Tell us a bit about your role and career journey to date
I’ve worked in the Financial Services sector for over 15 years, including many FTSE 100 companies. My current role at Mizuho is Head of System and Data Risk Management.
How did you get into technology?
When I was growing up, I was interested in business and people, not so much in technology. But my father who was a retired legal professional took a keen interest in computers - which meant I was his natural tech support. His questions and challenges led me to seek out solutions, and then slowly I started to appreciate the wonders of technology and how it helps to transform our lives. The rest is history, I now love technology and the new challenges/developments it brings.
What motivates or inspires you?
Everything I do is inspired by my children. They motivate me to work hard and challenge the status quo. I work hard every day to be a role model, so that they can one day contribute to our society in a meaningful way.
Outside of my current role I have participated in various campaigns about how to attract future women in tech as leaders, and I am one of the leads of our Gender network at Mizuho.
What advice do you have women in their early careers looking to get into STEM?
Life will always throw challenges at you and give you reasons to fail, but be brave, look up, have passion, look forward and be you.
STEM subjects are becoming more inclusive. Try to attend some of the events/seminars around these subjects and learn from the lived experiences of others and having a mentor can be invaluable!
How do you promote greater gender diversity at Mizuho?
One of my favourite quotes is from Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. At Mizuho I’m valued, respected and supported to do just that. As well as my day role, I’m also a Gender Network Co-Champion and Education Stream Lead for the Cultural Diversity Network. I recently rolled out one of the first reverse mentoring programmes for middle management and a series of 3 financial seminars for the network during the pandemic (including: key topics such as: sustainable investing, green mortgages etc.). I have also been invited to take part in many university talks, including a STEM women event hosted by Natwest bank.
I also recently took part in the Gender network’s first external virtual panel discussion hosted by Channel 4 documentary maker Kate Muir in conjunction with Bloomberg on perimenopause and menopause in the City – aiming to raise awareness of these life stages and showcase some of the menopause initiatives that I have been delivering in conjunction with the HR team.
What technology can’t you live without / what is your favourite technology invention?
My phone unfortunately! It’s my memory capture (camera), bank card, my email, my hotline (phone) and need to start using it more for fitness tracking!