Spirited Woman in the Spotlight Series 

As part of our commitment to showcasing the talent within Trident and the wider Spirit Group, we want to celebrate our talented Project Manager – Renee Saric. 

Renee is based in Queensland and is currently working on a new network solution for a school in Victoria that is replacing its ageing equipment with a more robust Aruba solution. The project involves the installation and configuration of Switching and Aruba APs (Access Points), and it’s designed to provide a best practice networking solution. At the conclusion of the project, the school will have segmented Wi-Fi networks for staff, students, and guests, which ensures security and ease of access.  

Up close and personal with Renee Saric  

Since I joined Trident as a Project Manager, I have truly enjoyed applying my unique skillset to this exciting role. My employment history includes several years within government procurement, and this experience allows me to view projects from both a client and provider perspective, an insight that I consider a huge advantage.     

As a Project Manager, I need to focus on the big picture while collaborating with a range of Project Engineers who then contribute toward individual project components. During the process, I act as a storyteller and informal translator between the technical team members, account managers, and the client. This process plays to my communication strengths and stakeholder management skills.  

For me, stakeholder management relies on identifying the key decision-makers, extracting, and clarifying their motives, solidifying their commitment to the change process, and forming a consensus on the desired outcome. Once this has been achieved, I ensure communication flows between all stakeholders until project completion and ultimate sign off.  

Another skill that helps me perform in a role that can involve coordinating up to 30 projects at the same time, is the ability to determine the right action for the right moment. Complex projects contain multiple components, and I’m often compelled to decide what task should be done right now, according to balance and priority.  

My formal education includes a Diploma of Project Management and a Post Graduate Certificate in IT. My personal industry lesson is – don’t study to receive external validation. Study for yourself and for reasons of personal development. High-pressure jobs require levels of self-belief, and you are the only one that truly knows what you’re capable of. Back yourself and don’t be afraid to step up when opportunity knocks.     

I love working with so many talented women and men in my workstream, and their diverse backgrounds, across multiple industry sectors.

I read a great article once, and it stated, “Diversity speaks to who is on the team, but inclusion focuses on who is really in the game.” To unpack that, I think what we as a team do to encourage and promote inclusiveness in the project team is to initially form connections with the team, which set the scene for future project inclusiveness. Secondly, to encourage participation in an environment that allows for mistakes or practice before taking it out into our external environment. Thirdly, and the most vitally important in my opinion – to ensure that every person has a voice and feels safe enough to use it. 

As a woman working in the IT&T industry, I think that Spirit has done a wonderful job of building a network of individuals who are dedicated and passionate about women’s inclusivity. To address and recognise bias that exists, and to transform the way men’s and women’s characteristic differences are perceived is key. From a technology perspective, showcasing the talent and the journey of women in the industry is such a fantastic way to break down barriers and provide a roadmap for women who are interested in this field.  

My parting advice to all organisations is to form an abiding relationship with your IT provider. In my humble opinion, engaging specialists for one-off, short-term solutions is the least effective way to manage the never-ending IT journey. An honest and reputable provider will advise what your organisation truly needs. They will see problems in advance and offer solutions before they become critical. Your IT provider should be happy to stand behind their work for the long term. It is the type of relationship I strive to form via the projects I manage.   

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