Article | Reaching your potential

Reaching your potential

What’s the best environment for you to reach your potential? What are some of the pathways and barriers that exist for you? How does your identity play a role in your opportunities and successes?

As ChenPalmer were scanning the country for awesome examples of superdiverse real women, they came across Dana, of course.

Lawyer Mai Chen is interested in diversity. Actually, ‘superdiversity’. She asked Abletecher Dana Iti if they could have a chat about what it’s like to be a woman, and Māori, and work in the tech industry.

Mai Chen is a Managing Partner of ChenPalmer, New Zealand’s first public law firm. As well as working in public and employment law, ChenPalmer, is passionate about superdiversity.

Super Diverse Women Foundation

Superdiversity involves understanding and redefining the traditional factors that make up our identities. Instead of limiting diversity to single axis lines like women or Māori, superdiversity seeks to reflect the authentic experience of real people. In fact, ChenPalmer have just launched a foundation of superdiverse women to recognise, empower and inspire diverse women leaders throughout Australasia. Dana’s a founding member of the foundation.

Dana says there needs to be more support and mentoring to help women achieve their goals.

“I wish this sort of support was available years ago.”

She says it’s rare to find other women in the tech industry who look like her.

“It’s important to shine a light on diverse women who are successful and might otherwise never be heard of.”

Dana has spent time thinking about the opportunities and strategies available to her. She’s had experiences in environments that were not conducive to growing.

“Adversities do make us stronger.”

Thankfully, she has also come across people and organisations that are open and supportive. Dana also says it’s important to feel that you can make mistakes as they teach you important lessons.

“I’ve made countless mistakes but I’ve learned from each and every one. I want to keep striving, and serving, because that’s what success is — growing, helping, encouraging.”

How did Mai Chen come across Dana Iti?

More and more people are learning about Dana. She’s been through a few ups and downs and she’s developed the courage to tell her story, especially if it might help others learn and understand how they might reach their own potential.

Dana facilitated at a WWGSD conference and some of her story is outlined in her Abletech Mihimihi.

As a founding member, Dana attended the launch of ChenPalmer’s Super Diverse Women and found the celebration of diversity refreshing and inspiring.

“I met many successful and influential women who were keen to share their experiences and encourage other women to achieve.”

Dana particularly enjoyed getting to know singer-songwriter Bic Runga and linking up with a public-speaking mentor.

What’s next for Dana?

ChenPalmer have Dana tagged as an Emerging Leader. As such she’ll be part of the revolution! They’re looking to support women by boosting the next generation, helping women to understand their opportunities and by providing a network of superdiverse women to connect with each other.

Dana’s also been invited to speak on a panel at the upcoming JavaScript conference. She’ll be discussing mental fatigue and burnout in the IT industry under the topic Open Sourcing Mental Health.

Awesome work Dana — our very own Abletech Super Woman. We love having you on the Abletech Team of Super Developers.

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