People & Culture

VIDEO: International Women's Day 2023

Notitia Director, Lisa Byrne shares her insights as a leader in the Australian STEM sector & reflects on what has helped her career in IT & technology.

March 8, 2023

Notitia Director, Lisa Byrne, started her career in “fairly traditional accounting roles” but soon realised that accounting “really wasn’t her thing”.

Lisa transitioned into the data industry and explains that parts of her accounting role (that she loved) transferred over to her roles in tech, data and IT.

Today, Lisa has worked for Australia’s top corporations, with a hugely successful 30-year career in the STEM sector. A leader in data strategy, data governance and cyber security, Lisa gives advice to other women who want to develop a tech career. Read on below for the full video transcript, or watch the video.

Notitia has achieved a near 50% female representation across both exec & their broader team.

This isn't by mistake.

Notitia Managing Director & Founder, Alex Avery, says that it is the responsibility of every business to do the same.

"Female representation in STEM will only improve if businesses make it part of their culture," Mr Avery says.

"Notitia has achieved a near 50% female workforce because we see it as our responsibility to lead by example.

Female representation in STEM seems to be tracking downwards according to the Australian Government's STEM Equity Monitor.
In 2021:

> women made up 27% of the STEM workforce (1% less than year prior)

> 23% of all managers were women

Video Transcript
Speaker: Lisa Byrne, Notitia Director

When did you realise that you wanted to work in the tech industry?

Lisa Byrne: Hello, everyone. I started my career working in a fairly traditional or in fairly traditional financial management accounting roles and after a while I realised that I didn't really like the recurring month end kind of routine that really wasn't my thing. But having said that the piece that I really did love was on the management accounting side and understanding what was driving volume and profitability for a particular sales territory or a group of products or a brand. Soon after that, the company where I was working was about to embark on this massive of business process, IT system and reporting overhaul and the person running the project, asked me if I would like to be involved and I absolutely jumped at the chance of being involved as part of that team.

What's your advice for women looking for a pathway into a STEM career?

Lisa Byrne: My advice for women looking for a pathway into a stem career. Tricky question, but I have a few suggestions that have certainly helped me enormously along the way. My first piece of advice would be to find an area within STEM that you love and you're very passionate about, I honestly believe and I, apply this to myself, it is easier to learn and grasp new concepts when you are looking to learn something about an area in which you are extremely passionate about. And when you are working in an area that's close to your heart, it's far easier to conduct yourself in an authentic way and genuine way. And that translates to when you are convincing others or arguing for or against something. The second thing is, please don't underestimate the value of a mentor working in the area that you want to get into or you are in and you want to build a career. I have currently about five mentors, but I've had many throughout my career and I talk to them constantly and often. And one aspect I find particularly useful or very useful is one of those mentors, there's one in particular that provides me really good reality checks and reminds me when I need to pull my head in and why I need to do that.

Can you share an inspirational female leader who you admire?

Lisa Byrne: So who do I find who's a female leader that I find inspiring? There's many, but one lady I know her, but I look at what she's managed to achieve and constantly amazed. Her name is Bridie O'Donnell and most people probably wouldn't know who she is. So I'll start by explaining what who she is and what she does. So Bridie, like me, she's a Brizzy (from Brisbane) girl. But she also moved to Melbourne and she trained as a doctor her last medical role She was a medical doctor at the hospital here in Melbourne. And then she transitioned from medicine into government when the Victorian Government created the Office of Women in Sport and Recreation five years ago she was the first head of that department and she used that role as a vehicle to change the face of sport and recreation so that women and girls could see a future in sport that welcomes their skills, passion and participation. So why do I find all of that inspirational? The first thing, the biggest thing is that a lot of sports are predominantly the domain of men. So things like sports like AFL rugby and cycling. And Bridie set about changing that or challenging that assumption through her work and I suppose if I translate that into the STEM area and in IT area where I work, it's predominantly male and I would say there's no reason why an appropriately skilled female can't embark on an IT career despite the fact that it's dominated by men. The second thing about Bridie that I find inspiring is her I guess her non traditional use of her. I suppose accreditations, so her training as a medical doctor is not I suppose the typically sought after skill set for government and corporate roles. But there are lots of aspects of her medical career or medical skills that have a useful application within a corporate sense. And that's what she found in her transition from the medical industry to government. And again I would say the same or similar kind of scenario within the IT area. My background or my base my first degree is in accounting and accounts aren't the typical career path for an IT person is certainly not starting out as a life as an accountant like me. And then the third thing is Bridie took up cycling, which is how I know her as as a mature age athlete. And I guess that to me is also kind of highlights that irrespective of age, like mature age - either whether it's mature age athletes or workers - can bring huge amounts of value to a to a role even if you know they haven't come up through the ranks within that within that particular sphere or career path.

Notitia Director, Lisa Byrne
Lisa’s experience spans across Business Intelligence, Data Governance, CyberSecurity and Master Data Consultant, together with MBA, CPA and GAICD qualifications and specialist skills in developing Business Intelligence solutions - including data warehouse project management, master data and business process optimisation.

Alex Avery, Notitia Founder and Managing Director

Alex is passionate about applying analytics for societal benefits, having worked across. Australian and global startups, Big 4 consulting and academia. He’s an Honorary Research Fellow (University of Melbourne) and is across all things data.

Visit the Notitia website:

Contact Lisa Byrne, Notitia Director

Contact Alex Avery, Notitia Managing Director & Founder