The initiative is designed for experienced professionals who are keen to return to the workforce after a career break lasting at least two years. Now taking applications for its third year, the institutional bank program brings people with diverse backgrounds and skills into CBA.
Joining Ms Ayres-Munro in the program this year is Pooja Sharma, who stepped away from her trade finance career in 2017 to care for her young son after her family moved to Australia from India. Despite working in the banking industry for more than a decade, she struggled to get a look-in from potential employers when she decided to return to work post-Covid.
“Having no local experience in Australia was a big showstopper,” she says. “Nobody was willing to look at my career before the career break. That was becoming a big hindrance.”
Thanks to the Career Comeback Program, Ms Sharma is now thriving in a transaction banking role in CBA’s Institutional Banking & Markets division.
“Every day I'm learning more and more,” she says. “This job has given me a lot of that self-confidence which comes when you are back on your feet.”
Ms Ayres-Munro says one of the most daunting challenges of returning to a corporate workplace was learning about new ways-of-working technologies and IT systems introduced in her absence. That difficulty was lightened by “fantastic” support and opportunities to learn from her CBA colleagues.
“They kept encouraging us to meet new people, get to know everyone,” she says. “The way the program was run, all the heads of departments came in and explained from the top all the way down, you don't get that when you start a regular job.”
“People are amazing in CBA,” adds Ms Sharma, who’s received similar guidance. “They're ready to help you.”