Member Spotlight: Jo Stewart-Rattray

By Jessica Lombardo posted 03-26-2018 10:30

If you're living in Australia and a member of AIIM, it is almost impossible not to know Jo. A long time member and strong advocate for building the Australia and Asia Pacific network, Jo is not only an expert in information management, she is an advocate for helping others by building community and sharing resources.

Jo was also recently honored with an invite to join the Australian Government delegation to attend the 62nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. We met with her to learn more about this great accomplishment and her current efforts. If you have not yet connected with Jo, do so here!

Name   Jo Stewart-Rattray
Director of Information Security & IT Assurance
BRM Holdich

Where do you live in?  Auburn, South Australia, the heart of the Clare Valley wine growing region

How long have you worked in information management? I started out in document and records management a long time ago and started teaching these in the mid 90’s.  Having always been involved in technology too – it was a short hop to information management and security.

What does your work entail? Do you have company support? How are you helping drive the goals of your office through your work?  I head the technology practice for the firm and information management and security fits into my bailiwick.  We are a consulting and advisory firm.  I absolutely have the support of my firm in both my professional and volunteer lives.

What’s your current biggest work challenge?  I have been working closely with a single client for the past two years and that contract is coming to an end and my job there is completed.  Leaving a great team behind is very hard and now I face the challenge of going back to short term consulting assignments so I need to re-focus.  Fortunately having some vacation time in between these stages has been very beneficial.

You were recently invited to join the official Australian Government delegation to attend the 62nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. First, what an invite and accomplishment, congratulations! Can you share why you were invited and more about the session that happened last month in New York?

Thank you.  This year’s theme was “The empowerment of rural women and girls through the use of technology”.  I am a rural woman.  I live in the Clare Valley in South Australia as I mentioned before and drive 60 miles to work!  I also was born and raised in rural Australia in what could best be described as a one-horse town!  So, I clearly fit the bill there.  However, this was a highly competitive selection process.  I sent my submission, was short listed for interview and my appointment was finally approved by the Australian Government’s Minister for Women.  

I think my passion for, and work to promote women in the workforce also stood me in good stead.

The session seeks to negotiate a position that will give the UNs 193 member states the roadmap document to move forward with empowering rural women and girls.  There are long negotiation sessions because as you can imagine not everyone agrees on each item.  There are political and cultural divides to be bridged. The result of our work this session will conclude with a publicly released report detailing our findings and recommendations.

AIIM recently launched a Women In Information Management member group which you are a part of. Why do you think these kind of community groups are important?  Women are sadly under represented in management and technology throughout the world.  Women tell us that there are not enough female role models and mentors.  Women in Information Management gives women an opportunity to connect and through this there may be natural mentor protégée pairings.

If you could ask any question to the AIIM audience with the hopes of solving an issue, what would that be? I don’t have an issue I need resolved at this time however, I would like to ask the AIIM audience what it would like to see, at chapter level, as an offering in the Women in Information Management space.

What are the top 3 things you have gotten out of being a member AIIM?  Meeting, albeit virtually in may cases, great people who are professionals in their field, from around the world.  Great professional development opportunities through great virtual meetings.  A great wealth of research papers and materials that help to inform my practice.

If you could meet anyone for lunch, alive or dead, who would you love to spend that hour with? Oscar Wilde.

Thanks for all you do Jo!