Early on in her career, Vicky Ledda was often one of only a few women in a room full of men. “I used to go to meetings and I’d sit there and listen to everyone’s opinion and convince myself that nobody in the room wanted to hear from me,” Vicky recalls.

It was a female mentor who pulled her aside and changed the way she approached her work. “She said, ‘Going forward, you’ll never attend a meeting without expressing your opinion.’ And that became my number one rule and a muscle I regularly exercise.”

Mentorship: a catalyst for career growth

It’s a golden rule that has sparked a career trajectory that’s taken Vicky from her native Italy to London, New York and Asia as a software engineer with Goldman Sachs, until finally bringing her to Sydney in 2021 to take up a leadership position with CommBank.

“I’d been thinking of relocating my family from New York to Sydney and when the opportunity to be part of CommBank’s exciting technology innovation came around, it was too appealing to turn down,” she says. “I’m incredibly excited to be here and help enable global best digital experiences and technology for the bank.”

She is especially proud of the programs that exist to support women at CommBank, including the Career Comeback Program, which helps women through periods of change, like returning to work after extended periods of leave. There are also internal reskilling programs that empower people to accelerate their own growth in in-demand skills such as data and analytics, and AI. Additionally, Vicky is a big champion for the 'CloudUp for Her' course – a partnership with AWS that offers the opportunity for women to build foundational cloud skills and has attracted over 1200 women from across CommBank.

“For me, it's exciting to see that women across the group, not just in technology, have decided to invest time and effort in picking up a new skill that’s fundamental to the future.”

Thriving in the tech industry  

“I wasn’t one of those people who always knew what they wanted to do,” Vicky shares. However once she began to understand the possibilities of working in technology she hasn’t looked back.

“It's a phenomenal environment with amazing career opportunities and puts you at the forefront of transformation, innovation and disruption.” Traditionally, technology was a support function in banks, now at CommBank I tell my team that technology is the business.”

Looking back, Vicky reflects that she’s struggled at times not because she wasn’t interested in technology but the lack of other women in the industry. Thankfully, that’s changing.

Empowering women in tech

For Vicky, one of the key reasons we need more women in tech is to bring diverse perspectives that drive creativity, innovation and problem-solving as we build technology for the future.

“I say the exact same thing to every single mentee I have,” she says. “I encourage them to reflect on the fact that they bring a different perspective. You have to reflect on your successes and your experiences. They may be different but they add a huge amount of value. It’s a muscle that we need to exercise as women, especially when there’s still a gender imbalance in the room.”

Allowing women to show up in their own way

While our inner critics can turn self-doubt into imposter syndrome, it’s so important that women stay true to who they are rather than trying to change to fit in, says Vicky.

“Early on in my career, I always tried to adapt and almost become like one of my male colleagues – you know, just trying to fit in as much as possible,” admits Vicky. “Then, as I’ve grown up and had successes throughout my career, I’ve embraced my style, I embraced my cultural background, I embraced my personality, and I see that as an asset.”

In the three years since joining CommBank, Vicky has been able to help build the bank of tomorrow, first within the Institutional Bank and now the Retail Bank – but it’s what is still to come that has her most excited. 

“It wouldn’t be 2024 without talking about the emergence of generative AI,” she says, “the explosion of generative AI is incredibly exciting for me as a technology leader but also for CommBank, because it will transform how we support customers. It will transform the way customers experience the bank.”

A great time to consider a career in tech

The tech industry is evolving rapidly, offering unprecedented opportunities for innovation, impact and opportunities to leverage problem-solving and collaborative skills. CommBank actively supports growing the pipeline of future talent and ensuring more women consider a career in technology, making now an ideal time to enter the field.

As the technology industry continues to shape the future, women have the chance to be at the forefront of technological transformation. The time has never been better for women to embrace and excel in tech.

CommBank is proud to be the presenting partner for Vogue Codes, demonstrating a commitment to promoting gender diversity and inclusion in STEM and encouraging more women to consider a career in tech.

Find out more about working in technology at CommBank.

Go to CBA Newsroom for the latest news and announcements from Commonwealth Bank.

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