ACS Women used its tenth anniversary to call for grassroots action from all women already in ICT to encourage more to join them.

Current ACSW national director Alison Orr urged attendees at a packed anniversary celebration event in Sydney last week to become evangelists for ICT if they enjoyed being part of the profession.

"If you enjoy your job, tell everybody - don't just sit there and think, 'Well, it's OK, I don't need to talk about it'," Orr said.

"Tell people because we've got to get the word out there somehow. We need more people in IT."

On the sidelines of the event, Orr told Information Age that the ACSW Board had worked hard to raise the profile of women in ICT over the past decade.

"But we're a small force - we can't do everything," she said.

"Governments have got to do things, schools have got to do things - and we've all got to do something too.

"If everybody made a small difference what a big change we'd have."

Sharon Dickson - ACS NSW vice chair between 2012 and 2014, and head of technology for intermediary distribution at QBE - implored women to take the work of ACSW "personally".

"We've heard about business being responsible for making a difference, we've heard about legislation, we've heard about lots of things, but I think we as individuals have to take it on," Dickson said during a panel discussion.

"We have to make a difference. We have to influence everybody here.

"We have to take it personally."

She was supported by fellow panellist Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen, an academic and founder of Tech Girls Movement and Tech Girls are Superheroes.

"I completely agree we need to take this personally," Dr Beekhuyzen said.

"We need to each of us take something away tonight to go and do something."

Adobe Global Services' APAC strategy & operations director - and ACSW NSW chair from 2008-2012 - Yu Dan Shi encouraged ICT professionals with children to take them to work at least once or twice a year.

"Every school holiday my kids come to my work for at least one-to-two days and always bring their best friend with them," she said.

"If your child comes to your workplace and brings their best friend, even just once or twice a year it changes so much.

"When they walk away they think mum and dad's job is cool."

ACSW Board deputy director Helen McHugh celebrated the ten-year anniversary while urging members and ICT professionals in attendance to think about what comes next.

"There's this gorgeous long succession of women who have been championing [ACSW]," she said.

"The aspirations of ten years ago are the same now, so it is now a call to action. What's important? What do we need to do next?"

ACS president Brenda Aynsley used her keynote speech to challenge attendees of the anniversary event to do more to promote ICT.

"Why is that women make up less than 30 percent of the ICT workforce? Could it be that we're not painting the picture for the next generation?" she said.

Profiling role models

Orr outlined a number of initiatives that the ACSW Board is currently pursuing to paint that picture.

These include the development of a series of strong policy statements "on where the ACS thinks that women should be and what we should be doing about it", she said.

She said the board is also continuing to drive a 'Women in ICT' video series profiling role models in the Australian profession.

"We did a pilot in 2012 and recently made another 15 video clips that will be released soon," Orr said.

"The plan is to try to encourage people and to show them that ICT is exciting."