The world is becoming ever more diverse and we can all play a role in creating a gender balanced world. International Women’s Day not only celebrates the achievements of women, but also highlights the need for gender equality at all levels.
At ABN AMRO, we strive for diversity and believe in talent without limits. Through diversity we acquire people of different talents and varying perspectives, enabling us to build high performing teams to serve our clients better by using their range of experiences and skill-set.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BalanceforBetter. We will be featuring ‘Spotlight On’ articles on some of the women in our business and find out what #BalanceforBetter means to them.
When did you join ABN AMRO?
June 2011. I had been living and working in Cheshire for a few years but wanted to “come home” to Sussex. I was made redundant and sold my house on the very same day and then the opportunity to join ABN AMRO arose and I got the job - it was obviously meant to be!
Where did you come from?
Iris Software – a software house based in Knutsford. I had only been there a year though; before that I was at a Healthcare Communications company for 6 years.
What is your role here at ABN AMRO?
My job title is ICT Analyst / Developer. I was one of three developers when I started, but now I’m part of a much larger team based in The Netherlands, France and the UK. My role up to now has been to develop and maintain all software and databases used primarily by UK-based staff, but that’s beginning to change as the company integrates more across locations.
What’s the biggest value-add your role brings to clients?
Most of my work goes unseen by our clients, but on a personal level I’d say the development of the systems that allow their financial transactions to be made available for them to see in the Portal and for payment requests to be processed and passed to the bank. As a larger team, probably the Client Portal as that’s their window into ABN AMRO.
Who do you mainly interact with?
I work with all internal staff based in the UK, particularly the Operations and Commercial departments.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I’ve always got satisfaction from being able to help other departments do their jobs better by providing solutions that streamline and automate processes. I’ve never really been a “geek” developer who likes to write software just so they can use the latest tools and technologies; it’s all about the why and not the how.
What does this year’s International Women’s Day theme #BalanceforBetter mean to you?
It means a fairer world for my daughter with many more choices and opportunities available. I work in what has traditionally and unfortunately still is a male dominated profession, but I don’t really understand why it is that way. At university we were 50/50 so where have all the women gone? I’d like to think that any existing stereotypes will become a thing of the past and for there to be no hurdles in the way of both men and women achieving what they’re capable of.
Who is a female you admire and why?
My Mum. She came from a fairly average working class background but worked hard at school in order to make it to university. She then balanced a career in teaching while also bringing my sister and I up. She has always enabled and encouraged us to do our best and supported our decisions. What she did is probably considered normal today but that shows just how much the world has already changed for the better because it wasn’t always quite so straightforward in the past.
Where do you live?
In Brighton with my husband and 5 year old daughter.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Ideally I’d travel, go for walks in the countryside, read, drink beer/wine and spend time in my garden, but my 5 year old puts a stop to a lot of that! We’re season ticket holders at Brighton and Hove Albion so that takes up a fair few days of the year.
What is your favourite film?
I can’t say that I have a favourite. I love to watch a good film but which film and genre really depends on my mood at the time!
What is your favourite kind of meal?
Again, depends on my mood but I especially love Moroccan and Chinese. As a family we love going out for Dim Sum and trying all the different things on the menu.
What was your earliest ambition?
To be a vet, but as you can see that didn’t quite go to plan! I also wanted to climb Mount Everest, but having trekked to base camp I’ve put that dream to rest!