This is not an episode of Catfish: Amanda Bernardo is the real deal
Before I first met Amanda Bernardo in person, I frequently heard her name buzzing around my office, largely due to her impressive network on Twitter. Her online presence is transparent and inspirational, but after meeting her in person, I can confirm that she is no catfish. Amanda brings the same refreshing energy offline. While she tells me she is mesmerized by my bright yellow nail polish—my desperate callout for summer to please hurry—I, on the other hand, am mesmerized by her rapid-fire delivery of knowledge of the digital world.
Amanda works on the Next Generation (Next Gen) Human Resources (HR) and Pay Team, born under the Government of Canada’s (GC) Chief Information Officer, Alex Benay. The team is working to find a sustainable, long-term solution for HR and pay to replace the current pay system, and has adopted an active agile procurement process to do so. What does that mean exactly? The team was tasked to explore the open market to identify what’s possible in terms of systems incorporating both HR and pay. Rather than re-invent the wheel, their goal is to see what’s already out there and whether or not that can meet the needs of the public service. “Being agile to us means rigorously checking in on the vendors and their skillsets, to make sure that they are in line with what we are looking for specifically as we continue our exploration,” Amanda clarifies.
Working in the digital age
“Gone are the days where you think ‘digital’ and you automatically think working in an IT department. Digital skills can apply to all facets of work and people are seeing the value in that.”
I ask Amanda how the digital age has changed the way she works. She ponders the question for a moment before telling me, “gone are the days where you think ‘digital’ and you automatically think working in an IT department. Digital skills can apply to all facets of work and people are seeing the value in that,” she answers. For her team, living digitally helped to establish a community of awareness around their Next Gen initiative, by leveraging the online environment to engage public servants across the country. As opposed to traditional communication mediums—where something is rolled out before people are informed on it—digital platforms, like Twitter, allow the delivery of real-time updates and encourages interactions with real-time responses.
“Social media isn’t just about the number of likes, comments, retweets.”
When it comes to effective Twitter use, Amanda shares some insight from her own experience, “social media isn’t just about the number of likes, comments, retweets; it’s not just about what you’re putting out there, but it’s also how you react to what other people are putting out there, and creating those meaningful conversations that might not happen otherwise.” It’s true that physical distance is no longer an obstacle in the digital world—where travel limits us, digital does not. “I’ve not had the opportunity to travel around Canada but my online network has linked me to connections all over the country,” Amanda says.
“It’s important to pause and assess where people are, to ensure that we are bringing everyone on board so that we can live digitally as a collective.”
However, despite being digitally literate at an advanced level, Amanda notes an important counterpoint, “we need to remember that in the current environment, not everyone is proficient in the same way when it comes to being digital. It’s important to pause and assess where people are, to ensure that we are bringing everyone on board so that we can live digitally as a collective. Otherwise, you run the risk of continually engaging the same couple of people who are already doing it.” As an example, Amanda explains the user expo her team recently put together to garner feedback from public servants. “We started it as an in-person expo at first, before continuing on digitally and expanding its reach even further. We have to maintain a steady balance of both until we can get to a place where everyone is digitally literate,” she says confidently.
Amanda knows that we will get there one day, “it’s nice to see the change of pace the digital element has brought to the GC so far. The blessing of digital is that it gives everyone the chance to be a part of the conversation”—and it’s a good conversation at that.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: