Women in Tech: Kim Clarke, MYOB
Tell readers what it is that you do?
MYOB is a business management platform that brings together key workflows to fit a business’s needs. I lead the Enterprise team, which specifically focusses on solutions for mid-sized businesses throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Why have you chosen this career path?
I started in engineering, before moving into product engineering and product management. I love to see, and play a part in driving, the way society and business leverage technology to make tomorrow better than today. I also love working with curious, hungry people, and I’m fortunate to get all of that in my career.
Most satisfying project undertaken?
Over 20 years ago I worked with a very progressive CEO and CTO, who supported me to undertake a “side hustle” with two other engineers. That was career defining. The three of us built a few products together and got great traction with one of them in particular.
Over the years I have learnt the ingredient for the “most satisfying”. And It’s not the most successful; it’s the ones where I learn the most, and usually established lifelong friendships. I got all of that from that first side hustle.
What drives you?
I like to stare down a challenge, then build and work through it with curious, ambitious, and high performing teams. And while they are stylistically different, they all have the same underlying desire to solve problems together.
Have you travelled much for business?
Yes. And the glamour has worn off!
Several years ago I was based in Australia but managing teams in San Francisco, India and Singapore. In that role I spent over a third of my time away – and I had a one-year-old. In general I immerse myself in the present, and I loved the learning, the people and the challenge, and developed many lasting friendships.
However, when I returned home, and when I was preparing to leave, I felt the impact of what I was missing. At this stage, while the kids are still at school, I will leave the intense international travel to those that love the lounge!
Is there equity in your workplace?
Diversity, inclusion and belonging is a priority at MYOB. We have gender targets of 40% men, 40% women (with 20% depending on the area), and we achieved a 50/50 gender split in our executive team in 2020.
There are multiple elements that go into diversity in the workplace, and I believe it starts at home. I look forward to seeing greater ongoing participation from men in what were traditionally considered to be women’s roles. When we see this, and these roles increase in value, is when I think we will see even greater leaps forward.
Where do you see technology benefiting business at present?
More than ever, technology helps us collect the right information so we can get it to the right people, at the right time, so they can make informed decisions. As a platform, MYOB helps solve problems that successful businesses face. That might mean managing large scale warehouses with thousands of inventory types from hundreds of suppliers, or it might be breaking down information silos from dispersed teams.
Technology is the backbone of the evolution of work, helping people focus on higher value tasks by releasing time, increasing accuracy, and prompting humans for the next build.
Areas of deep interest?
It’s hard to narrow it down, but one topic I’m enjoying learning about at the moment is Generative AI and its role in society.
Who has inspired you?
My mum raised two daughters on her own from the age of 26. She didn’t finish high school, but started her own small business at 50, then earned a teaching degree after that.
She taught us the value of hard work, as well as instilling gratitude and that “kindness costs you nothing but pays back in buckets”.
20 years ago ‘Magician’ by Raymond E Feist got me into fantasy and it remains a favourite!
‘Laughter makes hard work easy’ – I’m not sure who coined that quote, or if I did, but it is a philosophy I try to live by.
How do you relax?
Exercise and gardening while listening to podcasts. And, of course, planning the next holiday!