Amber Harli

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My first experience with Go Girl Go for IT was as a year 8 student going to one of the first events. I was what you call an ‘all-rounder’ in high school at that point and didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career after I finished school.  At that age I thought IT was all for geeky gamers who sat in dark basements with no social lives and studying IT seemed to be something totally against my outgoing, active nature.

Go Girl Go for IT was very interesting for me at that formative age as I met and mingled with women who were completely different from that stereotype. I met high- flying career ladies whose work experience across many countries impressed me greatly. I met powerful, top of the industry professionals who exuded confidence and knowledge. I met young, vibrant, creative women who shared their passions and projects using technology and saw that IT was a career for imaginative people as well.

It was in these encounters I vividly remember a lady speaking about her experiences as an E-commerce professional for Sportsgirl. This woman’s technical skills combined with her love of fashion really inspired me to further delve into IT subjects as it was at that point I saw that technology could create amazing things for all industries and wasn’t just a boy’s domain. I asked questions about pathways at the event and went back to school deciding to pick up IT subjects for the following year.

I was further inspired by an incredible IT teacher in high school and under her guidance I began to get more and more interested in Technology and found myself studying it in VCE. I also worked in retail during this period selling computers which helped solidify my interest in technology. During this time I was also shown the power of stereotypes as many customers would question my technical knowledge in favour of my male colleagues, which also helped me develop a passion for getting other girls who possibly were not confident in their technical skills interested in technology.

I was attracted to volunteer at Go Girl as I see the number of girls still being put off by the typical stereotypes of the geek IT worker. I wanted to see girls be inspired like I was at the event and encourage more girls to go into IT courses at University. Working in a professional job now I can still see the need for more women across all areas of technology and I believe that through exposing girls early to careers in IT, they are more likely to progress into IT jobs in the future.

I hope that attendees at this year’s event can experience the stories of many amazing IT professionals and change their opinion about the common Technology job stereotypes. I also hope that the girls coming will have fun with many different interactive activities throughout the day. I believe that this event was pivotal in my decision to pursue a technology career path and I hope that it can encourage other girls to do the same.