Johanna Townsley, a Goal-Oriented Woman reducing the gender gap in IT

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My name is Johanna Townsley and I am Strategic Director at Pronamics in Brendale, Queensland, Australia. We create expert estimating software and project management software primarily for the construction, civil engineering, mining, rail, pipeline and energy sectors. Our software is used for estimating and cost analysis for tender bidding, as well as project management and internal budgeting or auditing.


Back in 2003, I took a temporary data entry job with Pronamics, which was a small software engineering company. Within 2 weeks I had been offered full-time employment, and upon completion of my business degree in 2005, was appointed Operations Manager. During my time in this role, we transitioned to a global enterprise, and in 2008 I was offered the role of CEO, which I held until I transitioned to Strategic Director in 2015.


I belong to a number of Professional Associations and Business Committees, including the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Women’s Network Australia, and the National Association of Women in Construction, amongst others. I hold directorships on a variety of companies, in the spheres of technology, consulting, human resources and non-for-profit.


Being a working woman in the IT Industry, particularly with a client base held primarily in infrastructure, still holds plenty of challenges for women of my generation, though traditional gender barriers are breaking down. While “on-the-tools” jobs of developers and technicians predominantly remain the domain of men, the opportunity for women to take on management roles is vast, as their communication skills coupled with expertise in subject matter lets them act as a conduit between the “tools” and the “public”.


For Generation Y women, in particular, there is an expectation to be and have everything. It is overwhelming and unrealistic, yet we are all subjected to the incessant pressure of trying to ‘succeed’ in all aspects of life, proving our ‘worth’ and rewarding ourselves with instant gratification without the time or energy to appreciate and enjoy the fruits of our labour; or in fact, acknowledge the effort that went into them in the first place.

This year, my goal is to take control of this by investing in educating those around me, both at work and at home, to be more empowered, collaborative, and self-sufficient. I want to give myself and those around me permission and encouragement to invest our valuable time in fewer pursuits, reintroduce ourselves to the creation and supply process, and drive cultural appreciation for quality over quantity, so that we will build a society, as well as a business, that derives pride from purpose and action.

Johanna Townsley

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