Inside Temenos – A Series of Inspiring Career Journeys, Helen Cianci
“At Temenos, I’ve never felt that I’ve been held back due to my gender. If gender is not an issue for yourself, then it won’t be an issue for Temenos either.“
– Helen Cianci, Head of Compensation and Benefits
Who is Helen at home? What are your hobbies/passions?
I wish life did not pass by so quickly as there’s so much to do!
My biggest passion, without hesitation, is my 2 boys, they’re now 14 and 12. Thankfully, I’ve been able to pass on some of my hobbies to them and now enjoy sharing special moments with them skiing, wakeboarding (although they both easily surpassed me several years ago), travelling and spending time with friends and extended family.
What better place in the world to live and enjoy those passions than Geneva on the shores of one of the most beautiful lakes and views in the world and surrounded by mountains! I count myself very lucky having chosen to move here for Temenos almost 19 years ago.
Tell us about your career journey. What attracted you to banking software?
I started my career in London as a chartered accountant, wanting to be a CFO one day…!
I worked for the predecessor of PWC, then Marks and Spencer in many different finance roles. After wanting a move out of London to see something new, my criteria was to find a job in continental Europe – banking software was not something I had spent a lot of time thinking about. When I arrived for the interview at Temenos, it was a few weeks before the IPO and the atmosphere was buzzing, so much excitement, so much energy! Coming from a big company background, I was ready to try something more entrepreneurial, and never looked back. It was great to take real ownership, get things done fast and feel like I was making a difference.
Since being at Temenos I’ve had opportunities to do completely different roles having started in Finance, then Systems and now HR. How many companies could give you that broad a spectrum in your career?
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t be scared to try new things, explore and learn.
Don’t be scared to make mistakes, learn from them.
Don’t be scared to put forward your ideas, one of them could make all the difference!
Is it important to have a mentor? Did you have a mentor (formal or informal) when you joined Temenos?
I think it’s important to admire and respect someone, someone you can look up to and learn from. I’ve had several of those people throughout my years at Temenos, informal mentors that I’ve learnt different things from, watching how to and sometimes how not to do things!
This year, International Women’s Day is all about equality – an equal world is an enabled world. How do you think we can help forge a gender equal world?
At Temenos, I’ve never felt that I’ve been held back due to my gender. If gender is not an issue for yourself, then it won’t be an issue for Temenos either.
Of course, as you’d expect in a tech company, women are much fewer, especially in EMEA, but we’re growing and want to grow more!
So what can we do? We can all do our small bit to help: from encouraging our daughters, nieces, friends to look into studies or a career in technology, to referring our female friends for jobs at Temenos. We can encourage the ladies we work with to develop, train and progress in their career through formal or informal mentoring, or just simply encouragement.
What is the most important message you want to send out to women who want to pursue a career in technology?
Technology is still considered a man’s world, with only about 25% women in this sector. So, Temenos at 33% is actually doing quite well!
So much research has proven that diversity is key to a business; so have confidence in yourself, you can make a difference!