Call Back With Atlassian’s Alice Young: “Exercise Your Voice For Yourself And Others”

Call Back With Atlassian’s Alice Young: “Exercise Your Voice For Yourself And Others”

Entries are open for the 2023 Women Leading Tech Awards which is gearing up to be even more epic than the last, thanks to an expanded list of categories and a host of new partners showing their support.

But one significant thing remains unchanged. 

It is a great honour to welcome back Atlassian as our fabulous presenting partner, without whom the awards wouldn’t be the runaway success story they have become.

“Be the change you seek” is the homegrown tech giant’s North star, and it couldn’t align better with what the Women Leading Tech Awards stand for.

Gender parity in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) sector is still a significant concern. With the help of Atlassian, these awards will continue to address the needed change in these heavily male-dominated industries by putting women at the helm of the conversation. And, of course, recognising and celebrating the brilliant female talent across 29 different categories!

Last year we sat down with Atlassian’s diversity and inclusion talent acquisition lead, Alice Young, to discuss the state of the TMT industry and how Atlassian’s involvement with Women Leading Tech reflects their company ethos. 

We’re back with Young a year later to bring us up to speed.

Alice Young – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leader, Atlassian

B&T: It’s great to have Atlassian again as the principal sponsor for the Women Leading Tech awards. Why did Atlassian decide to come back for another round?

AY: We’re delighted to partner with you again to support these important awards. Sponsoring these awards is an excellent way to showcase how important it is to support a more diverse Technology industry and, in this case, celebrate and amplify the achievements of great women in Tech.

B&T: What was your favourite part of last year’s awards?

AY: Honestly, it was awe-inspiring to be in a room full of such amazing people. Whilst we were rightly celebrating women on the night, it was great to see how many men were there to support their colleagues. 

What resonated with me was how humble every contestant was. While they were the ones collecting the awards, they emphasised that they worked with great people, others who deserve recognition along the way. Research shows this quality of recognising others, not jumping into the spotlight, doesn’t always work favourably, like with promotions. So it was wonderful to see that women could be authentic in this space and still be recognised and celebrated. It gave me hope for the future of Women in Tech.

B&T: Last time we spoke, you mentioned that Atlassian had set “ambitious goals to transform our talent acquisition practices to improve our sourcing capabilities and focus our proactive outreach efforts on underrepresented candidates”.

Have you made progress on these goals over the past year?

AY:I’m pleased to say that we have made progress. We have taken steps forward in all the areas above, resulting in a hiring rate change (from FY21 – FY22) of 8.4 per cent for women globally. We still have a lot of work to do, but this shows that the results follow when you intentionally change your structure and approach.

B&T:  You also mentioned, “We’re auditing our performance assessment programs and training teams that work with and administer all these processes. We’re also building management tools to ensure that we’re inclusive at a team level in our new, distributed world”.

What results have you seen from these initiatives?

AY: Again, we’re seeing progress. In the fiscal year 2021, Atlassian improved our performance assessment and rewards programs by conducting equity design reviews with Paradigm, a consulting firm with expertise in bias reduction. 

This year, we added job profiles to our design review, which enabled our in-house equitable design experts to ensure career competencies, minimise bias, and promote inclusion (especially competencies around teamwork and collaboration). We also integrated equitable decision-making content into manager training related to performance assessment and compensation decisions.

This was our first year of the long-term DEI strategy implementation, growing the team from three to seven and embedding DEI across Atlassian people programs while scaling (37 per cent YoY FTE growth).

B&T: Overall, what have been the greatest blindspots of the industry that you’ve seen over the past year preventing progress for women working in or wanting to move into tech?

AY:There are challenges for women at every stage of their career in tech, and they’re well known. Our challenge as an industry (in my mind) is to approach these collectively rather than individually, and I’d encourage your audience to read this report for further research on the work required. We can only drive these changes together.

B&T: Returning to the awards, we have a bunch of new categories this year, which is very exciting! What advice do you have for women considering entering the awards?

AY: Same advice as last year! Do it and exercise your voice – for yourself and others.

B&T: And for the naysayers out there, why do you think initiatives like Women Leading Tech Awards are still relevant as a woman working in the tech industry?

AY: Recognising the contributions of everyone is essential. When women are rightly represented at 50/50, then maybe we won’t need Women specific awards; we can just have Excellence in Tech Awards. 

But until then, I think these awards are relevant, necessary and vital to demonstrate to women that they are part of a community of excellence.

Find out more about the Women Leading Tech Awards HERE, and get started on your submission HERE.

Tickets to the awards are now on sale HERE.


  • Entry deadline: 11:59pm AEDT, Tuesday, 7 February 2023
  • Late entry deadline: 11:59pm AEDT, Tuesday, 14 February 2023
  • Judging period: Thursday, 16 February – Tuesday, 28 February 2023
  • Shortlist date: Friday, 3 March 2023
  • Early bird tickets end: Friday, 10 March 2023
  • Event date: 5:30-11:30pm, Friday 24, March 2023 – The ICC Ballroom

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