With IWD exactly one month away, the 2018 theme of #PressForProgress aims to increase awareness for workplaces and individuals on how they can commit to ongoing action for gender parity. Organisers are asking supporters across the globe to commit to at least one of five selected actions that will press for gender parity. To learn more or find out how you can participate, visit the IWD website here.

Throughout the year, JDS has focused on one of these actions in particular, “forging the positive visibility of women”, through the Women in IT blog series. This month’s Women in IT interview features Jillian Hunter, one of our exceptional support consultants who spends her days wielding exceptional IT and communications skills, and her evenings wielding actual swords in her Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) classes.

Jillian Hunter, Support Consultant, Melbourne

Jillian grew up in the generation frequently referred to as digital natives and proudly states that she has always been a nerd. As tech careers became more varied and widespread, Jillian chose to pursue her passion at a university level, studying Multimedia and Game Design during her Bachelor of IT at Monash University.

With a keen interest in how the computer and the human interact, it’s no wonder she decided to join the workforce in IT support. As she puts it, technology is a language of its own, and IT support staff act as translators for those who aren’t familiar. She enjoys helping people resolve tech issues while also adding to their knowledge, empowering users to improve their IT language skills and have a more successful dialogue the next time.

If you don’t have a diverse workforce, you end up with automatic soap dispensers that can’t detect dark skin, or NASA engineers who ask Sally Ride if 100 tampons is the right amount for one week in space.

What drew you to IT?

I grew up on the internet—my friends and I were building custom CSS themes for our old LiveJournal accounts during school lunchtimes before we even knew that was what coding was. It was a natural progression from there.

What drew you to a job at JDS?

I’d previously found myself in very small companies without a lot of opportunity to advance or gain new skills. I was looking for a job with a future, particularly so early in my career. JDS stood out as a great place to work, one that is supportive and looking to grow the people who make up the business alongside the business itself.

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

I joined with very little experience in the products that JDS specialises in and have had the opportunity and encouragement to train in some of the HP/Micro Focus suite and get a certification in the ServiceNow space. Every day is a new challenge—I don’t imagine I’ll ever run out of things to learn!

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

Because if you’re only picking from one specific section of the population, you’re not going to get the full range of talent.

Because if you don’t have a diverse workforce, you end up with automatic soap dispensers that can’t detect dark skin, or NASA engineers who ask Sally Ride if 100 tampons is the right amount for one week in space.

Because women have been in IT since Ada Lovelace started tinkering with equations for the analytical engine, and it is long past time to stop pretending otherwise.

Why is JDS a good place to work for women?

I’m part of a team of people that care about getting the job done and care about each other. Everyone in JDS is working towards the same goals and is there to help each other achieve them.

Conclusion

JDS is committed to employing and promoting women in technical and business roles across all four of our offices in Australia. If you are a woman looking for a great workplace culture where you can advance your career and develop new skills, check out our careers page and flick us your resume. We would love to hear from you. If you haven’t already, check out the other interviews in our Women in IT blog series, and look for the next installment on International Women’s Day.

Our team on the case

 

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