CeBIT: Women in IT unite over communication

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CeBIT: Women in IT unite over communication

One hundred and fifty female IT and telco professionals attended an event at CeBIT to discuss just what it is that women want from technology. One of the strongest themes that emerged was the desire for the deployment and adoption of Unified Communications.

The event was presented by Females in IT and Telecommunications (FITT) - a non-profit network established in 1989 to encourage and support women in the ICT industry.

A panel of experts was assembled to field questions and develop discussions based on questions and suggestions from the audience.

Moderated by award-winning IT journalist, Beverly Head, the panel consisted of Patricia Scott, secretary of the Federal Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy; Holly Kramer, group managing director, product management - Telstra; Adele Whish-Wilson, CEO Momentum Technologies; and Dr Anna Liu, group manager, emerging technologies, Microsoft Australia.

Maggie Alexander, a founding member of FITT and the event coordinator, said there was strong opinion amongst panel members and audience alike that Unified Communications was a trend that all organisations should further investigate.

“Not only does Unified Communications optimise how an organisation can more effectively communicate with internal and external audiences, it is also the means by which female employees in all job designations can blend family commitments or lifestyle changes without having to give up their careers” said Alexander.

She claimed employers can tap into a vast resource of talent by adopting various forms of teleworking. This particularly applies to women who may have given up work to have a family or who want to work part-time in retirement.

“Having children or working part-time doesn’t have to be career-ending experiences, and by providing women with a means to work flexibly, organisations continue to benefit from these peoples’ skills and knowledge,” said Alexander. “The downside is that people are never without their notebooks or mobile phone devices, even on holiday,” she said.

Teleworking is supported by numerous technologies including Virtual Private Networks, audio, web and video conferencing, SMS alerts and notifications.

“For many organisations today, Unified Communications not only allows them to retain contact with people on leave or working part-time, but also brings better communication practices to internal and partner teams and a more cohesive workforce”, said Alexander.
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