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Why we’re passionate about gender equality

Telstra Careers Advice

Posted on January 29, 2018

4 min read

We believe having diversity in our workplace fosters greater innovation, better customer connection and increased morale.

That is why we’ve created an environment that’s inclusive and supportive for all of the 32,000 people who work here.

We had a chat with our Global Head of Learning and Development, Lynne Barry, to find out how Telstra is ensuring gender equality in our workforce.

Can you talk us through why gender equality is a challenge for the tech industry?

While the vast majority of the technology industry’s biggest employers have gender equality policies in place; parity remains a challenge for every organisation. Even as more women join the industry, day-to-day we face an imbalance in the talent pool.

At Telstra, women often form only 30 per cent of candidates for roles, and this can sink as low as 20 per cent for roles with a strong technical focus. In these scenarios, it’s tough for recruiters to facilitate parity. The next conundrum, we face, is that once women are in a recruitment pipeline, there can be an unconscious inclination for hiring managers to look for talent who are just like themselves.

It’s a cultural issue that we can address through awareness but also through policy intervention, when required.

How have you seen the work environment change for women in the past five years?

I’ve definitely seen a shift. Today, there is a more open conversation around the gender equality challenges within the industry. Tech companies are increasingly saying the impetus falls on them to address the gender gap and developing targeted initiatives to tackle the imbalance head-on.

Opportunities are growing too; technology talent is more heavily demanded as organisations begin to focus on digitisation. To meet their need for digital talent, companies are thinking about non-financial rewards that can set themselves apart from other employers, such as flexible working arrangements and offering defined career pathways. I believe the biggest certainty for women today is that there are more opportunities at their fingertips than ever before.

Lynne has publicly spoken about the benefits of workplace diversity in the past
Lynne has often spoken publicly about workplace diversity and its benefits

Do you have a view on women taking ownership of their own career? 

Today, I often speak to young women who have a career plan from early on and are ready to have conversations about their career development; this attitude is to be commended. It’s important that we encourage women to think carefully about how they can cultivate their strengths in order to reach their career goals.

Whether this is volunteering for difficult projects or accepting leadership roles when they’re offered – I implore women to have the confidence to say yes. While having get-up-and-go is important, we can’t let the onus fall onto women; businesses need to make sure feel women feel empowered to ask for the next role and take risks along the way. It requires a culture-led approach, and we must all play a part.

How is Telstra ensuring women feel supported in the workplace? 

For us, diversity is about adopting a holistic approach. We recently introduced a recruitment requirement that women make up at least 50 per cent of recruitment and interview shortlists. We also actively promote ‘All Roles Flex’, allowing employees to determine how, where and when they work.

Through this approach we’ve been able to support men and women to adjust their working life at different periods. This can be as simple as supporting parental, social or sporting responsibilities; or more formal, such as transition to part-time.

We’re always exploring new ways of creating an inclusive culture that allows women and men to achieve their full potential.

What is the feedback you get from Telstra people about our diversity culture?

The feedback we are hearing is that the involvement of our senior leadership team really brings our diversity initiatives to life. Women don’t just want to hear from HR about progressive policies; they want to hear about our commitment to diversity from the senior leaders too – either through them raising the profile internally or championing industry-wide change. It’s about having influential industry figures elevate the conversation – and this breaks down a lot of barriers.

Learn more about what diversity means to us here at Telstra.

3 pieces of advice to make you an outstanding tech leader

Telstra Careers Advice

Posted on January 22, 2018

5 min read

From being part of a startup in Israel to working in a senior technology position at Telstra, our Director of Innovation, Ayala Domani, has an interesting career.

Are you interested in a technology career at Telstra? Search for a job now.

We caught up with Ayala to have a chat about the lessons she’s learnt along the way and what advice she has for aspiring tech leaders.

Can you start by telling us about your leadership role in Telstra?

I have the privilege of leading the Innovation team in Telstra’s Chief Technology Office.  It’s a diverse team of people which includes entrepreneurs, developers, designers, growth hackers and more, that help the business accelerate new growth opportunities and drive engagement and collaboration with our ecosystem partners and customers.

Can you tell us a little bit about your career background?

I started my career in Israel working for number of tech startups before moving to Australia and joining Telstra. While still in university doing my Economics & Communications degree I took a part time job in a startup as a software tester and from there progressed to a number of technical and customer facing roles. At Telstra, I took on a variety of roles including product development, partnership management and product marketing.

How was it like to move from a start-up to a large corporate?

Moving from the fast moving, dynamic Israeli startup environment to corporate Australia was a huge cultural change. I remember initially being frustrated with the way we took products and services to market. I couldn’t understand why it had to take so long and be checked by so many people along the way. It only really hit me after a while, after I saw the products and services that I worked on out in the market and was blown away by the scale and impact they had. It was nothing like I had seen in the startup world.

As a large organisation we obviously need to get things right before we scale them but we’re also working on getting better at the early exploration, validation and incubation phases, and doing it faster and in a more entrepreneurial and customer-centric way.

That’s in part what my team is driving now and I love being part of it as it really brings together the entrepreneurial mindset and approach with the reach, impact and scale of a large organisation.

Were there any challenges along the way?

Yes of course, I’m sure everyone has challenges along their career and I think how you respond to those challenges really matters.

A few years ago I came to a crossroad in my career. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next and nothing seemed like the right next step at the time so I decided to take a career break to explore, experiment and reflect.

There is a saying ‘when you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you’. In hindsight, that’s what happened to me. I started chasing the wrong things and it didn’t make me happy so I had to pause and rethink.

During my break I worked with a small business, did some consulting work with a company that runs leadership development programs, mentored and most importantly invested time in developing myself and figuring out what matters most to me.

Ironically, taking a career break was the best thing I could have done for my career and it certainly opened up the opportunity for the right things to catch me.

What advice would you give to people who want to be a leader in the technology space?

  • Look for role models and inspiration in all places not just up the line. As an example, there are people in my team and in my family that inspire me and teach me more than anyone else that might have an official leadership title. (If anything, raising three strong willed girls is teaching me a lot and stretching me in all sorts of directions…)
  • Don’t consider yourself an expert. Rather, adopt a continuous learning mindset and curiosity. You don’t need to know everything to be a good leader but you do need to know how to ask good questions.
  • ‘Starve your ego, feed your soul’ – I found this advice particularly useful in situations where there is doubt or a crossroad ahead. When you face those situations, take an honest look inside, listen to your intuition and think whether your decision is feeding your ego or your soul and that will give you a good guidance for making the right decisions for yourself.

What career advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t be too afraid to fail. Have more fun, don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

Looking for your next career step? Explore technology careers at Telstra.

Top career tips to help you kick-start the year

Telstra Careers Advice

Posted on January 18, 2018

3 min read

2018 is finally here – what are your career goals this year?

Perhaps you want to improve your leadership skills or maybe you dream of getting the right work-life balance.

We spoke with some our people to find out what career advice they have, which might help you to achieve your goals. Here are their top tips:

Find the right work-life balance.

Here at Telstra, we encourage flexible working and give our people more choice in how and when they work.

So we asked some of our senior leaders how they get the balance right. Their first piece of advice is to avoid phrases like ‘I’m so busy’. Here are their other tips.

Need help with your leadership skills?

Do you want to become a tech leader but aren’t quite sure where to start?

We sat down with our Executive Director of our Global Products, Michelle Bendschneider, who became a leader at the age of 22, to find out what tips she has for aspiring leaders.

She says you need to be passionate about what you do. Here’s what else.

Find a good mentor.

Finding the perfect mentor who you can talk openly to and gain career insights from, can go a long way to helping you achieve your goals.

We asked our Head of muru-D, Julie Trell, what advice she has for someone who is looking for a mentor, and how to make the most out of the relationship. Here’s what she told us.

Do you need to upskill?

We’re on our way to becoming a world-class technology company that empowers people to connect.

To help us achieve this goal we’re actively working on building the networks for the future that’ll help people find better ways to communicate, learn, and do business. Here are the biggest areas we’re looking to hire in, in 2018. Do you have these skills?

Brush up on corporate jargon.

If you’re new to the workforce or even if you’ve been working in an office for a while, you’ll probably be bombarded with jargon known as ‘corporate speak’. It’s when your colleagues or leaders use fancy terms for pretty straight forward actions.

So what are the most common phrases you need to understand and what does dovetail actually mean? Find out.

Combat fatigue.

Is one of your career goals to be less tired at work? Some of the main culprits may include insufficient sleep, caffeine at the wrong time of the day or having too much sugar.

We spoke with a few of our people to find out what their favourite fatigue management tips are, and how they’ve applied them to their working days. Here’s what they told us.

Want more career tips? Check out our other blogs.

Tags: advice,

We’re getting our groove on for Tamworth’s Country Music Festival

Regional

Posted on January 18, 2018

1 min read

All eyes are on Tamworth this weekend as an expected influx of more than 50,000 country music fans head to Australia’s country music capital for the 2018 Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Social media will be a popular choice for our customers to share their experiences, which is why we are providing two Telstra ‘rockets’ to boost our 4G capacity for our mobile customers.

Festival

These are essentially miniature temporary base stations with increased 4G capacity, to create an even better experience for event-goers on the Telstra mobile network.

Additionally, we have just switched on a new tower at Tamworth South, in time for the big event, adding 3G and 4GX services to the area and bringing the total number of permanent mobile sites providing mobile coverage in Tamworth to 10.

This is part of Telstra’s commitment to providing our customers in regional and rural Australia with superior mobile coverage and part of a $9 million worth of investment in the mobile network that Telstra is making in the New England region.

We hope our customers have a fun and safe time in Tamworth and we look forward to seeing it all on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.