Sharing their experience at the bank and throughout their careers are:

Lisa Nelson - Chief Financial Officer, Vicky Ball - Manager for the Office of the Chief Information Officer, Vida Manuel - Learning, IT and Change Facilitator and Shelly Michelle Whitty - Client Experience Feature Analyst

It’s clear that this year’s International Women’s Day theme, ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’, resonates strongly across the business.

Shelly has been with Standard Bank for a decade, originally working in the client engagement centre before moving into IT three and half years ago. She says: ‘I enjoy problem-solving and coming up with solutions so that’s what attracted me to IT.

‘Tech’s changing all the time, so it’s important for the bank to stay ahead and be innovative so that we can deliver solutions aligned with the bank’s values and clients’ expectations.’

Vida joined Standard Bank in 2022 with 13 years banking experience.

Her focused interest in IT and at Standard Bank specifically was sparked by the career opportunities the bank offers.

She says: ‘Covid shone a light on the business' agility and readiness through technology. Our business and our people had to adapt quickly to remote working and adapt to this format, where my role was – and remains – supporting colleagues with training to be empowered with self-serving for their IT requirements.

'At the same time as creating learning content and resources, I’m always learning too. Technology advances so quickly and its important I stay current to share that knowledge.

‘I’m effectively the “middle person” between the tech engineers and the end user. An integral part of my role is to translate potentially complex tech talk into everyday language, something that’s understandable and usable. I really enjoy my work and that’s helped by how Standard Bank’s leadership team, they offer accessible business support as well as direction for personal development.’

10 years ago Vicky started in operations at Standard Bank before moving to her current role in the tech space five years ago.

She explains: ‘I changed roles because I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone.

'Tech has a stigma that it can be labelled as intimidating to enter, but what’s so appealing to me is that it offers so many different job opportunities when you take the first step.

'The direction of travel for almost all industries is digital, so I’d urge anyone interested in a tech career not to put be off by the misconceptions;, there are a wide variety of disciplines that can be explored.

'In my experience, Standard Bank offers the opportunity to support you in pivoting and developing your career path into the areas you choose.’

Shelly adds: ‘In my case, for example, the bank has funded my studies on and off Island as well as supporting my attendance at the Women of Silicon Roundabout conference in London last November.

'I was grateful for this opportunity as it was really useful and informing for my role, as well as allowing meme to network and share experiences with other women working in the tech sector.’

Chief Financial Officer Lisa Nelson joined Standard Bank in May 2022, following a role with a software company.

Lisa’s focus includes providing direction on the bank’s digital transformation strategy. ‘Digital enablement impacts across all the bank’s functions’, says Lisa, ‘It’s about ensuring that all our people have the opportunity to upskill to ensure we remain competitive and future-fit. Since joining the bank last summer, I have found that the business is always willing to challenge itself and identify where and how it needs to change.’

Not all tech is confined to back-office functions, as Shelly explains. ‘In my role, I’m talking directly to clients and encourage their feedback. This is a valuable resource, especially when we go live with a new feature, for example, helping us shape future developments that benefit the end user.’

‘Giving feedback to the leadership team is equally important,’ says Vida, adding: ‘The team value our individual expertise and acknowledge the opportunity to learn from our experiences and findings on the ground.’

Lisa says: ‘The bank’s culture is very much one of “listen and act” and I’ve seen how our colleagues here are truly valued. The bank places a great deal of trust in its people to identify what’s best for the business and colleagues feel empowered to influence decisions, which is very fulfilling.

‘As well as supporting our colleagues in the digital transformation process, we want to equip our clients with the tools that will help them to self-serve on demand but we also want to ensure access to people too.

'In this, the relationship manager and client engagement roles remain key to delivering the best holistic customer experience.’

All four are keen to dispel the myth that technology is seen as a male-dominated sector and they applaud Standard Bank for it’s true ability to remove unconscious bias in the hiring process.

On the bank’s dynamic working policy: how, where and when people choose to work, Shelly says: ‘The bank wants its employees to be able to achieve a healthy work-life balance regardless of personal identity or circumstances, so dynamic working is great, especially for those of us with families.’

Vicky agrees: ‘Standard Bank takes into account people’s lifestyles, so in my case, I’m not the least bit apprehensive about going on maternity leave soon and it’s having that reassurance which makes me want to return and re-join my other “family” here at the bank at the right time.’

As Lisa adds: ‘At Standard Bank there are no barriers to vision. It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter where you start. What matters is where you want to be and we are here to support that.’