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IWD: 60 seconds with Nicole Bamforth

08 March 2017 | Sydney

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60 second Q&A with Nicole Bamforth

What was your career path like? Did you always want to work in this field?

I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do when I left school, beyond working in a large corporate environment. I was also really keen to start getting work experience. That resulted in me going straight from high school to Deloitte’s as they offered cadetships which enabled you to work and study at the same time. It also resulted in me doing an Accounting major at university. I had no interest in Accounting but it was a requirement of the cadetship and everyone said accounting was a good basis for a career in business. My mother was very disappointed as I had the marks to study law but had no desire to be at university for that length of time! 

Very early in my career, whilst still at Deloitte’s in fact, I started to get exposure to working in Asia. I then spent 12 years working with a management consulting firm where I had an Asia Pacific role and travelled extensively throughout Asia (covering countries as diverse as India through to Tokyo). During this time I also had the opportunity to expand outside of Finance and assumed responsibilities for Operations. I then decided it was time to really start to diversify so I joined Freehills to lead Knowledge Management before moving into the Chief Information Officer role.

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work across so many business disciplines as well as to experience so many different cultures.

What do you wish someone had told you early in your career?

There are quite a few things…

Probably the most significant one is that silence in a meeting doesn’t equal agreement let alone support! You need to be explicit about what you need to get out of a meeting and if necessary tease it out of people.

What tips do you have for all the women coming up behind you?

Be true to yourself, don’t compromise yourself for a job. Success takes many different forms, don’t let society or others dictate what success is for you

What woman inspires you and why?

Cheryl Sandberg, author of  Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, currently COO of Facebook.

Her book is about business leadership and development, lack of women in government and business leadership positions, and feminism.

I admire her insightful and pragmatic views on life and work. I think she is tremendously resilient and therefore inspiring to me personally.

Where do you see the future taking you?

I don’t know…I can’t say that I have proactively managed my career, I think I have always been open minded and willing to seize opportunities as they arise, so let’s wait and see…