People say “content is king”, perhaps it is? content without context however gets lost in the sea of reading materials we all find ourselves swimming in these days. So before I launch into writing stories on Medium here is some context about me, hopefully it will help you understand my perspective in future posts.
I’m not new to writing stories and have tried a range of platforms, various blog sites and even LinkedIN. There is no strategy to my writing, no content plan. Most stories from me will be as a result of advice requested and me sharing so others can benefit as well, and I can reuse the posts to be honest.
My context is simple. When I first started out in business it was a rather male dominated world, “work hard, play hard” and similar phrases were used to describe culture, advice was purchased from “professional advisors” rather than shared amongst our community — oh unless you were a member of a club (old boys alumni, golf club, an actual club) where men supported other men in their own image.
I wanted to be part of a change. Share everything, the good the bad and the ugly, help other founders, investors and businesses navigate challenges armed with at least one perspective. I also wanted business culture to be different — collaborative, inclusive, supportive! Thankfully it seems I’m not alone, things are changing and changing fast. There are many voices sharing business growth experiences we no longer need to pay advisors who have never started, grown or exited a company for their thoughts, instead we pay advisors for their subject matter expertise.
To round out my context it’s worth saying that I am passionate about many things, well everything. Realising I can’t do justice to every cause at a tender old age of 47 I have had to prioritise and focus my time and energy where I can make a difference, I call these my three buckets. I strongly believe that we live in a great country where everyone should be able to reach their potential so my contribution towards this is directed towards initiatives that are:
- Growing great businesses — advisory, governance and investment in early stage and scaling up businesses who create jobs and contribute to the economy
- Equality for women — women on boards, women in STEM roles, girls in STEM education, pay parity, recognition parity, support
- Digital Literacy and Digital Equity — the nature of work is changing, the nature of business is changing we all need to be able to participate in a digital technology world
So that’s my context. Owner and investor, director and advisor of businesses who spends her pro-bono time involved with initiatives like Code Club Aotearoa, the Digital Skills Forum, NZRise and now Ministerial Advisory as a member of the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion DEDIMAG.
Must shout out to the fabulous team at OptimalBI who enable me to spend so much time doing good things.
Finally because I tell other women to own their achievements — I was the first women to win NZ IT Professional of the Year and was a finalist in the Woman of Influence awards 2016 in the Board and Governance category.
Hope this context helps you enjoy my posts. Vic
Updated in 2019 to add my conflicts list. Victoria MacLennan, Conflicts declaration:
- OptimalHQ, Shareholder and Director
- OptimalBI, Shareholder and Director
- OptimalPeople, Shareholder and Director
- Digital Future Aotearoa, Trustee and Director
- Flatpak, Shareholder and Director
- Draper Cormack Group, Shareholder and Director
- Loud In Public Incorporated, Shareholder and Director
- Noted Limited, Shareholder and Director
- MacLennan Limited, Shareholder and Director
- Millrace Enterprises, Shareholder and Director
- NZRise, Co-Chair
- Digital Skills Forum, Chair
- DEDIMAG (Digital Economy Digital Inclusion Ministerial Advisory), Chair
- Data Ventures, Advisory Board Member
- Eat my lunch, Shareholder
Victoria is passionate about many things — growing great companies, raising digital literacy, growing New Zealands economy and equality for women. Her day jobs include Managing Director of data and information specialists OptimalBI, plus investing in and advising a range a great kiwi startups as they grow.
Victoria’s community contributions include co-Chair of NZRise a community of NZ owned digital and technology companies, Chair of the Digital Skills Forum a cross government and industry initiative focusing on the future of work, and Chair of Code Club Aotearoa a fabulous charity established to give every kiwi kid the opportunity to learn to code.
Often found laughing, Victoria loves what she does “We live in a great country so helping every New Zealander reach their potential in life is something we can all aspire to achieve”. You can find Victoria on LinkedIN or Twitter.