It’s that time of year again when nominations to our annual WiTWA Tech [+] Awards are open and that old chestnut of “am I good enough/worthy/ready” pops up again and again in conversation with women around town. Let me cut to the chase – the answer is yes!
You are definitely worthy and no one else is you, so why would you compare yourself to others? You are who you are at this point in time because of a collective of experiences, life lessons, education pathways, and the many choices made over the course of your life to date. This creates a very unique value proposition that only you can offer, so let’s celebrate this!
The WiTWA Tech [+] Awards are not lifetime achievement awards and are not meant to be reserved for those who have reached the pinnacle of their careers.
They are for any and all women who role model STEM, innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership in the Tech [+] sphere. Remember, Tech [+] is a conscious choice by WiTWA to welcome and include the curators, moderators and users of technology as much as those who develop and create technology.
There is help out there to make it easier
Our recent Q&A Webinar & Writing Workshop for Award Submissions was intended to support as many of our WiTWA network members as we can in backing yourself and submitting a nomination this year. If you missed out, don’t worry – we have recorded it and you can access it via our website.
This is the third year that we have run that WITWA Tech [+] 20 Awards. Starting in 2018 the intent was to showcase and celebrate 20 amazing women who are role models in tech [+] fields.
If you are new to WiTWA we are a West Australian network focused on providing a framework for women in tech [+] to extend their networks and expand their knowledge. Our goal is to see more women in tech [+] roles and organisations in WA, and to progress those already in these careers as we achieve greater parity and equality.
So, you may have been tapped on the shoulder to suggest that you need to submit your application for the WiTWA Tech [+] 20 Awards? You may have a nomination email sitting in your inbox but you struggling even to get started? Or maybe you have been thinking about submitting an application but have not quite had the courage to commit?
If you tuned in to our conversation earlier this week with former PM Julia Gillard about Women and Leadership you will have heard her comments and encouragement about the importance of backing yourself and having the courage to shine a light on your achievements and talents from time to time. I concur with Julia in that sometimes we have to get out of our own way and become a little more comfortable with the idea of self-promotion, backing ourselves, selling ourselves, and articulating our unique value proposition in a public way.
If this feels uncomfortable, don’t stress. There is plenty of research to show that many women struggle with the idea of self-promotion so take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in feeling challenging by writing an award nomination for yourself.
But there is also significant research which proves that winning awards or even making the finalists list helps your leadership potential and career advancement.
How better to showcase the difference you make, the problems you solve, and the value you add to a business, a network, or a community? In all this it is crucial to not just focus on winning. Even if your entry does not result in an Award, the process of nominating itself will assist you in:
- highlighting the results you deliver that may often appear to be taken for granted;
- building a wider support network around your leadership aspirations; and
- crafting a value proposition that will boost your credibility and confidence in the long run.
With the WITWA Awards, there is no downside only upsides!
To help you craft an amazing application and debunk some of the myths that you may have about nominating yourself for an Award we asked 5 amazing role models to share their thoughts, tips, and insights.
- Sarah Mitchell – Content Marketing expert, founder at Typeset, past Tech [+] Award nominee and WiTWA Role Model, and Global Copywriting and ‘award submission whisperer’ who shared her tips on how to write a winning submission past Tech [+] Award nominee & Role Model.
- Jo Saunders – Our very own LinkedIn & Brand Strategist, past Tech [+] Award nominee and WiTWA Role Model and founder of Wildfire Marketing who shared her tips on the importance of backing yourself on social media.
- Heidi Pass– WiTWA Committee, Earth Scientist, passionate Gender Intelligence Advocate and past Tech [+] Award nominee and WiTWA Role Model.
- Michelle Radley– WiTWA Conference Committee Lead, Technology Integrator and Leader at Rio Tinto and 2018 Tech [+] Award winner.
- Gry Stene– WiTWA Comms Committee, STEAM & Diversity Advocate, founder of STEAM Engine Global and 2018 Tech [+] Award.
Key takeaways for anyone thinking about submitting their application
What did they have to say? It’s probably a lot more fun to listen to the recording of the webinar via our WiTWA website, but some of the highlights included:
1. You can’t lead others unless you lead yourself (Heidi Pass)
2. There is gold in sharing how you overcame adversity (Sarah Mitchell)
3. Create your very own “fabulosity jar” where you capture micro-moments of achievements as you live your life day by day (Jo Saunders)
4. Walk the walk; don’t just talk about it (Gry Stene)
5. Think about the stepping stones, the pivot points and the value you have brought to people, teams, and businesses along the way (Michelle Radley)
6. Make use of the many resources that are available to craft stories around your achievements and successes (Heidi Pass)
7. Don’t ever think you have to leave out personal experiences or stories that have shaped who you are (Michelle Radley)
8. Give yourself the gift of time to celebrate your little wins (Jo Saunders)
9. Be brave and ask for help from a friend to brainstorm ideas (Sarah Mitchell)
10. Only you know what you’ve done; take the time to pull it all together, synthesize and think of those specific examples that showcase achievements, experiences, and value (Gry Stene)
How do I enter?
To be eligible to enter the Tech [+] 20 Awards, you simply have to meet the following criteria:
- Identify as a woman,
- Currently reside in Western Australia,
- Not have won a WiTWA trophy in 2018 or 2019, and
- Not be a current member of the WiTWA Board or Subcommittees.
The 3 core criteria on which each application will be assessed revolve around:
- Personal Determination
- Technical Strength
We have gifted you more time to prepare your submission
The timeline to submit your nomination has been extended to Sunday 9th August 11:59pm WST.
Award winners will be announced on Friday 30 October, 2020 at an Awards Celebration generously sponsored by Valrose, Appbot, JourneyOne and Cyber CX (don’t feel like you’ve missed out – we are still looking to secure additional sponsors to make this event the celebration it deserves to be).
So as you can see, there really is no excuse for not submitting a nomination form in 2020:
1. It’s a simple form.
2. You only need to answer 3 questions!
3. Everyone who submits will be included on our Role Model Gallery – awesome!
4. There are 25 Awards up for grabs which are good odds, I’d say.
5. You will be in great company and I promise you, it will be fun.
Resources to help you get started and press ENTER…
The WiTWA team has pulled together some great resources to help you craft an amazing award submission.
So back yourself, be brave and embrace the woman you want to be. This is your year!
Watch the recording from the workshop.