Vanessa is the Chief People Officer at a global experiential design consultancy, where she designs and executes the people and workforce strategy.
Before joining Art Processors, Vanessa co-founded Code Like a Girl, a groundbreaking social enterprise that challenges the significant imbalance of gender representation in Australia’s tech industry. As Chief Operating Officer, Vanessa introduced and optimised programmes to attract and retain girls from all walks of life in STEM education and technology careers. Among her proudest achievements was an internship program she designed to provide a uniquely innovative pathway for women to pursue careers in tech. It was the first of its kind in Australia that did not require the applicant to be studying or hold a tertiary qualification and was purposefully designed to invite women and non-binary identifiers into the industry. Furthermore, the initiative addressed a lack of diversity from a cultural perspective, welcoming applicants from seven countries to the apprenticeship’s first cycle.
Throughout her professional career, Vanessa has held several senior and executive positions in People and Culture, working with organisations across the tech, legal, health, education and government sectors. An unswerving commitment to social justice and gender equality have been concurrent themes across her diverse career, imploring organisations from inside and out to do better when it comes to their most valuable asset – their people.
“At Amazon Web Services, we’ve had the privilege of having Vanessa join us as a panelist for two of our #WePowerTech events. She adds an incredibly valuable voice to any discussion about “Women in Tech”, particularly when addressing issues around future talent pipelines. Her perspectives are anchored in research/data and it is evident that she is in constant dialogue with industry leaders as well as the women and girls she strives to inspire. She is driven by passion and purpose to encourage girls from an early age to experiment with tech and consider careers in STEM fields. Given the current landscape, with declining female enrollments in Computer Science and the projected growth of jobs in the IT sector, Vanessa and the team at Code Like a Girl, are solving a very real and important issue. I wish them continued success and would love to see the IT industry get behind the outstanding work they do.”
“At Victoria University (VU), we’ve had the pleasure of having Vanessa as a keynote speaker for the 2022 Student Leadership Conference. She was proactive, professional, approachable and easy to work with. Our team was consulted every step of the way as she produced the presentation – she took our feedback on board to ensure that she delivers her message strongly to the target audience (VU students from VCE to PhD level). She delivered an impactful keynote presentation about transforming organisations and her commitment to social justice and gender equality in this space, using her experience at Art Processors. She answered difficult questions from the audience gracefully, and reminded us often that company policies should be developed through having a sense of humanity, kindness and generosity. Overall, Vanessa was a delight to work with and we would love to continue to collaborate with her at VU.”