From Mum to Scrum: NAB helps to re-launch tech careers through Return to Work program

National Australia Bank

Joyce Bhatia is one of 40 tech and digital colleagues who have successfully relaunched their careers with NAB after a long break. She represents a number of Australians – many of them mothers – who want to resume their careers after a two year plus career hiatus.

The NAB Return to Work (RTW) program launched in November 2021 with 40 roles filled earlier this year; 70 percent of those, women.

Now in its second intake, the bank is hoping to fill at least another 30 RTW colleagues by mid-year, across a range of technology roles including project analysts, software engineers, architects and technical analysts.

From mum to Scrum

When Joyce joined NAB in 2021, it was the first tech role she’d held in years. Originally from India, Joyce worked at Tech Mahindra after completing a Bachelor’s in Computer Science degree in 2007. In 2010, Joyce moved to Sydney, working for Health Projects International (HPI) as a Junior Software Engineer.

Whilst she loved her life as a techie, Joyce placed her career on hold. She got married, started a family, and had two children in 2011 and 2015.

With over a decade out of the tech industry, Joyce was nervous to re-enter the corporate world, but felt she was finally ready to take that leap.

“I knew I was too skilled to be considered a tech intern, but I also hadn’t worked on any technical projects in over a decade, so I didn’t quite know where I fit in. But my sister had just interned at NAB and highly recommended the program to me, so I took my chances.”

Joyce was accepted in the intern program, but just 10 months later, was offered a permanent role as a Scrum Master/Technology Business Analyst. Now she spends her time with the team working on new innovative solutions to help business customers transact money through digital channels easily with NAB Connect and Self-Service.

“Being away for 10 years wasn’t seen by NAB as a downfall; they looked at me as someone who could bring a diverse set of thinking, skills and life experience. And the level of training the program offers means I’ve been able to accelerate my learning through the Cloud Guild, so I can get up to speed on cloud training with AWS and Azure. I feel like I’ve made up for some seriously lost time.”

Flexibility is key

She says working flexibly has been the difference between re-entering the workforce or staying out.

“Being able to do this role in a hybrid environment is the only way I’ve been able to do it in the first place. My leaders really understand the importance of flexibility, and it opened a gateway of opportunity for working mothers like myself who can’t commit to full-time work but can add so much value to a business.”

NAB’s tech internship program is one of the largest in Australia. With 800 interns coming through the ranks since 2017, NAB is looking to accelerate the initiative with ambitions to hire another 500 this year.

NAB’s tech intern program is currently open for applications, please click here.

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