Hannah Hellis

It keeps surprising me that I work in Technology as I never really expected to.

I left school after my A-Levels with really no idea what I wanted to do so started working for the government where I stayed for 14 years (including a three year career break to live in Canada). I joined at an administrative grade gradually moving up and towards operational analyst roles where I stayed for the remainder of my time in government. Each of the operational roles were heavily reliant on technology and the impact it could have, both good and bad.

One of my final roles in government was a job that I loved and hated in equal measure. I was asked to work independently on a project where the requirements were exponentially more challenging and the technical aspects far, far outside anything I had come across before. I loved the challenge but I hated it too! I loved that I was learning about a topic and a technology I wouldn’t even have considered delving into before but I hated the struggle around getting to the information I needed and how hard it was to make progress. During my two years on the project I did make progress and I learnt so much about myself; my resiliency, my abilities and my tenacity and I finally felt like I could officially consider myself a woman in tech.

A family move to Glasgow triggered a career change in August 2018 when I took an opportunity in Morgan Stanley’s Technology division. My first project focussed on successfully moving data used globally across technology into a tooling solution which would allow integration with various other central technology projects. From here I moved on to focus more specifically on the tooling solutions for my department and the improvements that could be made more strategically, including redesigns of relevant solutions. During this focus on tooling I accidentally fell into agile where I am now focusing most of my time, learning as much as I can and sharing and implementing as I go.

During the last 3 years I have also been heavily involved in Women In Technology committees, first in government and now in Morgan Stanley where I currently co-chair the recruitment and retention strand of our WIT committee. My main focus in WIT is to empower, lift and engage the women I work with and meet and encourage men to take part and help in the journey of women in tech. Over the last year I have lead a number of initiatives to support WIT such as a panel series focusing on promotion, establishing coaching circles and encouraging male engagement.