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Women in Tech Profile: Catherine Thum

The motto “ You can’t be what you can’t see” is used a lot among the Code Like a Girl team. We work everyday to build a community that inspires the diversity in tech - and showcasing the amazing efforts of the women already in the field  

As a continuation of our commitment, we are so proud to bring you our first Woman in Tech profile. This monthly series will introduce you to the diverse talent driving technology into the future. We will explore their careers, achievements and advice for other women and non-binary people on why a diverstiy in tech is so important. We hope their stories inspire others to explore a career in tech. 

If you’re interested in being featured as a Women in Tech, you can fill out the form here

Catherine Thum - Delivery Lead, Lexicon DigitaL

A veteran of the tech industry, Catherine Thum has overcome barriers both as a woman and a migrant to Australia. Despite having 10 years experience as a Software Engineer in Singapore, her move to Australia meant taking a backwards step in her career to prove her skills. Catherine felt her experience outside of Australia set her at a disadvantage. However, she knew she was able to provide “outside the box” solutions to problems 

Can you tell us about the journey that led you to a career in technology?

I started 20 years ago as a software developer in Singapore. Slowly worked my way to a Business Analyst (BA), Project Manager and then a Managing Consultant with various multinational companies based around the world. I then made the move to Australia in 2008 and re-started as a BA and adapted to learn Agile as it was the future of software delivery. Since then, I have had the privilege of leading projects and delivery teams.

Since entering tech, what has your career progression looked like?

Software Engineer -- Business Analyst -- Project Manager -- Managing Consultant --(AU) -- Business Analyst -- Agile PM -- Development Lead -- Delivery Lead

Who or what inspires you as a woman in technology?

I see very little women in the tech industry. In my position, I want to nurture upcoming women in the tech industry to venture out of their comfort zone and ignore traditional views, that women can be great tech leaders be it as a Project Manager, IT Architect, CTO, CIO.

Why do you think diversity in tech is important?

It is important because we should not shoehorn individuals to specific roles based on gender or racial background. Recruitment and promotions should be based on merit, skills and ability to influence.

Do you have advice for women or diverse individuals who might be considering moving to a role in tech?

Just give it a shot and be open to opportunities that are available. Do not worry about being able to tick all the boxes when applying for a role or getting the promotion. Also be kind to yourself, being a mother or another ethnic background does not set us at a disadvantage.

Be bold and stay authentic.

What is your dream or goal for the future of tech?

More women and people of different ethnic diversity in various IT roles and influences. IT is just another industry where everyone has equal opportunities to grow, learn and lead.


What's the best investment you've made in your career under $1000? Personal development books and audios

What's your favourite quote or mantra? People do not remember what you say or do, but they do remember how you make them feel.

Name a book that's inspired you? Dare to Lead - Brenee Brown. Notable mention is Radical Candour.

One piece of tech you can't live without? Mobile phone 

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