In a bid to inspire young women to take up careers in technology and innovation, Commonwealth Bank and Telstra have today welcomed hundreds of female high school students to their annual ‘Girls in Tech’ event.

Held at Commonwealth Bank’s South Eveleigh office, the Foundry, the ‘Girls in Tech’ event provided more than 100 high school students with the chance to hear from some of the country’s leading female engineers and obtain a better understanding of what a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) would be like.

Speaking to CBA Newsroom, the bank’s Executive General Manager of Human Resources in Enterprise Services, Jane Adams, said the purpose of the event was to inspire young women to consider careers in STEM. 

“There is a myth that a career in STEM means working alone and not having a lot of human interaction. This is simply not the case,” she said.

“Tech jobs are very human and relationship-based. To be successful in this field of work, you need to have a lot of interpersonal and communication skills. In the case of Commonwealth Bank, our employees are creating solutions for our customers, so they need to have empathy and a good understanding of the very real human problems that exist.”

Ms Adams said it was for this reason that the ‘Girls in Tech’ event doesn’t just involve presentations from leaders in the technology space, but also gives students the opportunity to learn about the importance of soft skills.

“We ask NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) to present at the ‘Girls in Tech’ event, because we believe it is important to highlight the fact that a successful career in STEM doesn’t just require people to have the technical ‘hard’ skills, but also ‘soft’ skills like communication, leadership and influencing,” she said.

“At the end of the day, our goal for events such as these is to inspire the next generation. We won’t be providing the technical knowledge that students will need in the real world – they aren’t sitting at the event learning how to code. Instead, we want to show them what a job in coding, or a career in technology and innovation may look like.

Ms Adams said the event also helps the Bank to highlight its various intern and graduate programs to the next generation.

Over the last 12 months, CBA has significantly grown and evolved its intern and graduate programs.

In 2020, the bank launched a new intern program whereby university students are given the opportunity – while still studying – to take up a paid position with the bank. Given their various study obligations, the interns are allowed to choose their own hours and work on days and times that are convenient for them, all while gaining experience in their chosen future profession.

In addition to the new intern program, the bank has a graduate program that covers four key streams: group operations, cyber, technology and engineering. Last year, the program had almost 100 participants. This year, Ms Adams said the bank plans to grow the program to 200 participants.

“We are really wanting to ramp up our graduate program and capture some of the amazing talent that is out there. And, the more we do events like ‘Girls in Tech’, the more chance we have to raise the profile of careers in technology and innovation, and potentially inspire the next generation to come and work for the bank one day,” Ms Adams said.

To find out more about Commonwealth Bank’s intern and graduate programs, click here