Professor Pink addresses contemporary challenges through projects that incorporate design, engineering and creative practice disciplines.

Professor Pink’s writing about the home includes two books, Home Truths and Making Homes, published by Bloomsbury in 2004 and 2017. She was also co-director of the 2015 documentary Laundry Lives.

Professor Frada Burstein

Professor, Department of Human-Centred Computing

Professor Burstein is the Deputy Director of the Digital Equity group – and a leader within the Community Health and Wellbeing Informatics and Health ICT research areas at Monash.

She has been a chief investigator for many research projects supported by grants and scholarships from the Australian Research Council and industry. In 2013, she was named ICT Educator of the Year.

Professor Burstein is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society and is currently involved in a number of exciting multidisciplinary, transformational digital health projects.

Professor Sue McKemmish

Champion for Indigenous Advancement

Professor McKemmish was not only Associate Dean (Graduate Research), but also Chair of Archival Systems at Monash and Director of the Centre for Organisational and Social Informatics - now known as Digital Equity.

She directs the postgraduate teaching programs in records and archives, and has published extensively in recordkeeping in society, record continuum theory, record-keeping metadata and archival systems.

Professor McKemmish is also a Laureate of the Australian Society of Archivists.

Associate Professor Judithe Sheard

Associate Professor, Department of Human-Centred Computing

Associate Professor Sheard was Head of the Faculty of IT at Caulfield and Director of the Monash Museum of Computing History.

She was also the Vice-Chair of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education from 2016 to 2019.

With more than 25 years’ experience in IT education, she teaches programming and interface design. Her research interests lie in educational technology and computing education.

Professor Ingrid Zukerman

Professor, Department of Data Science and AI

Professor Zukerman received her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management, and her master’s degree in Operations Research from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

She was awarded her PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1986, and has supported the Faculty of IT at Monash ever since.

Professor Zukerman is renowned for her deep expertise in artificial intelligence, natural language processing and user modelling. She is also interested in probabilistic models and how resources can be combined to monitor and assist the elderly, and for discourse planning and interpretation.

Our exceptional women alumni

Suja Chandrasekaran

Global, Digital, Technology and Business Transformation
Master of Business Systems

Suja’s exemplary career has spanned multiple continents, such as Australia, North America/USA, Latin America and Europe. She’s an influential change-agent in digital, technology, data, analytics and business processes who has led some of the world’s greatest retail and CPG organisations – including Kimberley-Clarke and Walmart.

Having coached CEOs of technology start-ups across Silicon Valley, Suja is deeply experienced in digital marketing, ecommerce, mobility and analytics strategies.

Passionate about empowering women in technology and supporting Asian women leaders, she currently leads several platforms to help develop women in STEM. She is also the Executive Sponsor of the Walmart Women in Technology initiative.

Rachael Sandel

IT Strategy and Planning Lead, South32
Bachelor of Business Information Systems

Rachael is the IT Strategy and Planning Lead at South32. She heads a team that is accountable for managing investment decisions and the financial and budgeting lifecycle, and developing strategic roadmaps.

Notable achievements in Rachael’s career include working on the South32 demerger from BHP Billiton and being the organisation’s Business Engagement Lead for Data Migration – acting as the single point of contact for ensuring her organisation’s data was identified and transformed into desired goals.

Before her role at South32, Rachael was a client manager at Deloitte. There she was a finalist for the company’s Business Woman of the Year award.

Regina Levine

Founder, ImpactPay
Bachelor of Business Systems

Regina is changing the way Australians support their favourite causes. Her start-up ImpactPay has developed a platform that harnesses the power of micro-donations through a prepaid debit card and smartphone app. As you tap and pay for goods, 10c from each transaction is donated to a charity of your choice.

This project is underpinned by Regina’s expertise in IT and design, which she developed at companies such as SAP, Accenture and PwC.

Regina is also involved in a range of philanthropic projects. She is a board member of the Australian Ballet Ambassador Program and the CEO of the Rockwell Foundation – a fund that supports projects which enhance children’s wellbeing.

Maryanne Diamond AO

General Manager of Stakeholder Engagement,
National Disability Insurance Agency
Bachelor of Science Graduate Diploma of Computing

Born blind, Maryanne worked in IT for two decades before moving into not-for-profit and government positions.

As General Manager of Stakeholder Engagement at the National Disability Insurance Agency, Maryanne plays a pivotal role in designing the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Also President of the World Blind Union, she spearheaded a global campaign to establish the Marrakesh Treaty. Thanks to this international copyright agreement, 285 million vision-impaired people around the world can now read books in accessible formats – such as Braille, audiobooks and large print.

Akansha Kapoor

Manager (Technology & Experience), PwC
Bachelor of Business Information Systems

Akansha completed an IBL placement at PwC in 2015 – and has thrived there ever since. In fact, her placement laid the foundations for her expedited career trajectory.

Throughout her career, Akansha has driven large-scale initiatives centered around experience-led technology for a range of clients. Among her many notable achievements, a major highlight has been re-imagining the civilian experience for a law enforcement agency.

For three years, Akansha also served as COO of Robogals Global, an international not-for-profit aimed at enhancing diversity in engineering and related fields. Passionate about experience-led value and diversity, she has also done many talks, presentations and panels across Asia and Oceania.

April Chi

Founder Monash Association of Coding (MAC)
Bachelor of Computer Science

April chose to study computer science at Monash because she wanted to be in a field where she could constantly learn, be challenged and build on her ideas.

During her time with us, she founded MAC – a club for coding and collaboration. It started out as a small coding interview group and has since grown into one of our faculty’s top clubs.

As President, April strived to prove that anyone is good enough to code. And even though she’s graduated, she’s excited to see the positive impact that MAC will continue to make in our student community.

Our passionate women students

Jossaline Tanasaldy

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Undergraduate Representative
Bachelor of Computer Science

After moving from another university, Jossaline has enjoyed many highlights during her time at Monash.

Two notable ones have been receiving a fully-funded place in the HackerExchange program – and contributing to our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee as Undergraduate Representative.

Through her involvement, Jossaline has gained deeper insights into our initiatives that drive diversity in technology. And she encourages any student who’s passionate about the cause to apply.

Radhika Pankaj Jain

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Postgraduate Representative
Master of Data Science

Radhika is a passionate Master of Data Science student who values the opportunity to build an outstanding network of brilliant minds.

Blending her theoretical knowledge and enriched practical perspectives, Radhika was not only appointed a Python bootcamp facilitator – but also a student coding mentor. Guiding first-year women students, Radhika sees this as a valuable opportunity to give back to the community.

As the postgraduate representative in our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Radhika helps to drive our exciting initiatives and bold agenda.