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Kim’s story - Be fearlessly you

10:45am June 21 2024

Kim Cook. (Supplied)

Kim Cook has a big milestone to celebrate. Ten years working at Westpac as a permanent team member and over ten years living in Australia. Her outlook on what she’s achieved is as sunny as our climate. And so, it should be.

As a novice swimmer, Kim looked at the waves near her new home and saw a challenge to rise to. However, she knew the journey to becoming an ocean swimmer was not going to be a solo one. That’s why Kim reached out to CanToo, an organisation offering coaching to help her make the big splash she was searching for.

This was no ordinary training program. It was a community. People coming together to share their skills, supporting one another to become fearless and fundraising for cancer research as they reached their fitness goals.

What Kim experienced in the surf was the springboard to her launching a mentorship program for women in Westpac. She could see the power of coaching, community, and connection to give others the confidence to achieve their goals, on their terms. 

These three words; on their terms. It’s what burns bright for Kim and fuels her motivation to show others that you can succeed by being authentically you.

“There’s only one of you out there, so you might as well bring it in full to work."

Through the mentoring program she established, that message of being fearlessly you, is being heard countless times.  And it starts with a connection made by Kim and her team who match a mentee’s goals to a mentor’s experience.

The wave of success stories keeps on coming in. From women gaining a promotion, to achieving a better work life balance to taking the leap and changing careers. This is four hundred mentorships and rising. Women coaching women across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and London.

“It’s during the challenging times, as well as the good, that chatting to a mentor helps you find your own solutions and pathway forward.”

But with the program’s popularity, came a potential roadblock. With Kim and her team manually matching mentors, the time to achieve this was increasing and becoming unsustainable. There had to be an easier way because downsizing on ambition wasn’t an option.

Kim reached out to another community within Westpac, Data Gals. They’re a volunteer-led team as part of the Westpac Women in Tech program and regularly host events, hackathons and debates on how to use data and technology for good.  And here was a good cause: how can technology take some of the heavy-lifting away from the manual match-ups? Easy. An automated process was created that successfully paired over 80% of the mentorship requests that came in.

Now, Kim can switch her gaze to what’s next on the horizon. How she can help even more women see their success story isn’t one they have to create on their own.

This is her passionate message to you. Get a mentor who’ll help to bring out your inner brilliance and see how you can thrive both in life and work, on your terms. You’ll never regret it.

Westpac’s People Promise is our commitment to creating better futures for our people by ensuring Westpac continues to be a great place to work and build a career. #WeAreWestpac.


Andrew is Employee Journey Lead; Culture, Capability and Talent

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