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Monash University defines the modern IT team with diversity

By Gabi Paterson 
Published: May 5, 2023
READ TIME: 4 minutes
Universities are society’s melting pot, where education, passion and potential collide. It’s often here that world-changing ideas are nurtured, researched and realised – and while it’s the students many focus on, a university’s culture is ultimately driven by the staff.

At Australia’s Monash University, a global leader in research and education, efforts to actively embrace diversity, equity and inclusion are constantly growing through an intersectional, whole-of-institution approach.

One of the many small projects fuelling this larger goal, was sparked when leaders in the university’s Cyber Risk and Resilience team approached WithYouWithMe with a desire to fill digital skills gaps with diverse candidates from underrepresented communities.

They saw this as an opportunity to strengthen both their team and the broader IT workforce with a more cohesive culture of unique skills, ideas and viewpoints, while also offering opportunities to those who had been hindered by traditional barriers to employment.

Finding the gaps

The first step to creating this diverse digital workforce was an iterative process to identify the true skills gaps existing within the cyber and IT teams. Working alongside WYWM, the team were able to identify several areas where opportunities could be created spanning cyber security, campus operations support, digital transformation, technology services and data engineering.

Once the gaps were identified, requirements of the roles were mapped against the globally recognised SFIA framework to define the competency criteria candidates would need to meet. WYWM also used its Potential platform to facilitate psychometric testing of existing team members, informing an accurate benchmark for skills and aptitude within the workforce.

Upon the completion of this process, 5 clear roles were identified across the team.

Rapidly building a diverse talent pool

With the roles and requirements defined, WYWM and Monash University launched a Job Accelerator event where candidates from WYWM’s diverse talent pools could explore the careers on offer, understand their aptitude for roles, see the type of training they would be provided, ask questions and engage with the team’s leadership.

Willing candidates from the Job Accelerator participated in culture fit interviews, ensuring the right people and personalities would be placed into roles. Those who were successful quickly began their digital training.

Ensuring job-readiness in a matter of months

WYWM delivered customised training programs to selected candidates, with all candidates delivering final Capstone presentations to Monash University as practical demonstration of their newfound competency.

Within 6 months of the Job Accelerator event, WYWM had located, trained and placed candidates into 4 out of 5 available roles, all of whom have since successfully integrated into Monash University’s IT team. The final role is set to be filled by mid 2023.

Impactful stories of success

For the candidates who’ve joined Monash University, securing a role with one of the world’s leading education and research institutions has already had a profound impact on both their careers and their lives.

Meet Sharon

“I was diagnosed recently with ADHD which helped me to understand some of the challenges I’ve faced through my career. I had always wanted to get into tech but as a single parent I didn’t have the flexibility to be able to attend formal classes at TAFE or uni. And then I came across WithYouWithMe."

All of the things that had previously held me back – like resumes and cover letters – weren’t needed. The team was warm and genuinely helpful. The aptitude and skills assessments were spot on and helped match me to a great entry-level Service Desk Analyst role.

Sharon Lewis, Associate Analyst (Operations Support),
Monash University

"After attending a Job Accelerator event for Monash University, I was able to find an even better opportunity and I still can’t believe I landed my dream job – an Associate Analyst (Operations Support) at Monash University.

This process has changed my life completely. I gained training, support, encouragement and a sense of value and community. I was able to pivot into tech. I would never have been able to do this without the free training and flexibility provided by WYWM in their training and Monash University in their inclusive approach to employment,” said Sharon.

Sharon Lewis
Sharon Lewis attended Monash University's Job Accelerator event and subsequently secured a role as an Associate Analyst in their IT team.

Continued impact

Following the success of Monash University engaging WYWM to find, train and hire diverse talent for their IT teams, the university is already looking to expand the number of roles available and broaden their impact on the communities WYWM supports.

“Monash University is excited to welcome our first round of individuals from the WYWM program to our IT team – these are unique, talented individuals whose value to our team is instantly recognisable. We have had nothing but positive feedback from the individuals joining the team as well as the hiring managers. We’re committed to continue the partnership with WYWM and spruik the benefits of focusing on people’s skills and potential over experience, making jobs more accessible to those that are typically underrepresented in the IT sector.”

Dan Maslin, Group Chief Information Security Officer,
Monash University

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