Women at BDO: A Discussion with Helen Argiris

This article was originally published as part of a 2020 series profiling Women at BDO.

At BDO, we're committed to supporting our professional women and driving their success. From graduates to partners, we help women build relationships and create well-defined career paths through networking events, coaching, and professional development opportunities.

To give you an inside look into what it’s like to be a woman in accounting today – and at BDO – we sat down with some of our talented professionals to hear about their experiences as women in business, including, mentorship, gender-related roadblocks they’ve had to overcome and the importance of diversity in leadership.

Below is our fourth interviewee, Helen Argiris. Helen is a Business Services Partner with BDO in Sydney, and is the National Leader of Global Outsourcing in Australia.  As well as holding the position of Chairman of BDO Australia, Helen is also a member of the BDO Asia Pacific Board.

What has driven (or drives) your career path?

After more than 20 years of work experience, I can honestly say that the one thing that sustains my passion is working with clients and seeing them satisfied with our work. It’s essential to realise that everyone, whether client or colleague, whether male or female, is different in terms of needs and expectations. The key is in building strong relationships, identifying those needs and doing your utmost to meet or ideally surpass them.

It’s also important to me to build the confidence of others and to share the benefits of my experience and insight. I want all my team members to be happy and to enjoy carrying out rewarding and interesting challenges. Success for me is helping both clients and colleagues achieve their goals.

How have you navigated any possible blockers?

I am fortunate to work with many people who score highly in EQ and IQ terms. Nevertheless, the importance of effective communication to navigate difficult situations cannot be underestimated. Having personal confidants and mentors, both within and outside the organisation, has been imperative to my own personal progression. In addition, the unwavering support of my family and my team has also given me the strength and courage to press on during challenging periods.

Did you (or do you) have a positive female role-model within BDO?

For many years, I was the only female Partner in our firm, but I am pleased to report that women now enjoy far better representation at Director and Partner level. As a Partner, National Lead of Global Outsourcing in Australia, Chairman of BDO Australia and a member of the Asia Pacific Board I am uniquely placed to further drive equality and diversity within our organisation. There is no doubt in my mind that this topic is key to the continued success of our business.

Thank you to Helen for your time, and for letting us get to know a little bit more about her career so far!