We are the Women in Cloud. We solve problems, see possibilities, and create impact. We are making a difference, from the first day of school to the corner office, and from the farmer’s field to the factory floor. This could be you.
From being an industrial designer, to leading Deloitte’s award-winning Microsoft Technology Services Practice in New Zealand, Emma’s professional journey is transformational and interesting. Though designing a physical product and coding seem poles apart, to Emma’s surprise and motivation, she realized that ‘creativity’ is the common factor that helped her be successful in both industries.
Emma’s career transformation was not organic, as the weakened demand in her design industry forced her to shift her focus and change direction. She taught herself to code, following the advice of a mentor who changed her perception of technology and coding – from something she thought was done in a dark back room, to a tool for creativity. “It was a creative space where you could make amazing things. So that really tick[ed] the box.”
Emma went on to land a role at Microsoft, where she built her specialist knowledge in Microsoft’s technologies and products. Today, she is playing a vital role in helping to build a strong team of technology consultants who focus on delivering transformative cloud solutions for Deloitte clients. She, along with her Deloitte team, are using innovative approaches, such as creating an ‘Azure Migration Factory,’ which uses tools to migrate, deploy and maintain quality solutions at a lower cost.
Emma believes that almost every challenge that we have in an organization or society can be aided by cloud technology. For her, cloud is an enabler in transforming businesses and solving complex problems to build a more sustainable world – be it smart buildings, banking, healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, or other areas of life.
Emma finds it exciting to apply her design thinking skills to a client’s business problems – thinking about it creatively and outside the box to come up with different ideas to achieve a client’s vision and, sometimes, even, redesigning their vision. “I think some of the most exciting work that I get involved with and my team does is around transformation—looking at the business and completely transforming the way it might work. That kind of work just really sparks my creativity and that's the kind of work that I find I am the proudest of.” Fortunately for Emma, she is not alone in her pursuit of bringing this new dimension to Deloitte clients.
Within Deloitte, Emma has found a supportive group of women to whom she looks up to and from whom she can learn—a team who advocates for and supports other women. Taking this one step further, they have formed their own group called Wahine Toa -- which means a “female warrior” in Maori language. It brings together women from Deloitte and externally to exchange ideas and discuss concerns. The members of Wahine Toa connect not only informally to build friendships, but also in planned sessions where they explore different ideas and diverse perspectives on many topics, such as, Women in Tech, parenting, imposter syndrome, feminism and coaching.
Highlighting the extensive job opportunities available, Emma mentioned the Deloitte New Zealand Technology Cadetship Program. The program aims to bring in a diverse group of people who are looking to pivot to or start a new career in the cloud space. It is much like an apprenticeship program, with structured and ‘on-the-job’ training. “You could be a parent returning to the workforce or maybe a jewelry designer who wants to pivot to a new career. So really interesting, new ways that we're thinking about bringing in people, and a diverse group of people, willing to learn and try new things.