Bridging the gap

Written by Liz Derks on the 12th of October, 2016

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Teifi Whatley

Teifi Whatley is the Executive General Manager, Customer Experience & Insights at Sunsuper, one of Australia’s largest superannuation businesses. She is responsible for positioning Sunsuper at the forefront of the industry, charged with providing strategic direction for the design and delivery of customer experience, brand and marketing, and digital capability. Teifi has had an extensive career in the financial services industry with over 30 years marketing, customer and product experience in large institutions both in Australia and the UK.

Transitioning to a role that oversees technology activities at Sunsuper, I’ve been able to look at the current state of the Tech industry from a different angle.  While I am incredibly excited to be a part of this rapidly growing and evolving industry, it’s disheartening to see the deficiency of female figures in similar roles.

The gap between men and women in the tech industry not only impacts the lens through which our future generations view the workspace, but it also has much bigger social and economic implications.  This is no longer a debate of Men vs. Women; it’s a serious social issue which has resulted in huge economic opportunity loss.

Bridging the gap requires dedicated programs to encourage women to participate in the startup economy. SheStarts is an initiative committed to doing just this.

Shestarts is a competitive startup program for female entrepreneurs “…with big ideas for high-impact businesses”. SheStarts will accept ten women into the program, where a team of startup experts and mentors will take them through an intensive 6 month journey to establish their business and learn how to be a successful CEO.

At Sunsuper we are no stranger to the gaps that exist between men and women. On average women retire with just over half the super balance of their male peers. Last year we partnered with Oprah Winfrey’s Australian tour to shed light on the superannuation gap. We asked one simple question: Can we ever repay mums for the sacrifices they make?

I’m extremely excited to once again see Sunsuper support Australian women in a unique and engaging way. SheStarts is a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on female talent and inspire more women to consider a future in tech and entrepreneurship.

As a woman, a business leader and as part of the tech industry, this is an issue that is very close to me. Women were, and continue to be some of the greatest pioneers in technology; I encourage you to follow and support the SheStarts journey.

This article was first published on LinkedIn