Margaret Banks is an IT Manager at Mount St Joseph Girls College. Margaret is proud to represent the ACS Women in Victoria committee and hopes to give back to the community that helped her.
How long have you been in IT?
I have been in IT since 1984, the year of George Orwell's 'Big Brother' - scary.
Why do you love working in IT?
I love working in IT as it is always changing. I'm always discovering new ways of doing things, which are often indicators of new trends that are hinting at what the future holds. I like to think the future is already here but the challenge is to pick the trend. For example, 3D printers have been around for years but have just recently become affordable to many.
Why did you join the ACS Vic Women’s committee?
I joined the ACS Vic Women’s committee, as I would like to give back to the community that helped me.
What do you see are the challenges for women in IT?
Challenges for women in IT are the same as challenges for women working in any discipline. That is, there are obstacles that women must work hard at to overcome that can throw work life balance out of kilter.
What do you think it will take for gender equality in the IT sector?
A good start for gender equality in the IT sector would be exposure of more role models for women in IT. Women have always been in IT from the mathematician Ada Lovelace's work on computers in the 19th century to the 20th century's Grace Hopper who was credited with coining the phrase debugging to fix computer glitches. Women have always contributed to society and should be credited for their work and celebrated.
Do you have any inspiring words of wisdom for girls/women wanting to work in IT?
Be an adventurer, go where no girl has gone before. IT can do it!
Have you had any key milestones in your life that changed the direction of your career?
When I was in year 12 my career advisor asked me what I wanted to do. I responded that I wanted to go to university. His response was 'Why do you want to do that? You are only going to get married and have kids.' Do you know what? I did get married and had children but I also went to university, built a career, travelled the world, raised my children who also went to university, and supported and inspired many people to achieve along the way.
What is your hope for the IT industry?
The IT industry has the potential to transform lives much like the Industrial revolution did in the past. If I use the analogy of Gartner's hype cycle for explaining maturity, adoption and application of technology, then I believe IT has yet to reach the 'Slope of Enlightenment' and move onto the 'Plateau of Productivity'.
Why would you encourage others to become more involved in ACS?
Being involved in ACS is an opportunity to meet others much like ourselves with the same struggles and ambitions that can help support us and inspire us to be better.