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Partner Spotlight: Rachel shares her experiences working in the Bunnings technology team

With Bunnings coming on board as a new partner for our Plus program in Perth, we spoke to Rachel Power, Delivery Manager, on the company’s commitment to upskilling and providing opportunities for employees to grow in new departments. For Rachel, that was in the technical side of the business, where she now inspires the next generation of tech professionals, including our current Perth cohort!

How did you get onto a technical career path?

I started at Bunnings back in 2001 as a part-time Cashier as I finished high school and had not planned a future career in Technology. In fact, I thought I would be a teacher and was working towards this alongside my part time job. 

After putting the idea of becoming a teacher on hold while I tried working out what I really wanted to do, I started working full time in my local Bunnings Warehouse. I continued this journey for the following years experiencing various different roles before moving into a leadership role. 

An opportunity then came my way to be on a Technology program of work being a representative for our store teams which exposed me to a completely different side of the business I didn’t realise existed at the time. Needless to say through being part of this team and experience, I found great opportunities ahead of me to continue to be an advocate for our store teams and I have been in Technology ever since. 

From this initial Business Representative role, I moved on to support and then lead coordination of User Acceptance Testing, into Project Management and then into the Development Lead role of a delivery team supporting our internal ordering system prior to moving into my current role as a Development Manager supporting the evolution, team and customer experience of our product.

How does your company support your career progression?

Bunnings is incredible around supporting career progression, and in my case I’ve been able to grow and experience so many things in the time I’ve been here. Starting as a Cashier, I hadn’t thought that I would still be at Bunnings 20 years later, but I quickly understood in our stores we had a fantastic program to support growth into leadership roles through an internal program called Future Leaders. 

I was lucky enough to be selected for Future Leaders and completed this program before becoming a Coordinator at one of my local stores prior to my move into Technology. Since being within the Technology space, I have been able to complete further leadership programs which allowed me to build relationships across Bunnings and support my career growth to the point where I was able to also move to the U.K. to support our Technology uplift with the acquisition of Homebase. 

After my return to Australia, I was presented an opportunity to move into a Project Management role, leading me into the area and role I am in today. A passion of mine is supporting our team in terms of their career progression and development and Bunnings also enables us as leaders to drive this through internal development programs and resources. Through the leadership programs Bunnings provides, as well as really walking the talk in terms of career progression and opportunities, I am really grateful for what I have been able to experience and areas I have been able to contribute to and support others here at Bunnings.

What do you love about your company?

The team and culture. The people are what really makes this an incredible place to work. Our team across the business are so passionate about supporting each other and working together to drive amazing outcomes together for our business. We also uphold collective vision and values which really underpin and assist in driving a unique and supportive culture. We have great communication channels for teams to be across important information and provide ongoing strong links and support into our local communities. It really is a great place to work and fantastic to be surrounded by an amazing team.  

How do you feel about the current state of women in tech across Australia, and what do you think could be done to improve/grow this?

At Bunnings we have amazing women in our Technology, Digital and Data & Analytics space and I believe as a society there is such an opportunity to further extend awareness of pathways into these areas through exposure, as we do with many other career paths for school aged children. Understanding what opportunities exist from an early age can really drive engagement and passion for technology which can evolve into many different pathways. 

I see the opportunities my own children have now through games and services available to them that make exposure to coding fun, and wish I had this available to me when I was a child. From my school experience, any understanding of what was available in the technology space was very limited being more focused on multimedia design or basic typing skills so I would love to see further programs really helping to build the foundations and understanding for some incredible pathways built into the school curriculum and available through local community resources.

Who are your positive role models of women in tech?

Having a young family and juggling the day-to-day along with building a career can be a struggle, so I personally have admiration for role models displaying a strong home and work life balance. It is vital to have this balance, which in technology can be a challenge due to the nature of products in this space, but is incredibly important both personally and professionally. 

I’m lucky to have an amazing husband who is so supportive and we help each other in being able to balance both our home life and our careers. It’s also incredible to see wonderful organisations such as She Codes providing avenues which are bringing technology education opportunities to women where they may otherwise not have seen this as a possible career pathway. There are so many amazing women and role models in technology across the industry, including here at Bunnings. With various career options and an uplift on flexibility within workplaces, this also extends opportunities further for anyone within the technology space and provides many exciting potential pathways ahead.

If you are looking to supercharge your tech career, and be connected with role models just like Rachel, sign up to our mailing list today and express your interest in a future program! Or, if your organisation wants to follow in the footsteps of our other partners, including Bunnings, as we work to increase diversity in the tech industry, speak to our team about partnership opportunities today.