Heralding a new age for the Faculty of IT’s Women in Technology program

Moving into its next phase, the Women in Technology Mentoring program is now the first program at Monash University to offer women-to-women mentoring.

To further enrich the experience, the program’s duration has also been extended from six to 12 weeks – allowing for semester-long support from industry mentors.

This year’s 62 mentors from high-profile tech companies such as KPMG, EY and NBN joined the initiative to empower future women leaders in tech by providing dedicated access to industry and building their networks.

‘We’re delighted to see the support for the big changes to the program this year, and we’re even more pleased that we’ve had an increase in the number of mentors from 2020,’ said program director Catherine Karavais.

The Women in Technology Mentoring program was launched in 2019 to champion gender equity by providing additional support to women and non-binary students as they tackle the traditionally male-dominated field of IT.

Successful applicants are matched with accomplished industry mentors that align closest to their interests, experience and career aspirations to foster a strong and mutually beneficial partnership.

On 7 July we held the official launch event at The Pavilion in Caulfield with guest speakers Carol Chew and Visalini Uthiyakumar who participated in the program in 2019 as mentor and mentee.

‘A program like this is so important for women studying IT. Most of the peers in my class were men and this program helped me foster connections with other women students in my course and we’ve been able to help and support each other throughout our studies,’ said Visalini.

‘Further, I had the opportunity to meet many great industry professionals like Carol and learn from someone who has done it all before.’

Visalini graduated from Monash in 2021 with a double degree in Business and IT, majoring in Business Information Systems. She now works at Planit Testing.

‘Twenty years ago during my time at Monash studying IT, there were no programs like this on offer. Having a program like this would’ve given my career an advantage, which is why I am honoured to volunteer as a mentor,’ said Carol.

Carol works at Mediaocean and has been a mentor for the WIT program since its inception. She graduated from Monash in 2000 with a double degree in Commerce and Business Systems.

The welcome launch also included ice-breaking games by BeChallenged, high tea and a stunning sunset view of the Melbourne CBD.

Mentees will now have the opportunity to attend networking and professional development events on building self-confidence, creating a strong support network and more before the closing event in September.

Here is some feedback for the official launch so far:

“Congratulations on a well-run event. As a recruiter, I found it really useful to observe the interactions. I think the mentors and mentees themselves are going to be great "mouth-pieces" for our programs. WIT definitely adds great value to the quality programs we already offer!”

“The planned program, food and activities were enjoyable. It was also a good platform for meeting with mentors from organisations outside of Monash and lovely to see the mentees taking the initiative to reach out and own their professional career journey."

"Just wanted to say congratulations on such a well run event last night! That was the best launch event I have ever attended in all the years I have been doing this program. It was very engaging, and so fun."

"I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to you all for organising this well-coordinated event.”

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