For Rhiannon Gaskell, Release Train Engineer for Australia Post, it’s all about giving things a go; “I’m very big on things not having to be perfect, but always finding ways to be better.”As a qualified Pilates instructor, health is incredibly important to Rhiannon explaining, “It’s about finding time to be healthy! I do Pilates classes down the road from work every morning… I’m a nicer person if I exercise, it really is my time to think!”
Mum to two girls under the age of three, Rhiannon’s lifestyle is busy, to say the very least. With her husband, Tony, taking on the role of “stay at home dad”, Rhiannon reflects on her own childhood explaining, “When I was growing up, I was really fortunate to have my mum stay at home… This was a luxury that not all my friends had and reflecting on this as I got older, I think it played a big part in how I became the person I am today… I knew that, if financially possible, this was something I wanted for my children.”Having discussed this before even started to try to have children and because of Rhiannon’s advantage of working in the tech industry, with flexible hours and the ability to work from home, Rhiannon “took six months off after having my first child, and then we did a swap. For us, it made sense… and luckily he was supportive of this.”
For Rhiannon, it’s all about women in tech bringing their authentic self to work, ” if they can resist the temptation to mirror men and just be their authentic self, bringing skills that come more naturally to them, there’s a huge opportunity for career advancement!”Contrary to popular misconceptions about roles in tech, Rhiannon’s role means she’s almost never at her desk stating,”It’s more about conversations than computers!”. With a role divided between people management and delivery, Rhiannon explains her role is “about making sure what we’re delivering is delivering value back to the organisation.”
Rhiannon didn’t begin her career journey with a role in tech, starting with a degree in entrepreneurship. With no plans to move into the tech space, Rhiannon started a rather unusual business with a guy from University.
“We launched a fleet of peddle electric bicycles that ran around Melbourne wrapped in advertising. It was around the time of the Commonwealth Games, so we had some big brands getting on board.”
With a constantly evolving attitude, Rhiannon explains “what I learnt from this was I was good at starting stuff… but I didn’t know much about growing a business.” From here Rhiannon “found a grad job doing special projects for the CEO of a small tech company. The CEO saw something special in me, and encouraged me to get involved with the IT department, which is how I got my foot in the door with tech!”
Acutely aware of the importance of building a gender diverse workforce, Rhiannon believes “the more women we can attract to technology the better outcomes we’ll get. So much of modern technology delivered these days requires deep collaboration, and the diversity of thinking that women bring is incredibly important… we need more of it!” Reflecting on the beginning of her career journey, Rhiannon dishes the advice to her young self, stating, “Back yourself! Don’t listen to the little voice in the back of your head telling you you’re this and you’re not that… You need to have the confidence, or fake it till you make it! At the end of the day, you need to be confident to sit at the table and contribute.”
If you’re interested in joining our Women in Tech movement, or you just want to learn more about it, read more here. ✌️