At CommBank, the customers and communities we serve every day are wonderfully diverse. Meet Malini Raj Head of Strategy, Multicultural Community Banking – a member of our team making a difference through grassroots community engagement.
What do you do here at CommBank?
I have the privilege of defining the strategy for the Multicultural Community Banking division of CBA which was set up in September 2016. Our aim is to get involved in strategic partnerships and meaningful initiatives to foster empathy and understanding among ,multicultural communities by deepening relationships, engaging at a grass roots level and enhancing financial inclusion and social cohesion.
How long have you worked here?
Just over 6 years.
Why did you pick CommBank?
I was drawn by the authentic and inclusive culture and supportive leaders. Being such a large organisation, there are so many roles, teams and opportunities. There is a strong focus on personal and professional development, an innovative, dynamic culture as well as a genuine commitment by senior leaders to drive diversity and inclusion as a priority.
What is your favourite CommBank memory?
When the organisation supported me to introduce the Corporate Hijab into the Corporate Wardrobe for CBA. It gave me an opportunity in some small way to support our Muslim women employees, to demonstrate to our people and customers that we value and celebrate different backgrounds and experiences. We’ve built a culture where ‘You can be You’ – where people can bring their whole selves to work.
Tell us about the photo you’ve shared – what’s the backstory?
The photo is taken of some of the members of the Multicultural Community Banking, Branch, Support Office and School Banking teams and volunteers from our CommBank Mosaic diversity network who were out in force at the Parramasala festival. This signature event takes place at Parramatta and celebrates the rich cultural diversity of greater western Sydney and NSW. Our team marched alongside other cultural groups with three decorated golf buggies and music blaring. After the parade, our team continued the community engagement with activities like cup-cake making and face painting.
What opportunities have you had here?
I have had tremendous opportunities to work across a few diverse business units. I had several roles in the Retail Network to gain a better understanding of the business; the Branch of the Future transformation project; the Small Business team; and a secondment in the Schools and Not for Profit team. I also had the opportunity to be a founding member of the Mosaic cultural diversity network and was involved in several initiatives, events and speaking opportunities to create awareness. I’ve also had lots of opportunities to engage with the community and make a difference, and meet some amazing inspirational people, leaders, colleagues and lifelong friends along the way.
What’s something you’re really passionate about?
I’m passionate about supporting and promoting diversity and inclusion and am a strong believer that everyone has something to contribute. Our differences are our strength and our diversity of thought and opinions create better business outcomes and a more rich and cohesive culture. I am passionate about supporting others to achieve their goals and potential by being themselves. I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, "because of you I didn’t give up."
What do you get up to outside of work?
I have been volunteering for the Starlight Foundation fortnightly for seven years, and I’m also on a couple of Not for Profit Boards and several committees and initiatives that are focused on gender and cultural diversity. I like photography, I’m in a choir, and I enjoy spending time with friends and travelling
Tell us something not many people know about you.
I was in the Qantas choir when I was in school (the one that sang I Still Call Australia Home) – and no I didn’t get to travel to all those places unfortunately.