Meet Emma Bamford, Head of Customer Success at Risk Smart

Emma Bamford

Emma is IRM certified and has a well-established career in the risk industry, first as a risk analyst and as a risk manager. Having spent too much time using reactive risk frameworks and disjointed processes, she knows all too well the need for change. Emma believes RiskSmart can overhaul complicated, over-engineered processes and allow people to do their jobs quicker and smarter.

What is your biggest career achievement to date? 

After working for the same firm for over 20 years in a more operational role, I discovered that I had a passion for risk management. I decided to leave my position and pursue my new passion, moving away from what I knew and going back into learning to face a new challenge. I never went to university, so achieving the IRM Certification qualification made me feel proud of myself, and I was now taking a bigger leap into the tech world to do something that I truly loved. My subsequent journey into the tech world has proven to me that we are all capable of changing our own career paths and are in control of our own successes.

Are there any challenges you’ve faced in your career? If so, how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenges have probably been caused by my own fears. I have experienced imposter syndrome which I now know can really limit my own success. I try to ensure that my own knowledge is as strong as it can be so that I can face my fears and prove my own competence to myself and to others. Consistency in reading, learning, and expanding one’s knowledge is the best way to beat imposter syndrome, as well as not being afraid to have your opinions challenged.

How have you benefited from mentoring or coaching throughout your career?

Throughout my tenure in operations, risk and now within the tech environment, I have been extremely lucky to work with great mentors throughout all of my job roles, offering both technical and cultural mentoring.

This has been key to my confidence, my passion and my drive, and has also enhanced my abilities. I am also extremely lucky to have an additional support network as many of my core group of friends are in similar technology roles and are championing the women in technology movement.

Who do you believe is a great role model for women in tech?

Baroness Karen Brady. Although not specifically in tech, she’s a fantastic role model as she has consistently excelled in a very male-orientated world while being unapologetically feminine. She is very well respected now in all aspects of the business world. She also sits in the House of Lords and has been a Small Business Ambassador to the UK Government. What a woman!

What does the future hold for you?

As Head of Customer Success at RiskSmart, I am excited to be part of something that will be a gamechanger in the risk and compliance world. I can play a part in rebalancing the view of women in tech and become more of an advocate both within the team and externally through peer support. I hope to be someone inspirational one day so that I can help drive more women into the technological sphere.

What is your greatest advice for women getting into the world of tech?

Just take the leap and be tenacious. It is a rewarding and extremely exciting environment to be in. It’s very male-orientated, so we need to level the playing field. Don’t undersell yourself – ensure that the firm’s culture is the right fit for you and that it is aligned with your goals and your future aspirations.

I’m fortunate that I’m greatly supported within my organisation, and I am viewed as an equal. My voice feels heard, and my opinions and ideas hold as much weight as anyone else’s.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Women in Tech Meet up and other networking events are so valuable! They can assist with building additional support and provide a mentoring network. Meeting people with similar challenges and sharing learned lessons is essential, as it can motivate, inspire and encourage. There are also some amazing podcasts and articles available on the WeAreTechWomen website.