Behind the phones: meet Suncorp’s “plumbette”
You may never see them, but peek inside a Suncorp contact centre and you will find some of the most caring and interesting people you will meet. We go behind the phones to meet Bec Senyard, a future Suncorp leader and mother of three who is also a licensed plumber and runs the successful blog The Plumbette.
Bec said she got used to seeing surprised faces when she turned up at their door.
“I don’t think many people expected a woman to turn up when they phoned for a plumber,” she laughed.
“That’s where I got the idea for the blog. I started looking for other female plumbers but my Google search wasn’t returning a lot. I wanted to know that if there were other female plumbers out there, they’d be able to find my blog and know that there was someone like them.”
Bec started The Plumbette in 2012 and within a few years – and three children later – it became a successful full-time job, with Bec working with brands including The Good Guys and Reece Plumbing.
She also writes on building and renovation, interiors, plumbing, fashion, motherhood and craft for several other sites, and sits on the committee for the Women's Plumbing Alliance.
“I get a lot of feedback on the site,” Bec said.
“I had a lady from Papua New Guinea reach out to me, saying she had her favourite blog posts hanging up on her wall and that it encouraged her to go out and pursue her apprenticeship every day.
“It’s what I always hoped for.”
Bec said while blogging is rewarding, it doesn’t always produce a predictable income. In 2018 she decided to look for additional work – something more flexible than plumbing now that she’s a mother. Something that would fit around her children and her blogging – perhaps something from home, and something that would still allow her to connect with and help other people.
“I was chatting about my dilemma with a client I knew well, and she suggested Suncorp as a possible employer."
“She shared that she was also working part-time at Suncorp in the contact centre and that it had been really great for her. We sat down at her kitchen table and I applied on the spot.”
For the past few years, Bec has been working for Suncorp part-time, from home, and said she has found far more here than a steady paycheck.
“Pursuing two different careers simultaneously has been really great for me,” she said.
“Blogging and working for yourself can be really isolating, but through contact centre work I’ve been able to add a lot more human interaction and conversation into my day.
“It’s also given me the opportunity to pursue different types of career goals, that I wasn’t able to achieve through blogging – like becoming a leader.
Pictured: Bec has separate spaces set up in her home for her blogging work (left) and her contact centre work (right) to help separate her two careers.
"I’ve been working towards being accepted into Suncorp’s leadership development pool and it’s been a journey.
"Despite not being accepted the first time around, I was able to reflect on the feedback and try again.
"While it shook my confidence, I spent time organising mentoring sessions and set up my development plan to show exactly where I wanted to go at work.
"My persistence paid off and I was accepted into the development pool a few months ago. It’s given me access to leadership training, and I have been backfilling other team leaders as part of my development."
Bec said as someone who often dislikes change, she’s started to embrace it more.
“I know I need to let go of some things to embrace the new,” she said.
‘I have lots of different goals I want to pursue, so why stick to one thing? I just want to do well no matter what I’m doing.
“While the world is still impacted by the pandemic, it’s a reminder that now is all we have.
“While I have the capacity to explore opportunities, I’m going to give it a red-hot shot.”
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