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Despite having joined our Graduate Program in Asia less than a year ago, Winkie Su earned a Telstra Country Managing Director Team Award in recognition of her efforts in driving Diversity & Inclusion.

Today, she is part of the International HR team based in Hong Kong and we sat down with her to learn from her experience and for her to share her Telstra journey so far:

Question Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your role at Telstra so far?

A: I was born and bred in Hong Kong but moved to Australia eight years ago to study. Towards the end of my degree, I sought a career that would enable me to build on my multicultural background while enhancing my skills and capabilities. Having spent years in Australia, I was no stranger to Telstra, but what really attracted me to the company was its international aspirations.

By that time Telstra rolled out its first ever International Graduate Program and I felt it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I think it was the ideal way to start my career and I was excited to be part of this international organisation.

Question: Diversity and inclusion is important in how Telstra grows as a business. Why do you think this is important?

A: One initiative that I appreciate is “all-role-flex which means we can alter our working hours or even in some instances work from home! For example, I‘m doing a course every Monday after work, so I work in another office on those days as it’s much closer to my education institute.

Also, since joining Telstra, I‘ve seen so many meaningful initiatives across the international business, such as International Women’s day, White Ribbon Day, Brilliant Connected Women events and PinkDot Day.

PinkDot is an annual event that celebrates diversity with good food and music. Our booth caught people’s attention because we asked the crowd to write love messages on a small balloon, which we then tied onto our stands.

At the end of the day our booth became very colorful. I enjoyed the day a lot as it was very meaningful and fun, and I look forward to volunteering again during the next PinkDot Day with Telstra!

 

Question: How does Diversity and Inclusion benefit you and support your growth at Telstra?

A: Traditionally in the telecommunications and technology industry, there are more male workers than females. However, Telstra is a company that welcomes and encourages talented females to join the industry. I‘m so proud that 62% of the 2016 international graduates are female and I’m one of them!

We’re also looking to change the perception that technology jobs are only for men by supporting initiatives like the “Girls Go Tech” program through the Telstra Foundation Hong Kong. I participated at the first workshop which was about building an auto-plant pot through programming.

In the workshop, I saw some girls who weren’t as enthusiastic as others, some even found it too hard and stopped trying. However this changed when we asked them to form groups and broke the challenge down into simpler tasks. At the end, all the girls worked together to complete the tasks and presented their final design with glowing positive feedback! It’s amazing that I have the chance to encourage more young ladies to step into the world of technology.

 

Question: What role are you playing in contributing to Diversity and Inclusion at Telstra?

A: As part of my first rotation in the Employment Relations global function, my involvement with the Global Parental Leave project has been particularly exciting because it not only reflects Telstra’s diversity and inclusion focus, but also makes a difference to new families – which I find very meaningful. My manager is also very supportive of my involvement with other volunteering opportunities.

In 2016, I received a Country Managing Director Quarterly Award as part of the team representing Telstra in the PinkDot event in Hong Kong. I asked myself what more I could do and it has driven me to volunteer for an internal video campaign which aims to promote and raise awareness of gender diversity by interviewing business leaders and other employees about their experiences.

 

Question: So what are you going to be working on next?

A: In the next few months, I’ll move on to my next rotation in Country HR where I‘ll have more exposure to Telstra’s diverse culture. I’m looking forward to supporting Telstra’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives directly, and supporting the development of local talent in the business.

Personally, I’m interested in how businesses leverage diversity in their strategy, and I am hoping that through my new role, I can gain more exposure and knowledge around nurturing local talent and gender equality.