Women of Outcomex Retreat
“While we may be individually strong, we are collectively powerful.”
Rakhi Voria, Worldwide Inside Sales Business Manager with Microsoft
Outcomex have always been proactive in supporting their staff and encouraging team building. While working in a male dominated industry and with our team members located in different cities, the women who work at Outcomex may not always get the opportunity to get to know each other. In an initiative to develop peer bonding programs and to support diversity in the company, the idea for a women only retreat was established.
Held on the 12th-13th of September 2019, we had our first “Women of Outcomex” retreat, a two-day event designed to build and strengthen positive relationships between the women in the company. Team members who attended flew over from each state to Adelaide- location of our newly opened branch and home for the following two days.
Getting to know each other
During the retreat, different activities were organised to facilitate staff bonding. As part of this, a series of ice breaker questions were discussed between the team. As we went around the table sharing our answers, we soon discovered that we all have very similar interests, aspirations for Outcomex, and approaches to life.
Here are some of the questions asked that received note-worthy responses:
What has been the best team experience for you and why?
Almost unanimously, the answer for this question was Cisco Live, our biggest industry event. We are fortunate enough to all be attending Cisco Live every year, which represents a significant investment from the company. Sending such a large team to an event like this is a rare occurrence in the industry, and definitely a great perk of working at Outcomex. It not only allows all our employees to partake in the Cisco Live events but enables upskilling, networking and team building. This event gives the opportunity for the entire team around the country to come together. Being such a memorable experience, there is no surprise that it was a popular answer.
What new ideas would you like to see Outcomex try?
With this question, we discovered that many of us share a common passion for supporting diversity and charity organisations. Now knowing this, it gives the company an incentive to implement different activities and programs to champion causes close to the employees’ heart. Some of us were inspired by the great charity programs our vendors like Cisco and VMware have created to encourage their teams to support charities.
What gives you absolute joy in terms of a hobby or activity – something you do where you get fully absorbed and lose track of time?
It was interesting to find out that we almost all find joy in sports and fitness! From hiking to cricket, tennis to netball. This not only allowed us to find a common ground on interests, but also emphasised on the company’s encouragement for health and fitness. The collaborative fitness culture is already evident in our workplace. We motivate each other to go for jogs in nearby parks and train together at the gym during the day. We even encourage one another to push pass our limits and try things we wouldn’t usually do. This was evident when just the weekend after our retreat, four of us supported each other in completing runs in the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival, something we never thought we would ever do!
If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would it be?
We found out that many of us would love to be able to play an instrument or to speak another language. We hope discovering that others around us have similar aspirations will open up opportunities for individuals to come together outside of the office to share common experiences together.
Outcomex already takes pride in its diversity and multiculturalism. With the team consisting of members from over 20 different backgrounds, it is a great way to give people first hand opportunities to learn new languages directly from each other.
Out of all the team bonding activities organised, this seemed to be the most successful. Not only did we learn so many new and surprising things about other team members, but we are now able to connect with each other through our common interests.
Learning from our Guest Speaker, Kirsten Lolk Rillo, former General Manager Digital Sales, Telstra Enterprise Australia
As a part of our retreat, we were privileged to have kristen Lolk Rillo join and talk to us as a leading model in the industry. With Kirsten, we learnt about the different challenges, best advice, and the evolution of her 20-year career at Telstra. She is now an active member of Her TechPath, an organisationfounded in Adelaide offering briefings to schools with the aim of introducing different career options to girls, presented by women in the tech industry. Being women in the IT industry ourselves, this session was definitely insightful and we all left with key takeaways and a desire to get more involved in promoting diversity in our IT communities.
See Kirsten on LinkedIn
Adelaide Hills Wine tour
On the second day of the Women of Outcomex retreat, we enjoyed a trip to the Adelaide Hills wineries. While visiting three wineries on the tour, we developed our palettes with some wine tasting, contented our taste buds with an indulging lunch and enjoyed time with each other outside of the work environment. While the day before helped us to know each other more, this wine tour allowed us to strengthen existing and new bonds built.
This event can easily be seen as a success that benefited the team. We were given many opportunities to discover new things about each other and about how we would like to see Outcomex evolve in the future. The retreat has definitely brought people together, and we have no doubt in will lead to improved collaboration and team communication, as well as increase our motivation and positivity in the workplace. While we are already strong as individuals, the Women of Outcomex are now a powerful collective.