Chloe WeirBefore working for Barclays I studied and worked in Scotland, Ireland, Dubai and Jersey and returned to London three years ago, where I live with my husband and daughter.

I am a lawyer in the BUK CB&P Legal Banking Products team which means that a huge amount of what I do is digital focused. I am the legal lead for Paperless across BUK so we are doing lots of work in the space making sure we innovate toward a more comprehensive digital offering and reduce the amount of paper being sent out to customers. I am also really passionate about diversity and inclusion and co-chair Win Legal.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up… but I have always followed the opportunity which seemed the most interesting at the time, and that allowed me to develop into a new area. I don’t think you need to have a 20 year plan anymore, you just need to have a positive attitude to new opportunities. In fact, what I want out of my career today is different to what I wanted ten years ago and I suspect this will continue to change throughout my career so flexibility is important.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

When I qualified as a lawyer I didn’t get taken into the litigation team which was my desired career path, and was offered a role in the Capital Markets team instead. It can be difficult when it feels like your career is heading off in another direction which you didn’t plan, but I took the role and tried to learn as much as possible while in it. I then chose to move to Jersey for a litigation role. I think it’s important to make the best of, and learn from the career bumps, but also don’t be afraid to make big changes if you are unhappy, so that you can get your career going back in the direction you want.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Successfully juggling (most of the time) my current role, my Win responsibilities and a toddler in lockdown with a smile on my face…. Most of the time.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Kindness – from colleagues throughout my career who have given up their time to mentor me both formally and informally, or even just took me for a glass of wine at the end of a long day. I try to make sure I pay that forward and make time for colleagues who need support both from a work and a wellbeing perspective. Also the kindness of friends and family who have taken on my personal responsibilities at times when I have had to prioritise work.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Focus on the customer, support the women around you and try to learn the language (which for me as a lawyer is the hardest bit).

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

Yes, it’s improving but I think people are often still surprised to see women working in tech particularly at a senior level. To be honest some people are surprised to see women working at a senior level full stop. This perception is definitely changing but I think we need more senior women in tech spotlighted, and mentoring schemes to break down these biases and improve gender diversity.

What do you think companies can do to support to progress the careers of women working in technology?

I think that recruitment processes that are blind as to gender and salary would help hugely. As will recognising the need for flexible working and avoiding a bias toward traditionally male gender traits in assessing success.

There is currently only 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I think a huge amount of negative gender stereotyping takes place when we are young, I would magic up funding for schemes that taught children from very young that tech is not gendered (and for that matter I would do that for all subjects). Universal free child care would also help hugely, but as I can only have one wish I will cross my fingers that when these children grow up, having been educated in a less gendered way, expectations about who takes on childrearing responsibilities will also have balanced out.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech, eg Podcasts, networking events, books, conferences, websites etc?

I would say go to tech conferences whenever you have the opportunity… once we have the opportunity again, they are a great way of meeting other women in tech and helping each other. Until then podcasts are amazing. I think they are the perfect time saver! Learn about the industry whilst cleaning the house or changing a nappy (other non-gendered activities are available). Ctl Alt Dlt, Divercity and Freakonomics radio are good ones for business and fintech.

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