When Helen graduated in software engineering, there were just two women in her graduating class – and she was one of them. Now, as Chief Engineer, Helen is excited that CommBank is supporting and promoting more women into the tech industry.
As a self-confessed “outgoing nerd,” Helen says she “loves math, computers, software, and science” and is also a people person, who thrives on interacting with others and working in a team. She says that one minute she can “enjoy having a conversation about the latest technology trends and gadgets” and the next minute is happy talking about “which bars to visit at the weekend!”
With almost 17 years of experience, across several challenging and innovation-focused roles, including working for one of the world’s largest tech companies, find out why Helen made the move to CommBank and how they’re supporting more women like her to find their perfect position in tech.
I can be a mother and an engineer
As a mother of two, Helen knows the juggle is real when it comes to meeting work and family responsibilities. But at CommBank, Helen says employees can enjoy a “very flexible work-life balance.”
“I feel safe to voice my needs to my manager without any concerns about my commitment. During my working from home days, I block out my calendar during school pickup times to make my mommy duties work, and the company supports that.”
CommBank is supportive of working families and offers priority access to a number of long-day childcare centers for kids aged 0-6 years.
Find out about this and the full range of employee benefits.
Living the dream
Helen has only worked at CommBank for three months and wasn’t actively looking to change jobs before she applied for the position. In her previous role, at Microsoft, she managed the largest Azure account in the country as well as being responsible for driving cloud adoption, digital transformation, sustainability implementation, and application modernization. It was a prestigious and exciting position, and Helen loved the diversity, but when a family friend brought the culture and benefits at CommBank to her attention, she made the move. And she’s never been happier:
“I joined CommBank after a long-term family friend, told me about an engineering transformation program for the largest bank in the country. It sounded too exciting to turn down and I’m looking forward to having an impact and helping to build tomorrow’s bank today.”
I’m excited to come to work every day
Helen describes her current role as “a thought-leading engineer” where she oversees business strategies and execution. She also heads up large and complex engineering initiatives. But for Helen, the best part of her job is “using technology to solve everyday problems within the bank.” This can vary from the user experience of the technology to the performance and resilience of the platform. Knowing the real-life impact her role can have on people is one of her favorite aspects – but what really sets CommBank apart as an employer are her colleagues:
“The pool of talent around me is top tier. I interact and work with so many intelligent people, making me excited to come work every day.”
A surprising culture
When Helen first heard about CommBank, like many people when they think about the finance industry, she thought it would be quite stiff and formal, but has been pleasantly surprised by the laid-back culture:
“I thought it must be very corporate, with people dressed up in suits. The reality is quite different, especially in engineering. People usually rock up in T-shirts and jeans.”
But Helen is keen to point out that even though CommBank has a relaxed approach to their wardrobe, they are very serious about what they do.
Always do your best and don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Helen is keen to encourage more women into tech and is happy to share some valuable life lessons from her years working in the industry. She says, “having the right attitude will go a long way for your career” and advises it’s important to remember:
“Everyone makes mistakes but learning from your mistakes and overcoming these challenges will yield a positive outcome in the long run.”
With so much change already seen in the industry, more women taking on senior positions, and more women now represented in graduating tech classes – Helen feels positive about the future:
“I hope soon we’ll see a significant percentage gain and more women working in the tech space.”
And with women like Helen leading the way, we’re sure she’s right!