Clifford Chance – Carolyn Arokiam, QA Specialist

Women in Tech spoke to Carolyn Arokiam, a QA Specialist at Clifford Chance about the work-life balance and culture there.

How did you begin your IT career and what is the most valuable learning?

Fresh out of university with a degree in Computer Science, my career started in Malaysia, working as an implementation consultant for an Australian software development company. I specialised in practice management software for accounting firms and worked closely with senior consultants to provide customised solutions to the Big Four accounting firms throughout Asia. This direct experience with clients was not just a job; it was a valuable lesson in comprehending and meeting complex requirements.

While I enjoyed my experience as a consultant, I found my true passion in the software development team when I worked as a tester on a project aimed at enhancing the existing practice management software. This experience gave me the opportunity to relocate to the London office which helped me grow even further in the role. I pursued more testing-related qualifications and joined Clifford Chance six years later, focusing on the testing career path.


What was your role and when did you start working at Clifford Chance?

In 2010, I started working at Clifford Chance as a Test Analyst, participating in various projects that differed in size and complexity. From testing, the team in CC then evolved into quality assurance which encompassed a broader scope that included the entire process of software development. This experience not only advanced my career development but also expanded my view on the business and its diverse practice areas. The firm’s support network is something that really makes it different – a network that has helped me grow professionally and personally.

In what ways does Clifford Chance help its employees to find a balance between career growth and personal commitments, such as continuing education and personal growth?

Clifford Chance walks the talk.

When I decided to pursue a Masters in Management at Birkbeck University, Clifford Chance was there, helping me to strike a balance between work and study. After maternity leave, they eased my transition back into the workforce, understanding the unique challenges faced by new mothers. Some might attribute this to having an effective manager, but it’s more than that. It’s about being part of an organisation which has a culture that recognises the importance of work-life balance.

Today with hybrid working, there is a good work life balance that allows me to excel at work while still being there for my family and focusing on my own personal growth.

How does Clifford Chance foster a culture that balances work-life and enhances productivity?

We spend a significant portion of our lives at work, and it’s crucial to be part of an environment that not only promotes but practices work-life balance. Clifford Chance has mastered this art, fostering a community where collaboration is second nature and mutual respect is a given. This culture has been a catalyst for increased morale, productivity, and a profound sense of belonging among employees.

Feeling valued and supported translates into a workforce that is engaged, creative, and invested in the collective success of the organisation. It’s a testament to the power of a workplace that does not just employ people but cares for their well-being deeply. That is what sets Clifford Chance apart – a factor that has made my journey at the firm more fulfilling and balanced.