Wellington + Chrtistchurch
It is with huge amount of joy that we get to announce Victoria MacLennan, a doyen of the New Zealand tech world (amongst so much else), is joining the Access Granted team.
Vic was our first ever interview subject back in June 2014 when Raj and Mike realised that a show based purely on news, events, views, and gossip was turning out to be a lot harder that they had originally thought. From the first interview with Vic we were told we had hit on a format that we should keep - we were so luicky our fiorst interview was with Vic!
Vic is a person seemingly with more hours in the day that us mere "24 hour mortals" - she is an Investor, Director, Mentor and Cheerleader - read her words below to see what those 4 words actually cover (it's a LOT!)
As with all our hosts we are asking them two questions, this is Victoria ...
Why do you do what you do?
Everyone deserves an opportunity to realise their potential, we live in a fabulous paradise with free healthcare and education yet we have increasing inequality and environmental challenges - so as a business person my contribution to this is through supporting initiatives aimed to create opportunities for New Zealanders.
I also mentor and support both women in STEM and business founders and owners - simply because I really struggled to find support throughout my career. Early on there just weren't enough women in Tech to find role models or mentors, then once I moved into business ownership I found the male bastion business leaders weren't prepared to share their experiences, it's not like I was asking for the recipe to the secret sauce! so I try to make my experiences and advice as accessible as possible so others can learn and help realise they are not in this segment of the world alone.
How do you do it?
With little sleep and many cups of tea!!!. I donate 50% of my time to amplify and support impactful initiatives, thanks to the great team at OptimalBI for enabling me to do this. Some are focused on policy and government interventions - Digital Skills Forum and the Ministerial Advisory group for Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion (DEDIMAG) for instance. Others are focused on participation and inclusion eg: Digital Future Aotearoa, Code Club and now Access Granted. The 3rd area I work in is business advice and advocacy in Advisory and Governance roles and as Co-Chair of NZRise.
It can be tough fitting a variable workload around running businesses so being flexible is key to the how. In the future many of us will have freelance or portfolio style engagements so learning how to context change frequently and compartmentalise are new skills we will all need to learn. I am lucky to have a fabulous forgiving partner who supports my passion and respects my version of work/life balance.
* we at Access Granted make no demands on the NZ-wide hosts and therefore these is nothing compelling them to talk with you - they're all working people doing it out of the love of sharing local stories so please, treat them all nicely.