Celebrating women in tech: meet Nicky
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked our Digi House Coordinator Nicky Warner some questions about her work in the technology sector.
Nicky Warner, Digi House Coordinator
Tell us a little bit about the Digi House program. What is it trying to achieve?
Digi House aims to increase the digital skills of 20 000 social housing residents. Increased digital literacy will have social and health benefits for these communities.
What is your role with Digi House?
I am the coordinator of Digi House. This means I oversee the project and work in partnership with Google, government and NGOs to develop creative digital skill programs and events for social housing residents across NSW and VIC.
Do you think digital inclusion is an important issue for women? Why?
Marginalised communities are more likely to experience exclusion or lower digital literacy skills. And despite an immense women’s rights movement in our country, women remain a vulnerable group in society. Increasing women’s digital skills is a great way to overcome online vulnerability; and ensure that women can access all the great resources, services and opportunity safely.
Tell us about your work with Indigenous communities and what impact it had.
I lived in remote Aboriginal communities for seven years across 15 tribal regions. Technology changed the landscape dramatically in my time out bush. Most communities had no mobile and limited internet when I first arrived in 2008. I literally watched the change as mobile phone towers were erected and internet access was rolled out to some extremely remote areas. It is now not uncommon to see a young Aboriginal teenager walking along on their phone, which is certainly a sight to behold when you are 800km from the nearest regional centre.
Who is a woman you admire/look up to in your field?
There are three women who have been inspiring and formative for me: Jane Goodall, Anita Roddick and Germaine Greer. All have a bent for environmental and social justice, and have tirelessly contributed to positive change. I admire their hearts, great minds and ability to speak to people from all walks of life.
Why do you work in tech?
I work in tech because I believe that there are great design and technological solutions to common social problems. Ask Izzy is a simple but brilliant example of this. Innovation is an area that is growing in Australia and I want to be involved.
What do you think could be done to get more women working in tech roles?
I think efforts to create flexible work arrangements to understand the competing demands of women’s lives will help. Interestingly, technology offers opportunity for this with improved communication technologies, remote access and cloud based collaboration spaces. The goal should be to see women equally represented in the tech industry, indeed all industries. This means responding to their needs.
Find out more about Digi House