Posted on 5 April 2018

Last month, the world celebrated International Women’s Day, where hundreds of organisations across the globe came together with commitments to #PressForProgress. In the lead-up to IWD 2018, their website highlighted a free program that was recently launched by Vodafone and the non-profit social enterprise Code: First Girls. This initiative provides coding training to teenage girls across 26 countries in an effort to draw more female students to STEM subjects and support their interest in IT careers.

Previous interviewees for our Women in IT blog series have mentioned how critical it is to support girls’ interest in STEM subjects when they’re in primary and secondary school. As our interview subject today points out, it’s important that children and young adults are encouraged to pursue careers that they’re passionate about—regardless of whether they are generally dominated by one gender.

In this month’s interview, we spoke with our company accountant, Symone Soum, about what drew her to her field and why she enjoys working at JDS.

Symone Soum

Symone Soum, Company Accountant, Melbourne

With skills in analysation and maths, Symone made the decision to pursue a degree in accounting after graduation. She attended Western Sydney University, where she was given recognition of her academic achievements being in the top 15% of students across all faculties. Following her university studies, Symone entered the workforce in Sydney, working in accounting software design, before ultimately moving to Melbourne. She came to JDS a little less than two years ago and has been developing the accountant role here ever since.

We should all be encouraged to, and encourage others to, chase a career path that inspires us—even if that field has historically been dominated by the opposite sex.

What drew you to your career?

Growing up, I was always going to be a ballet teacher. So, I was left quite confused in my late teens when I decided that’s no longer something I wanted to do.

Accounting wasn’t a dream of mine, but I had been known to be pretty analytical, investigative, and systemic with my thoughts and actions. I was also good at math. I put that all together and well... here I am!

What drew you to a job at JDS?

Initially, it was the role itself that drew me to my job at JDS. At the time of applying, the role was exactly what I was looking for.

During the interview stages, I met a few staff members (in the lift, at the front desk, during the interview) and these interactions with staff cemented my desire to land the job.

Every one of them was so friendly and welcoming. These were people I could happily see myself spending time with, so I was happy when I got the gig!

Have you progressed in your career at JDS? If so, how?

I have been with JDS for just under two years now. My role during that time has developed and progressed as the organisation grew, and as the needs of the business changed. I anticipate it will continue to do so.

Recent growth in the Accounting team also presents exciting opportunity to further develop the accounting function and my career at JDS.

Why do you think it’s important for women to be in IT?

I personally don’t have a strong opinion on women working in the IT industry; I think it’s important for women (and men) to do what makes them happy. If that happiness is a career in IT, then that is definitely something they should pursue.

We should all be encouraged to, and encourage others to, chase a career path that inspires us—even if that field has historically been dominated by the opposite sex.

Why is JDS a good place to work for women?

The general atmosphere at JDS is very friendly and accommodating. Staff genuinely enjoy each others company. They are happy to be here, and it shows. This happiness is contagious, and in my opinion, really important.

We spend the bulk of our week at work. Spending that time in a supportive, welcoming environment makes “working life” a hell of a lot easier!

The JDS managers are to thank for that. They heavily encourage staff interaction and culture (e.g. Friday afternoon catch-ups/social drinks, regular team meetings, national team functions/outings, etc).

JDS is a good place to work in general—for both women and men.

Women in IT blog series

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