Published 8 March 2023 

As International Women’s Day is celebrated across the world, it’s an opportunity for us at Engage Squared to celebrate the talent we have in our organisation and the positive impact they make.

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity.

To celebrate #IWD2023 and its theme #EmbraceEquity, we asked women across our organisation to share their career story, the biggest learnings they’ve experienced and what advice they would give to people looking to be more inclusive in the workplace. We couldn’t be prouder that 46% of our employee base at Engage Squared identify as female – much higher than the industry standard of 30%.

Claudia Piscitelli

Hi Claudia! Tell us a little about yourself 

My name is Claudia Piscitelli, I’m the Chief Experience Officer at Engage Squared. Outside of work, I’m a mum to two beautiful girls who are 7 and 10 years old. In my free time, I love cooking, laying in the sun like a reptile, and listening to music.

How did you start your career? 

I’ve had an interesting journey, full of twists and turns. I originally started my professional career in social work and behavioural therapy for children with cognitive disabilities. While working at a not-for-profit in Melbourne, I discovered my passion for writing and decided to change my career path to focus on communications.

Over the years, I have been fortunate to hold some fantastic roles across the NFP sector, government, and the tech sector where I’ve dabbled in everything from public relations, to marketing, and change management. I’m so grateful that through those experiences, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from some incredibly inspiring and smart people.

How did you get to where you are now? 

Interestingly, I think my passion for psychology mixed with my interest in communications has really helped to shape my role today. I look after a few different teams at Engage Squared, including marketing, client engagement, and people & culture. The great thing about this is the fact that people are a core part of every team I look after. I love that I get to use my skills in behavioural science and communication to shape people’s experiences – both within Engage Squared and externally with our clients.

Working at Engage Squared has been such a fun journey, the leadership team have been very supportive and have indulged my many ‘crazy ideas’ which is how I landed my current role.   

What’s one of the biggest learnings you’ve had in your career?

The biggest learning is that you have to ask. You have to be willing to take a risk, back yourself and ask for what you want. The worst thing that can happen is that someone will say ‘no’ – but there’s always something to learn from that experience, or a new conversation that can be spawned out of getting a no. Learning to ask for what I want has helped me progress into new roles, make new connections, and grow in my career.

What’s one piece of advice you have to people looking to be more inclusive in the workplace? 

I think we all play a role in helping workplaces be more inclusive. One of the best ways this can be done is by coaching women early in their career to find their voice, and give them techniques they can use (e.g. negotiation tactics) to progress their career. I think this is one of the biggest differences between men and women – women (and people who are more introverted) are less likely to speak up and have those slightly uncomfortable discussions about promotions, or asking for a pay rise. We’d all benefit greatly if more people – regardless of gender – had the skills to be their own champion in the workplace.

Follow Claudia on LinkedIn.

Lisa Yeats

Hi Lisa! Tell us a little about yourself 

I’m Lisa, I joined Engage Squared in mid-2022 as an Associate UX Consultant. I am based in Melbourne, where I live with my partner, dog and cat. I love tea, museums, reading, swimming, camping, musicals, and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

How did you start your career? 

Like many others, my pathway to a career in tech has been a tad non-traditional. Before embarking on a career in UX I spent a decade working as a Conservator in the Cultural Heritage industry, preserving, restoring and researching art and artefacts. I have a Bachelor of Arts in History and Archaeology, and a Master of Arts in Conservation. During the pandemic I took time to pause and reflect on what I wanted my future to look like. I would daydream about starting a career in tech, but I had the perception I’d missed the boat. Then in late 2021 I saw an ad for the Victorian Governments Digital Jobs Program, a selective program that supports mid-career professionals to retrain into in demand technical careers. Everything fell into place and the rest is history.

How did you get to where you are now? 

As part of the program, I retrained in UX at RMIT in early 2022. UX attracted me because it’s equal parts creative and analytical. I love getting to use both sides of my brain to solve problems, and speaking to users to find out how to make the tech best work for them.

Engage Squared is my first job in the industry. Valuing diversity of experience, background and thought, they saw the benefit not only of my recent UX training, but the transferrable skills I had gained throughout my entire career. Engage Squared are providing the support and training I need to grow as a UX expert and consultant, I am learning so much, so quickly and have not looked back!  

What’s one of the biggest learnings you’ve had in your career?

Making a career change in my mid-late 30’s has been wild. I grew up with a relatively narrow idea of what success was and thought the only way to have a “successful” career was to keep working in the same industry you picked when you selected a university course/ trade/ profession as a teenager. This career change has taught me that it’s never too late to pivot or learn something new. It will feel risky and uncomfortable at times but always be open to growing, upskilling and exploring new things that interest you. Define and measure your success based on your own purpose, passion and values.

What’s one piece of advice you have to people looking to be more inclusive in the workplace? 

In UX, one of the major guiding principles is being aware of your own biases and how they may affect the research and skew the findings. We all have biases, largely unconscious, that influence our behaviour in all aspects of our life, including in the workplace. I think one useful thing you can do is be inquisitive about and reflect on the unconscious biases you hold and how they might be influencing your decision making or interactions in the workplace. Then once you’re aware of them you can work on educating yourself, challenging them and actively taking steps to be more inclusive.

Follow Lisa on LinkedIn.

Kate Beaumont

Hi Kate! Tell us a little about yourself 

Hi, I’m Kate Beaumont, an Associate Developer who undertakes internal development and support for Engage Squared. In my spare time I enjoy gaming, PC building and crafts.

How did you start your career? 

Prior to moving into development, I practiced as a solicitor in Building and Construction Law, Administrative Law and Planning Law. However, I had been doing various types of development (scripting rather than coding) since high school, mostly using CSS and HTML, initially learning development with ColdFusion and Microsoft Access Databases. Through various roles I assisted with IT in numerous capacities, including customising and developing a WordPress site with custom CSS.

I started my development career with retraining in a Fast Track Coder Academy bootcamp. This high-intensity course expanded my coding skills and re-enforced the importance of continuous learning and self-teaching in IT which have assisted me in my roles at Engage Squared. I was hired at Engage Squared as an associate developer, but am currently seconded in support undertaking internal development and providing internal support.

How did you get to where you are now? 

I continued to follow my interests throughout my careers, which lead me to IT. Part of what assists me in my internal support role is my broad range of skills. My skills have developed over a long period of time I have been working peripherally with IT since high school. In the years following, I was responsible for building and maintaining websites, assist with procuring IT equipment, and designing the layout for a chatbot for a law firm website. With a number of different IT roles across my career, and a long-running interest in this area (particularly with Microsoft technologies), it made sense to move into IT. A friend recommended the Coder Academy bootcamp as an industry-recognised course. From that, I started working for Engage Squared.

What’s one of the biggest learnings you’ve had in your career?

Continual education is a constant in the modern workplace. It doesn’t matter what industry people work in, those who succeed either participate in the requirements to retrain, or otherwise seek to undertake it. Often, the change comes in the form of technological change. IT is changing every workplace (with the biggest shifts occurring around Covid-19), and those who see the potential and take advantage of it can massively reap the rewards.

What’s one piece of advice you have to people looking to be more inclusive in the workplace? 

My advice would be to actively listen and engage with those who have different backgrounds or experiences, and through that to learn more about and understand others. It is always important to encourage others to take part in conversations and be open to hearing their ideas and opinions. This is why team culture and events are so important; a key strength of the support team is our great culture and team events. This fosters the space to get to know others better and builds those bridges to connect with others.

Follow Kate on LinkedIn.

Leah Pullen

Hi Leah! Tell us a little about yourself

Hello! I am Leah Pullen and I work for our New Zealand office as an Enterprise Architect. I have recently immigrated from South Africa to New Zealand to join this amazing talented team of people. I am a proud mama bear of a 24-year-old daughter who is a budding and upcoming tattoo artist in South Africa. In my down time, I enjoy being creative behind my piano keyboard or set of DJ controllers. I also enjoy practicing yoga and meditation and exploring our wonderful planet.

How did you start your career?

I began my career in public relations which quickly turned into running my own business promoting various breakdancing crews in Johannesburg, and then somehow found myself, one day, drawing up a huge diagram on an A3 sized flip chart board for my then partner’s business idea. After much research online (as much as online research could produce back then) I discovered that what I had done was termed process mapping and that it was linked to the role of a business analyst. This led me to study towards a 1-year diploma in the ‘Study of Business Analysis’. This diploma was being offered in South Africa for the first time so I was one of the first students to be awarded this qualification. Gosh, looking back, that was a long time ago!

How did you get to where you are now?

At the time that I was studying, my then partner’s company employed me to design communication artefacts for the company. However, I felt constantly drawn towards the analytical activities the company was involved in across their client base. When I completed my Business Analysis Diploma, I was offered the opportunity to set up a branch of the company in the Vaal Triangle area in Gauteng, SA.

I successfully managed this business for 5 years until the time came when I felt I had reached a plateau and that it was time to get out and benchmark my skills and abilities in the corporate world. I sat my first ever job interview and was fortunate enough to be offered employment at one of South Africa’s “big five” banks. What an amazing experience. I felt as though I had stepped into a knowledge hub and soaked up all my new learning experiences like a sponge!!! It was here that I learnt the most about technology and how to design for implementation. This is also where my mind naturally started to think like an architect … the bigger picture. While in the employ of the bank I attended the first TOGAF course offered in South Africa …… again, a long time ago!

When I left this particular bank, I worked as a consultant offering my architecting services across various organisations which afforded exposure to international organisations and networks. Before coming to New Zealand, I worked for a software development company where I was responsible for developing customised service offerings and architectural frameworks and assisting clients to apply these frameworks and assist them to achieve their Digital Transformation objectives.


What’s one of the biggest learnings you’ve had in your career? 

My biggest learnings have been to remain sincere and empathetic to client needs. Make the effort to put yourself in their shoes and exercise “gentle” guidance by maintaining a clear focus on client needs and approaching challenges using an open minded and “client reality” approach.

Always treat your team members with respect, LEAD, do not command. Collaboration and idea sharing is fundamental to effective teams. A strong team learns, applies, and relearns from their mistakes when they work together.

What’s one piece of advice you have to people looking to be more inclusive in the workplace?

We are all naturally talented and gifted individuals; we all have something to offer. Don’t undermine yourself and don’t allow others to undermine you! Develop your own personal brand. Who are you? What do you have to offer? How do you want to make a difference in the world? DO THAT!

Follow Leah on LinkedIn.

Ayako Uruno


Hi Ayako! Tell us a little about yourself 

Hello, my name is Ayako, I’m a Consultant working across our digital workplace and adoption & change management practices. I am also the first women based out of our Engage Squared Japan office which opened 6 months ago.

Outside of work, I like skateboarding and I’m actually from Tokyo, I love this town/culture. Please come to Tokyo!

How did you start your career? 

After graduating from university, I joined a web production venture company. I was in charge information/UI design for clients, before moving into website project management and then design and developer coordination. I am so grateful to my first company for giving me a starting point for my career.

How did you get to where you are now? 

Well, my motto is to support adoption/usage of Microsoft 365 in a way that is easy for beginners to understand, not just ‘technology’ people. Because of this passion, I am a Microsoft 365 influencer and won a Microsoft MVP award when I was just 23 years old. Considering Microsoft 365 is a business-oriented product, it is amazing that a young person just out of university can win this award – I was pretty proud of myself.

Engage Squared’s mission “people friendly technology” is very similar to my motto – I love it!

Anyway, after my first job I began managing several SharePoint sites for multiple consulting firms over the past ten years which I loved. Beyond SharePoint, I have also been in charge of evaluating M365 usage, improving work style using Microsoft Teams, and user training.

What’s one of the biggest learnings you’ve had in your career?

My biggest learning is using a hospitality mindset. Hospitality in Japanese is called “Omotenashi”. Technology is important, but it is also important that we understand our clients’ challenges and missions and only then can we solve them. Our clients may not be M365 professionals so it’s important to be kind to them and bring them on the journey.

What’s one piece of advice you have to people looking to be more inclusive in the workplace? 

The technology industry in Japan tends to have very few women. Please check out my past interview in this article in Japanese (and machine translation to English). Women love tech too so don’t disregard them.

I also think socialising with each other after work is so important for people to feel included. It doesn’t have to be big outings – even just a coffee. Although personally, I love karaoke!

Follow Ayako on LinkedIn.

We hope you enjoyed this insight into the wonderful women we have across Engage Squared and it’s provided helpful tips into how your workplace be more inclusive. We’re always on the hunt for wonderful people to join our team, so take a look at our careers page and get in touch if we sound like your type of people.