Harnessing the power of data and enhancing the customer experience are key to Bunnings’ success and we were so lucky to hear from four progressive leaders who are striving for more diversity in their digital teams. Why? Because they know it is good for their people and their business.

Leah Balter, Chief Information and Transformation Officer led a brilliant discussion with colleagues Sara Henshall, Genevieve Elliot and Vinh Le. Keep reading for some of what we learned.

Like all of our members, Bunnings have recognised that digital capability is a key ingredient to future success, and as the pace of technological innovation increases (who thought that was possible given how fast tech has already transformed our lives?) continuous upskilling is also a constant challenge. From enabling tradies to self select and self checkout through to very quickly responding to overnight demand for at home delivery during the pandemic, technology, and the interface with Bunnings customers is critical and Bunnings have stepped up to the challenge of resourcing its digital future in two key ways. Firstly, developing creative talent acquisition partnerships with external for purpose organisations including She Codes and Code Like a Girl paralleled with inventive recruitment campaigns designed to attract people to transition into digital careers and secondly, leveraging the already existing and effective internal professional development ethos to identify existing employees who have the interest, capability and desire to pursue a digital career.

And whilst these leaders recognise there is always some way to go, the data suggests this approach is delivering. Vinh, Head of Digital Delivery, is seeing the benefits of greater diversity in generating greater perspective, which enhances problem solving capability and overall performance. Genevieve, GM Data and Analytics now has 60% female representation in her leadership team, and Sara, Head of Tech Services, is benefiting from the internal ‘grow your career’ program as it elevates the careers of 150 Bunnings employees per year, many of whom are choosing digital pathways.

The strength of the internal partnering between People and Capability, Talent Acquisition and Operations is evident with many open compliments being shared with the audience, adding flavour to our short tasting of the Bunnings culture.

Some very worthy advice from each panellist:

Sara: Embrace your authentic self and let the magic shine through. Double down and seek coaching in skill areas that will boost your overall capability in your role such as commercial acumen, and avoid putting your hand up for ‘non-promotable’ activity….yep get that roster going for office housekeeping, errand running and note taking…we all know its a thing so let’s proactively redesign it

Vinh: Take opportunities when they are offered. When you think you’re not ready you probably are! Ask for what you need to be fully supported (as we like to say at NAWO – make sure your parachute is packed!)

Genevieve: Don’t let tech (and the language that surrounds it) be the barrier to your own capability and potential. If you like data, enjoy solving problems and can articulate and communicate needs and outcomes then a career in technology may be exactly what you are looking for. If you want to improve some of your tech lingo and knowledge theres’ heaps of education freely available. So get curious!

There was so much more that I cannot even start to detail here, including in person tech demonstrations over yummy food (shout out re: Chobani yoghurt on offer – another great NAWO member company!), great chats and meaningful catch upon with our NAWO friends.

I can vouch for making the effort to get out of your comfort zone and coming along to NAWO’s in person state events, the connections you make are absolutely GOLDEN. I am looking forward to my next great NAWO state event this week in Adelaide at ARTC!