Did you know that 14% of executive roles are currently led by women? While discussions around gender inequality in the workplace have become more prevalent, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.

The Next 100 Women in Tech is a networking event designed to promote and attract females to workplace opportunities in the technology industry while also raising the profile of roles available to them. It aims to assist in balancing out the number of females working in traditionally male-dominated industries through a variety of means.

I was chosen to participate in this year’s event as a panellist and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m passionate about speaking about gender equality in the workplace and I’m actively pushing the boundaries. I know we can correct the perceptions around workplace gender inequality and it all starts with having the right conversations with the right people at the right time.

During the panel, I talked about balance for women in the workplace as well as the perceptions and misconceptions that go with balancing parenthood with your full-time job. I also discussed why gender balance is so important in the workplace. This included what we need to do to make changes for the better, and ensure more equality in future workplaces for the next generation.

Here at Telstra we run a fantastic Graduate Program where we have a strong focus on female talent, and are looking to increase our female intake year on year especially in the technical, STEM-related roles. Our Operations Female Sponsorship programme also helps to promote networking opportunities for our female leaders which will help to create connections across the organisation and open doors for future possibilities.

Events like this are important to help us leap-frog the issues we’re faced with in our workplaces across the country. Telstra’s current female gender representation goal of 35% by 2020 is admirable, but sometimes I wonder about a future where this is higher. Will we ever over-achieve if we don’t aim for 50%? I know this may seem a little ambitious, but as they say, shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars!

These events also provide great networking opportunities and help raise visibility for candidates who are looking to prove themselves in a new industry. I hope that my time there can help make some potential applicants feel confident in their abilities, seek out and apply for a role that suits them, and help in attaining equality for a more balanced workforce.

You can learn more about the Next 100 Women in Tech event where I recently spoke, but if you’re looking for more information on where to start your own career in tech, you’re already in the right place.