What is so unique about this event, you ask? This time we have a star panel consisting of Michael Ewald, Riccardo Patana, Kathryn Bergstrum, Lynn Dang & Ross Wetherbee. Our panel will be moderated by the brilliant Valeria Ignatieva,Co-CEO & Founder of WORK80. We’re highly anticipating this panel discussion as we are excited to have such a variety of views on the subject of Diversity & Inclusion. Being strong advocates for D&I ourselves, we look forward to a discussion full of learnings and potential contrasts in terms of how different people view this subject and where they find a common ground. We’d love to have a balanced audience as well, so please share this with your colleagues and encourage them to attend!
Co-CEO and Founder, WORK180
Valeria is the Co-CEO and Founder of WORK180, a platform improving workplaces and connecting the most progressive employers with talented women. WORK180 pre-screen employers on amount of paid parental
leave, pay equity, flexible working and much more. This information is transparent on the WORK180 website with companies continuously improving policies and raising the bar across Australian and UK workplaces.
Director of Engineering, Contino
Hello, my name is Michael Ewald. I guess if I had to summarise myself I would say that I was an ambitious bogan who embarked on a continuous mission of self-improvement. I wouldn’t say that I have made it, but Michael 2.0 is a vast improvement. I find it hard to describe what I do, even to my wife. I was an IT Mercenary for many years, so I have worn many hats. I guess where I have settled is a place where I am making great contributions in the DataOps and DevOps world. My focus now includes the sociotechnical space, and not just the tech. You would be surprised how good applied philosophy works. I hung up the consulting hat for a while to take on a role to test my hypothesis; to transform teams and process within a large enterprise financial company, it went well. Now I am back helping others from the lessons I learnt; good and bad. I am currently in the process of completing a degree in psychology, but have decided to put that on hold as I miss coding and I need to get back into building solutions and not just talking about them.
Across her career Kathryn has worked in a number of part time administrative roles across the Victorian Government Public Service in Forestry and in the Social Services sector in records and information management. After a long and challenging path to find and gain full time employment, due to disability, Kathryn was offered her first full time role with Laing O’Rourke Australia in 2017. Since then she has worked on a number of construction projects including the Rosanna Level Crossing Removal Project in Melbourne’ North East and on the Metro Trains Melbourne Track Renewals Project. Kathryn is a passionate advocate and has strong interest in educating others around disability in the workplace, workplace diversity and social inclusion. She recently shared her story with WORK180 and has contributed to Laing O’Rourke’s diversity and Inclusion pledge.
Customer Engineer, Google Cloud, Google
Riccardo is an innovative industry thought leader and expert in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and cognitive experience utilization. He has extensive experience consulting with clients to identify business goals and introduce solution recommendations beyond original project scopes. He is recognized for successes as Product Owner and Solution Architect leading complex, diversely focused projects for global, multinational, and national clients. He has designed customized client-specific architecture, application interfaces for integration with legacy systems, and multi-faceted sales, marketing, and order management eCommerce platforms. In his spare time you’ll find him at Bondi enjoying the beach life.
Talent Acquisition Leader – Microsoft Australia; Board Director – Australia for UNHCR (UN refugee
Lynn Dang is currently the Head of Talent Acquisition at Microsoft Australia where she leads the company’s recruitment strategy and operations. Lynn has worked in the tech industry for over 15+ years with a keen passion for creating diverse and inclusive workforces. Career highlights include delivering poverty-alleviation strategies to the Nigerian State Agriculture Ministry and leading in-house recruitment teams focused on creatively recruiting top diverse talent with the use of social recruiting, innovation and analytics. Lynn is a Board Director for Australia for UNHCR (the UN refugee agency) and received her Bachelors of Commerce from the University of New South Wales.
Ross Wetherbee is Talent and Inclusion Leader at TAL Australia. TAL is a leading Life Insurance specialist and for 150 years, has been protecting people, not things. TAL, along with its partners, protects over 4.5 million Australians and their families, helping them look after what matters most, so they have the freedom to keep living the life they planned. In his role at TAL, Ross has responsibility for all internal talent programs, including TAL’s Graduate and Intern programs, in addition to TAL’s Diversity & Inclusion Strategy and program as well as involvement in employee value proposition and branding strategies. Ross sits on the Leadership Teams of TAL’s Gender Equality, LGBTI+ and Indigenous Australian employee-led networks. Ross has served on the Board of Wear It Purple, a youth-led non-profit since 2017 and in November 2018 was appointed as the President, reflecting his passion for equality. In March 2019, Wear It Purple was recognised as Charity of the Year at the Australian LGBTI Awards. Ross has a passion for developing engaged, high-performing and inclusive organisational cultures that
see individuals, teams and organisations grow.
Is it free?
Is it only for women?
What if something changed and I cannot attend any more?
Please let us know if you won’t be able to attend, so we can offer your place to somebody else.
The best way is to cancel your ticket on Eventbrite or contact us and we’ll help you. The email you need is [email protected]
How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
For all other burning questions you can send an email to
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