Guest Blog - Women in Data & Technology: Hilda Clune, PwC

Annalise Neal 02.05.2019

At Morgan McKinley, we are passionate about diversity and we recognise that Women in Technology can be underrepresented. We believe there are so many amazing opportunities out there for more females to build their careers in Technology and so many inspiring women in Technology today that we can learn from. As part of our Women in Tech guest blog series, we are delighted to bring you this interview with Hilda Clune (Technology and Transformation Leader at PwC Global). 

hilda_clune.jpgProfile: Hilda Clune is a Business Transformation, Technology and Senior business leader with strong transformational, technology and digital experience, and a broad background that spans across telecommunications, technology, investment management, property, retail and fashion. She is a member of PwC's Global Transformation Team – a body responsible for the global technology transformation program across PwC’s international network. Hilda is also on the advisory board of the UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT, and a board member of Maronite Care and Australian Maronite Professionals Council, a Director of PwC Services Trust Pty Ltd.

What are the elements you attribute your success to?
An image that instantly comes to my mind when that question is asked is the iceberg metaphor – It brings to mind the many aspects of achievement, the challenges, the stress, the uncertainty and angst that is often coupled with the highs of achievement and positive outcomes.  The recognition that no matter what experience you have had, nothing is predictable and the most critical skill you can have is resilience and the ability to pivot and adjust your strategy to cater for what is ever changing and dynamic world.  It is these essential skills and personal values to which I attribute my success and career to.  

True deep and transformational change is a challenge in any environment.  As someone who at times can be overly critical of myself the piece of advice I can give is to recognise that any journey has learnings.  Recognising things that I could have done differently.  Things that may have delivered a better result.  The ability to own the mistakes and learn from them.  That is what growth is, learning from what went well and what didn’t.  Knowing what you can influence and accepting what ‘is what it is’, but also always protecting the non-negotiables.  

In my own career when I look back some of the biggest challenges of being in a senior role, they are rarely relating to the technical aspects of my role.  the ability to build relationships,  I have made have been due to the politics or people within a situation. Handling these issues takes time and maturity to build up and in most cases, you will only overcome these scenarios through going through them or ‘learning the hard way’. 
Thirdly the biggest element throughout my career is having the appropriate support and mentorship that will allow you to reach your best self. I have been blessed in only having a few poor managers throughout my career, the rest were extremely supportive and encouraged me to stretch higher to reach new goals both personally and professionally. 

What were the pivotal moments within your career? 
I think the most pivotal moments within my career have in fact been pivotal people – role models who saw my potential and mentored me to reach higher and stretch myself. It brings to my mind my manager when I was working for Optus who after us both leaving a meeting told me “You should speak up, people listen when you talk”. These words have still stuck with me to this day and come to the front of mind whenever I have an important meeting. Another key role model was Carla Zampatti who is the ultimate action woman. Working for Carla was a real eye-opener into how to get things done, she is an excellent businesswoman. 
Similarly, when beginning my time at PWC my colleague who initially hired me told me – “You can’t make an omelette without cracking an egg”. This was vital at the time as I was facing resistance to the transformation I was trying to bring into the business and showed that he believed in the vision of what I was trying to accomplish. It pushed me to continue what I was doing knowing I had the proper support behind me. 

What advice would you give to other aspiring females career in Technology? 
My key pieces of advice are as follows:

  • Don’t lose sight of who you are: What you bring to the table is that you are a woman and naturally from this have a different perspective and outlook in life and business from your male peers. This is not something to be ashamed of, it should be celebrated loudly and it saddens me to see some females altering there behaviour to match that of what a man acts like in the business environment. We should be celebrating our differences, the best and most creative outcomes will come from encouraging different outlooks and perspectives.
  • You need to have a platform of success before you can be successful: This ranges from forming the right relationships with clients, platforms, managers and team. If any of those elements are out it will make your job and happiness at work diminished. Surrounding yourself with an encouraging and uplifting team really is the foundation for success.
  • Pick a role and career that will bring out the best in you: Play to your strengths and passions and this will allow you to work harder at something that ultimately means something important to you. So often as a society and especially women are so focused on competing and getting the role that they never look at the broader ecosystem and culture of an organisation. This leads to unhappiness later on in the role when this really could have been prevented through asking the right questions in the beginning. At a job interview, it is vitally important that you are interviewing the organisation as detailed as they are interviewing you. 

To hear from other inspiring women in the Data and Technology space, please click here.

Annalise Neal's picture
Consultant | IT
aneal@morganmckinley.com.au