When Laura Reed first considered furthering her education with the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact (GCSI), little did she know that she would soon bear a job title with the same name. Now the Senior Manager, Social Impact at Westpac, Laura tells us how the GCSI helped further her career and gave her the skills to take a vital step.
“I was drawn to the GCSI because I wanted to develop expertise in social impact generally, and social impact measurement specifically. I was in the early stages of my career in corporate social responsibility and knew that I wanted to take the next step and gain a real understanding of how to achieve social impact,” said Laura.
“Over the last year, I’ve taken that next step and moved into a dedicated social impact role, having previously worked in more general corporate responsibility roles. The skills I’ve gained through the program have already been put to work on developing a Social Impact Framework for Westpac Group. The course and, importantly, the network, have been important factors in helping me on my career path.”
Laura talks of how the course has helped mould and influence her thinking around what it takes to achieve meaningful social impact in Australia: “Social impact is the new frontier for businesses and we clearly need to cooperate with other sectors (not-for-profit and government) to tackle big, complex social issues. I believe there is a business opportunity in solving social issues and it’s OK to profit from this, but only if we are clear in our intent and demonstrate the social impact.”
So where to next?
“I still have a lot to do in my current role. I’m really enjoying working in the social impact space and finding ways to solve social issues using the power of business. I think there’s a big future in social impact and it’s a really exciting time to get involved. So much of the sector is still evolving and there is enormous untapped potential in the area of digital innovation. I can’t wait to see what the future brings to this space.”