In December 2016, in Parliament House, the Hon. Julie Bishop MP addressed past and present DELL Women in IT Executive Mentoring (WITEM) participants as part of commemorations of the Dell WITEM 10-year milestone.
This national program aims to accelerate the leadership development of women within the IT industry and profession. Mentors include CIOs, CTOs and CEOs from across federal government departments, and large Australian organisations such as Westpac, Ernst & Young and Woolworths, as well as technology leaders from many of Australia’s leading universities.
Bishop explained that the WITEM initiative had been founded as a response to a call-to-action from the then Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Helen Coonan, who was concerned about the number of girls taking STEM subjects in a world where technology is changing the way we live, we work and society in general.
In the APS, Dell WITEM builds cross-organisational mentoring partnerships between CEOs, CIOs and EL2 women working in ICT, who have been identified as capable of taking the next step into senior executive ranks.
In recognition of its impact on women in ICT, WITEM won the“Outstanding Initiative/Result for the Advancement of Women” at the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) Business Achievement Awards.
Dell WITEM Coaching Circles
The 2017-2018 WITEM Coaching Circles kick off in October. The program has been offered since 2012, and repeated on a yearly basis. Over 300 women in ICT who had been identified by their CIOs as having high potential have participated in the program. The program is interactive and collegiate and aims to enhance career management, increase skills, develop resilience and build strong, supportive networks for women in the APS. The facilitated circles meet monthly and include experiential leadership modules, group coaching and peer mentoring.
WITEM Extend is an Australian Public Service program. Using the WITEM model and methodology, mentees from WITEM became mentors to female talent further down the pipeline.
Smaller Agency Mentoring Program
In 2006, the Chief Information Officer Committee acknowledged the success of WITEM and agreed for the Australian Public Service to pursue involvement in a Canberra-based Smaller Agency Mentoring Program, involving CIOs from smaller agencies being mentored by a CIO from larger government departments.
“The most significant benefit I gained from taking part in the WITEM mentoring program was a new found self belief and confidence that I could be an effective manager and leader.” WITEM Mentee
If you are interested in learning more about WITEM™ and getting involved, please contact us.