Why do we need more women in technology?
Both gender and generational diversity in our workforce are essential to building successful teams. Fundamentals of technology – design thinking, engineering, programming – are all skills that will help build more innovative solutions, better products and better services.
We encourage women into technology with a number of initiatives, including Barclays ‘Women In Technology Europe’, a network I co-founded. We go into primary and secondary schools helping children to learn coding, we launch programmes to upskill our colleagues, and create role models in STEM for the next generation.
I am also an advisor for Teens in AI organisation, encouraging young people to build solutions using AI.
How does having a diverse workforce impact cloud engineering?
I’ve managed diverse teams throughout my career, ranging from new graduates to a colleague who had 25 years’ more experience than I did.
Having a range of talent allows you to tap into different mindsets, points of view, and experience, which provides the best product for our clients. That’s invaluable in cloud engineering where we operate in an agile environment and build collaborative solutions.
Do you ever have to deal with stereotyping? If so, how do you challenge it?
Early in my career I experienced some stereotyping, because there were very few women in technology, let alone of Asian descent. I was an anomaly in many ways and would encourage those dealing with stereotypes to proactively seek advice from others. Think more about who you are, which skillsets you exceed at, and which ones you need to develop. Banking has come a long way since then, we have become more agile and forward thinking, with an increasingly diverse workforce.
What is the most exciting thing you’ve developed?
I’ve worked on mission critical programmes and have been given the opportunity to lead several strategic initiatives in the US and UK. But I would have to say, the most exciting thing I’ve developed wasn’t a particular project, rather building leaders in technology and inspiring teams within my organisation and community throughout my career. I’m also really proud of being nominated to join Barclay’s first Women in Leadership Programme and recent nomination by Microsoft UK for Computer Weekly’s “Most Influential Women in UK Tech” award and Barclays for TechWomen100 Awards.
Hear more from Barclays Women in Technology
“The gender imbalance in technology doesn’t just represent a missed opportunity for women and society, but also for businesses. There is a growing body of evidence that having a more diverse workforce, including an equitable gender balance, makes for a better business. Put simply, diversity is a business advantage.”
Jayne Opperman, Managing Director, COO of Barclays UK
Learn more about opportunities in technology, at Barclays, here.