She also thinks it’s about public perception of the industry. “The people you see who have founded successful start-ups tend to be men in the kind of Steve Jobs dress-down uniform. Women are trying to join in with a culture that’s already been established, and that’s not always easy – though it is changing.”
The way in
The women’s routes into the industry were many and varied. While Malhotra and Magdalena Krön, Head of Rise London, studied tech-related subjects at university, Sonal Shah, VP PMO Manager in IB Strategic & Regulatory Change , left a senior job in management to retrain. “I had no knowledge or experience in IT, but knew I wanted to move into this dynamic and varied industry,” she says. “After an MSc in Computing and IT, I made the career change and I’ve never looked back!”
Morris says always staying flexible has worked to her advantage. “I have disagreed with various managers over the years who wanted to set me a three or five year plan when I never really had a long-term goal in mind, other than to keep learning, keep improving and find interesting and challenging roles,” she says.
“If you have a clear idea of where you want to go that’s great, but not everyone does, and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I’ve enjoyed every role and I’m still learning new things and feeling challenged – learning keeps you fresh!”
Kamila Piorowska, Agile Coach, discovered ‘agile’ approaches after working in technology for an investment bank. “I realised I wanted agile transformation to become my full time role. Luckily, at Barclays, I was supported and currently have my ‘dream’ job.”
Jodie Gilbert, Head of Cyber Strategy, helped develop Barclays’ Digital Eagles project, tasked with embedding a digital culture across the bank, as well as rolling out digital skills to the wider population through Barclays’ 18,000 Digital Eagles. “I have a personal passion for digital – as society moves to a connected digital world, there so much scope to make a positive difference.”