Western Australia’s leading advocate for women in tech – Women in Technology WA (WiTWA) believes – “If you can see her you can be her, so let’s see her!”
WiTWA Tech [+] Awards
To celebrate women and allyship in technology, WiTWA is hosting its 2021 WiTWA Tech [+] Awards on Friday 5 November at Crown Towers. These awards will shine a light on a diverse representation of Western Australia’s talented female leaders spanning local and national industries.
This year, we’re proud to have six nominees representing Kinetic IT and PROTECT+ in the Tech [+] Awards, each showcasing their inspiring stories and unique pathways into the career they have today. And we are excited to share a story from a true ally, a Kinetic IT crew member who is nominated in the WITWA Tech [+] awards for Outstanding Allyship, recognising champions of change for women in technology.
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Meet Anthony, WiTWA Allyship nominee
Anthony Jones likes to walk the talk when it comes to being an ally. Using his cyber security expertise and passion for education, Anthony is actively working to bring more women into the IT sector through supporting training and making sure he plays an allyship role daily.
“I’m a strong believer in the weight of many little actions, so every day I make sure I always listen to, learn from and celebrate the success of my female colleagues. I also think it is integral to call out sexist or inappropriate behaviour towards women, and I actively do that in a constructive manner both in the industry and in my personal life,” the Perth man says.
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‘Working with more women has been a huge privilege’
Anthony is a co-founder of Certification Station, a volunteer organisation that supports people with the necessary tools and knowledge to get into the IT industry. He is an educator and support person for women who are seeking to enter the cyber security field, attain cyber security certifications, or advance their cyber security careers. Through collaborative learning and a welcoming and safe teaching environment, Anthony and his fellow volunteers will help anyone seeking cyber security knowledge and certifications.
A Security Consultant for Kinetic IT, Anthony says it has been incredibly fulfilling being able to give back to the IT community – and to bring more women into it.
“Our digital world is better for the different perspectives and voices that shape it,“ the Perth local says. “There are so many opportunities in the field to learn, and opportunities to be part of exciting projects that will benefit from the diversity of thought. Being part of positive change and working with more women has been a huge privilege.”
Anthony has collaborated with Certification Station colleagues on an initiative to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions within the organisation. Anthony says they do this through active sourcing and promotion both internally and externally. It’s one of a handful of allyship initiatives that, as Anthony says, has resulted in an improvement in gender representation across the board, including an additional four women joining the senior management team and several women joining the professional educators’ team. Anthony says he hopes Certification Station’s overall representation of women in leadership will continue to grow to at least 50%.
‘Be a cheerleader’
In his volunteer and allyship work, Anthony says the women he has worked with have achieved various cyber certifications such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). He has also provided support and guidance on strategies for entering the cyber security field or for reaching a goal within it, such as a promotion or new position.
Anthony says that allyship continues in his work at Kinetic IT where he works to remove barriers and create an inclusive environment that recognises each individual for who they are.
“It’s not one specific action, but the status quo needs us to challenge it each day. Calling out unprofessional behaviour, celebrating success, active listening and providing support is key.”
“There are many and diverse challenges that women face in the IT industry, and I am sure I only see or understand the tip of the iceberg. From receiving less pay to being less likely to be promoted, and the challenges associated with being underrepresented in every sector of IT.”
Anthony says he has been blown away by his colleague’s feedback and is honoured to be nominated in the Outstanding Allyship category at this year’s Women in Technology WA Awards.
“Some people just need that bit of reassurance to go for what they want,” he says. “If I can be that cheerleader I will be because I’ve benefitted from the same support in my career.”
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Sage advice from Anthony
To those wanting to be an ally to women, Anthony says:
“Have open and empathic discussions with your female colleagues about the challenges they face and analyse your actions in the context of what you learn from them. It’s important that we review our actions and drive continuous improvements in our behaviour.”
“Also, learn to call out other men who are being inappropriate in a non-confrontational and constructive manner. You’ll be surprised how often they are receptive to hearing what you have to say and adjusting their behaviours.”
You can find more inspiring stories about women and allyship in technology on our website, or head to the WiTWA website to find more information on the WiTWA Tech [+] Awards and this year’s allyship nominees.