Celebrating women in tech with Standard Bank

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THE theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality, a theme which is aligned with Standard Bank Jersey’s continued commitment to gender equality in the workplace and removing barriers to success.

To celebrate the women who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education across the organisation, the St-Helier-based bank shares a selection of personal stories from several colleagues about their experiences as senior tech professionals within the banking industry.

Nadia Bush – senior project manager and acting release train engineer

‘Technology is evolving so quickly and features in every part of our lives, whether it’s at work or in the way we interact with companies in our personal lives. Many who are not in the tech space may not realise what’s involved in producing a digital journey. A broad range of skill sets is needed to make this journey successful so it’s a case of the best person for the job regardless of gender identity. There’s planning, user experience, design, architecture, testing, marketing and compliance to name but a few of the skills required – and diversity across a multi-faceted function is surely beneficial.

‘This is certainly the philosophy at Standard Bank. Empowerment is equally important. The bank has given me the autonomy to grow into my role with confidence and to coach others on their journeys.

‘I moved to Standard Bank in 2018 because it offered me the opportunity to have a bigger voice and be heard, as well as the ability to help mould and influence working practices away from traditional top-down management to a more collaborative and agile environment. From leading the delivery of a brand-new international internet banking website and making improvements to our mobile app, to delivering a new client relationship management platform, each day in the role brings many new and exciting challenges.

‘Learning and growth are such an important part of working life at Standard Bank that each employee is supported by their line manager to create a personal development plan that plays to their strengths and plans for their future.’

Harley Brennan – digital marketing manager

‘My role as digital marketing manager is diverse. From agency collaboration and data analysis to digital marketing campaign creation, it’s always fresh. There is meaningfulness in the variety and in this digitally advanced era, customers demand a holistic and seamless online experience and I enjoy the challenge of providing this. My team and I are currently focusing on humanising the brand and delivering a superior service to the customer which improves their everyday life using innovative technologies.

‘The biggest positive that tech has on the banking industry in my view is improving the customer experience. In this digitally advanced era, customers demand a seamless and quick online experience. Standard Bank has some great strategic initiatives to support this in the future and it’s exciting to be part of this evolving journey.

‘I have been afforded so much opportunity to learn, grow and progress during my time here – a particular highlight was being seconded to South Africa for six months to support the launch of the bank’s brand-new international website.

‘My advice for anyone seeking a career in any industry or discipline is to absorb all you can and ask questions; shadow meetings for projects of which you’ve not yet had experience and ask to be involved anywhere you can to gain knowledge and experience.

‘Standard Bank regularly empowers us to use our skills and knowledge to the benefit of our teams. Growth is always integrated into our personal and business objectives, ensuring we have access to what else we can do, learn or improve to upskill and become fit for the future.’

Violet Nomnga – service management lead

‘As IT service management lead, I am responsible for leading a team that supports and maintains Standard Bank’s core banking and payment platforms – a multi-faceted role in a fast-paced environment.

‘Over 12+ years, Standard Bank has afforded me many exciting tech opportunities in two jurisdictions – South Africa and now the Channel Islands. I’ve experienced different cultures, IT systems and operations while meeting diverse people, all of which has contributed greatly to my personal and professional growth.

‘We have all witnessed first-hand how tech has positively reshaped the banking industry, forcing an urgent digital transformation agenda, which has seen banks use innovative tech to improve product and service delivery. Standard Bank’s strategic vision heading to 2025 shapes how we wish to see this positive change – leveraging tech to make more data-driven decisions and to reveal a more efficient banking experience, while keeping the client at the heart of what we do.

‘Standard Bank is already using artificial intelligence and cloud technologies across several of its operations – and with this comes opportunities for career development and learning. The misconception that you need to have core tech knowledge to enter tech isn’t true. With the right skillset, being curious, unafraid of challenges and financial service acumen, there is real opportunity to switch things up.’

Clovie Knight – senior feature analyst

‘I come from a tech background working in the core industry in the UK. However, I was recently drawn to Standard Bank’s future-focused and agile approach to fintech when switching industries. I spend a large part of my time as an analyst communicating the business’s needs to our tech professionals.

‘During my time here, I’ve realised that banking offers tech practitioners the unique opportunity to tackle vast regulatory challenges that don’t often impact other tech spaces. For example, in Jersey the anti-money-laundering regulations offer development and problem-solving opportunities, allowing practitioners to grow their skillset in niche areas, giving us a competitive edge in our careers.

‘When people think of banking and technology, it can be easy to believe these to be male-dominated spaces and, while challenges do remain, I’m glad to say the industry has moved on considerably. The tech space isn’t dominated by people who solely excel in computer code and technical areas. In fact, the skills base is very diverse, and teams require a great mixture of talent to stay successful and deliver projects.

‘In my own experience, Standard Bank has funded me through various external certifications and qualifications, giving me the knowledge and experience to move into more challenging areas of work. The culture is one of growth and evolution, where cross-collaboration between key business stakeholders and tech teams allows us to really zone in on what and how we build new client-value functionality, which ultimately allows for greater learning.’

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