4 Minutes

Tech Careers in Focus: risks and myths

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AGL Energy
30 October 2019

Technology is evolving at a break-neck pace – and with it, so is the modern workplace.

That evolution creates amazing opportunities to make our lives easier, better, and more fulfilling. But it also comes with the risk that decisions we make and processes we create might have more negative impacts – especially impacts that might not immediately be apparent.

Managing that risk is up to people like Brooke McLoughlan, a Technology Risk & Compliance Advisor at AGL.

‘When I say I’m a risk manager, people ask me what that means,’ Brooke said, with a laugh.

‘From a tech perspective, AGL moves rapidly. With rapid movement comes increased risk. The imperative is to ensure our risk practices are robust.’

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On the frontline

Anyone who works in business, Brooke said, takes risks every day. Most large organisations like AGL rely on three lines of defence against risk:

  1. Ensuring there are processes in place to manage day-to-day risk
  2. Adopting a whole-of-business, group risk view to maintaining risk-management policies
  3. Risk audit, which gives an overview to the organisation’s board

Brooke’s role is on the first line of defence.

‘I provide risk advice from a project perspective, act as a conduit to other lines of defence, and keep abreast of regulatory changes,’ she said.

‘There isn’t an area that we don’t touch.’

With that comes a common – and frustrating – misconception.

‘Risks can be viewed as a “stopper” to progress,’ she said.

‘People think we’re getting in the way of what they want to achieve.

‘In reality, we have no desire to stop progress or strategic direction at all. We want to make sure people are going about things in a safe, sustainable, and thoughtful way.’

First steps

Like a lot of people, Brooke McLoughlan wasn’t sure what career she wanted to pursue.

Her dad worked in technology and foresaw the huge breadth of opportunities that would unfold in the future. That advice, paired with her interest in maths and science, took Brooke into a computer science degree at university.

A post-graduation career in large financial institutions and insurance companies gave her an excellent insight into the importance of risk management – and she now brings that experience and insight to AGL.

‘From when I started, technology is much more pervasive,’ she said.

‘It’s part of everyone’s day-today life – whether or not they’re studying or working in tech.

‘If you have an active interest, and you’re adaptive and curious, there are so many opportunities out there today that you may be suited to.

‘The role you land many not even exist today.’