I wanted to take a moment to reflect on an incredibly inspiring event where I had the privilege of delivering a speech. As the co-founder of Grow Right, a platinum sponsor of the AIIA Canberra Managers Forum, it was an honour to address a room filled with esteemed individuals who share our passion for technology, diversity, and innovation.
The highlight of the event was the insightful speech by the Honourable Ed Husic MP, where he shed light on the government’s Technology and Digital policies. One statement that particularly resonated with me was when Minister Husic mentioned that the ICT profession needs to fill 1.2 million roles. This statistic further emphasised the urgency and opportunity to foster diversity and innovation in our industry.
During my speech, I expressed my gratitude to Minister Husic and shared the core values that drive Grow Right. Our company focuses on building #AI solutions for the recruitment industry, with a mission to eliminate bias and promote diversity. It was heartening to see heads nodding in agreement when I highlighted the significance of diversity in our field.
As I looked around the room, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of representation, particularly when it comes to women in our industry. Currently, women make up only 31% of professionals in ICT, significantly lower than the national average. This statistic underscores the urgent need to address the gender gap and tap into the immense talent and potential that often goes untapped.
At Grow Right, we understand the power of technology and its potential to transform the recruitment process. We have a proven track record of success in developing innovative solutions that remove bias from the screening process. By utilising AI algorithms, we disregard explicit indicators such as name, gender, age, and ethnicity, as well as implicit indicators like career breaks for maternity leave. Our goal is to create a level playing field where every candidate is evaluated solely on their merits.
During the speech, I took the opportunity to introduce our incredible team of experts who make our vision a reality. Our seasoned professionals bring over 20 years of experience in developing user-friendly solutions. In addition, we have recruited four exceptional AI experts from the renowned The Australian National University (ANU). This unique blend of industry experience and cutting-edge AI knowledge allows us to pioneer innovative solutions that bridge the gap between diverse career backgrounds and job roles.
A key aspect of our commitment to diversity is our partnership with WIC Women in ICT, an organisation that champions women in the Information and Communication Technology sector. We proudly support their initiatives, recognising the importance of fostering an inclusive environment where every individual has equal opportunities to thrive.
Another vital partnership we value is with the ACS (Australian Computer Society), an organisation dedicated to supporting and advocating for IT professionals. Through this collaboration, we contribute to the growth and development of the IT industry, not only in Canberra but across Australia.
We are also actively involved with the Australian National University and its #TechLauncher program, where students specialising in AI and machine learning have the chance to work on real projects with organisations like ours. It was an absolute pleasure to have some of our brilliant students join us at the event, witnessing firsthand the aspirational side of our industry.
As I concluded my speech, I emphasised the need for government support and investment in innovative Australian startups like Grow Right. Despite our achievements thus far without any government funding, I painted a picture of the limitless possibilities that lie ahead with the right support. By investing in companies like ours, we can continue to create new jobs, foster diversity, and drive technological innovation that benefits our community and country.
The event was a reminder that we are not alone in our mission. There is a collective desire among industry leaders, government officials, and like-minded organisations to drive change and shape a future where diversity and technology coexist harmoniously.
I extend my deepest gratitude to all those who attended the event, as well as to Minister Husic for his insightful speech. Let us unite and work together to bridge the gap, fill the 1.2 million roles in the ICT profession, and create a future that celebrates diversity and embraces technological innovation.