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WeAreTechWomen are proud to announce Barclays as headline sponsor for our 2022 TechWomen100 Awards

TechWomen100 2022 Banners

WeAreTechWomen is excited to announce Barclays as our headline sponsor for the 2022 TechWomen100 Awards!

Now in their sixth year, the TechWomen100 awards are once again looking to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women working in technology.

Our strategic objective is to use the awards to highlight 1,000 future female tech leaders by 2030. To date, we have celebrated the success of over 475 incredible women, alongside outstanding tech networks, senior champions who are driving change and companies who are doing their upmost to support the careers of their female technologists.

In previous years, the awards have been supported by an array of FTSE sponsors and this year is no different.

We are extremely proud to announce that the 2022 TechWomen100 Awards are powered by Barclays. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Barclays for their support for this year’s awards, their words of encouragement and for helping us to celebrate the achievements of amazing women.

The 2022 awards are kindly sponsored by Accenture, BAE Systems, Bank of America, BT, Clifford Chance, Credit SuisseFunding CircleGoldman SachsHuawei, Morgan Stanley, Northern TrustOliver Wyman, PwC and Sky.

A word from our headline sponsor

“At Barclays, we’re focused on improving gender diversity through a workplace environment and culture that enables our female colleagues to fulfil their career aspirations. For me, as a leader in technology, this means really investing in how we attract, retain and develop our female tech talent. Recognising and celebrating female technologists is fundamental towards closing the gender gap and building a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture across the industry. Barclays has been working withWeAreTechWomen since 2015 because they do a fantastic job of shining a spotlight on female role models in technology, and those who support and empower them to realise their full potential. We want to help promote, support and amplify those voices leading positive change and inspiring others, which is why we’re proud to be the headline sponsor for the 2022 TechWomen100 Awards”

 Craig Bright, Group Chief Information Officer, Barclays

Craig Bright, Barclays
Barclays logo - NEW 2022

Nominations for our TechWomen100 Awards are open until 12 August 2022!

The TechWomen100 awards focus solely on women working in tech below director level.

We hope that by highlighting the accolades of up-and-coming inspirational female tech talent, we can help to create a new generation of female role models for the industry, and a pipeline of future leaders.

The awards also feature a “Global Award for Achievement” category, to help expand our search for global talent. This category is a female individual who works within the tech industry outside of the UK, whose current position is below director level.

Through the awards, we would also like to recognise a number of senior individuals who are championing up-and-coming women, as well as any organisations that have designed and implemented successful initiatives and programmes in order to attract, retain and develop the female tech talent.

Finally, we applaud the often-voluntary efforts of the women in tech networks that operate across the UK, and again would like to formerly recognise these within our awards.

The TechWomen100 awards are the first of their kind to focus solely on the female tech talent pipeline and recognise the impact of champions, companies and networks that are leading the way.

Inspirational Woman: Sophia Aluko | Head of CIO Office, Group Technology, Barclays

Sophie AlukoSophia Aluko is Head of CIO Office, Group Technology and COO D&I Ethnicity Co-Lead.

As Head of CIO Office, she provides support to the Group CIO to develop, communicate and deliver the Group Technology priorities and agenda. Alongside this, she is passionate about diversity and inclusion (D&I), and is currently the COO D&I Co-Lead for Ethnicity Inclusion.

Prior to her current role she was the Head of Service Management for the Transitions Management Office, where she stood up the service management framework, as well as managed the Transitions Services Agreement of the services that Barclays provided to divested banks in Europe and Africa.

Outside of work, Sophia supports gender equality initiatives and she is a Trustee at Global Fund for Women UK. An organisation that advocates for equality in the most disadvantaged communities. Sophia has a passion for helping people, and does this through coaching and mentoring. When her schedule permits, she gives talks at Career conferences to those looking to progress in their careers. She also founded a non-profit, The Steer Network, that provides career coaching and mentoring for professionals from diverse backgrounds.

She has about 20 years’ experience in different sectors including FMCG, Technology, Telecoms and Banking.

Sophia joined Barclays in 2008 and had held a number of senior roles in Finance and COO where she has played an instrumental role on major transformation change programmes such as Mergers and Acquisitions, Divestments and Digital transformation.

Sophia is a qualified chartered accountant and has an MBA from Imperial College, London.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

My name is Sophia Aluko and I’m the Head of Group CIO Office at Barclays and the role is responsible for enabling the delivery of the Group CIO agenda.

I have come from a varied background with 20 years’ experience having worked in FMCG, Technology and Telecoms. Throughout my career, I found myself drawn to roles that involve transformation and change and as a result I have been involved in designing and implementing enterprise level transformation initiatives such as Cost Transformation, Digital transformation, Mergers & Acquisitions and Divestments & Transitions.

I started my career in the Technology sector, in data and networks and wanted to gain more business and commercial experience and moved to Diageo for a few years and then joined Barclays in 2008 after completing an MBA at Imperial College London.

In addition to my day job, I am a Board Trustee and Treasurer for Global Fund for Women UK and Founder of the Steer Network, a career mentoring and development non-profit.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

At the early stage of my career, I would say no, as my focus was doing work that I find challenging, which aligned with my strengths where I could learn, grow and make an impact. Looking back, I will say that working in different sectors and roles gave me a more rounded skillset and experience.

As time went on, I was more deliberate about where I wanted to deploy my skills, and the opportunities that will get me closer to achieving my career goals. My career so far has been a succession of interesting jobs, with each assignment building on the last and bringing a new learning experience at the same time.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

I have faced my fair share of challenge, but I have learnt to be true to who I am, guided by my beliefs and values to navigate the challenges. I once took on a role which was a promising role and aligned with my career goals, but after a few months in the role, it wasn’t quite what I had envisaged and had to be really thoughtful about how to approach this thorny issue. I had a number of conversations with trusted colleagues and mentors to gain insights and advice, and eventually I was able to agree a solution with my boss at the time which helped me to land in the right place. My advice is not to be afraid of taking risks and having conversations that could be considered ‘difficult’ as that could be a game changer in your career.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Moving to a new country for work where I had no family ties and social network. The city was exciting but not considered one of the safest places in the world! I went to implement major transformation projects which was very challenging as it had to do with digital transformation and I was responsible for designing, implementing the change including the people change aspect of the programme. I led a multi-disciplinary team across 3 continents and 15 locations to deliver an award winning digital on-boarding platform for millions of customers enabling us to dramatically improve quality of service and created opportunities for our colleagues to upskill / reskill in an environment that is becoming increasingly digitised.

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

I would say determination and persistence. You have to find what truly motivates you, what drives you and be willing to go after it with energy and do your very best.

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How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I am a huge believer in mentoring. I don’t believe you can be successful in any endeavour without good mentors. I mentor people in and outside Barclays and I believe it is the role of a leader to inspire and mentor their team, to bring out the best in everyone. When mentoring is done correctly, both mentees and mentors can benefit immensely from the experience.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

A good number of companies are making good progress to enable a more gender balanced working environment. I think the Pandemic is contributing to accelerating gender parity with more companies offering remote working /flexible working enabling carers to integrate work around their caring responsibilities. But there’s still more that can be done, in particular in Technology which has a challenge attracting and retaining women. As the world becomes more digitised, we need the other half to actively contribute in this space so we can have solutions that is inclusive, that leaves no one behind. I would encourage more women that are sitting on the fence about careers in Tech to know that their skills are needed and there are lots of female role models who they can look up to as they start out in their career.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

It’s okay not to have everything figured out as you start out in your career, look for work that you find interesting, where you can learn and grow. Have a mind-set of an adventurer and trust that as you do the right thing and build your expertise, that it will all come together.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

I think it’s important to set goals and continually challenge oneself to hit those goals. I’m lucky enough to work in a global organisation with a myriad of opportunities to take on more interesting and challenging leadership roles.

I am committed to empowering others to unlock their career and leadership potential. That’s what led me to create The Steer Network, a non-profit career development initiative helping career-oriented individuals to be successful and thrive through personalised mentoring, coaching and leadership development.

We have a number of exciting initiatives in the pipeline.

Sharon Li

Sharon Li | Barclays

Sharon Li

Sharon is the Innovation Mindset Lead in Barclays Chief Technology Office and has been leading the strategic transformations through empowering and inspiring leaders and colleagues across the organisation.

She provides innovation advices to senior leaders across Barclays to solve their business challenges and empowers their leadership team and colleagues with Innovation platform, intrapreneurship programmes, processes and techniques. She also works closely with Fintechs and Tech startups and successfully delivered many innovative solutions to Barclays and their customers and clients. During the pandemic, she led the external Fintech engagement programme of Fintech Pledge for Barclays to drive efficient and effective collaboration between Barclays and Fintechs and successfully delivered the Fintech Pledge Principals by bring Fintechs and internal stakeholders along on journey with her. Prior to this, Sharon was a Senior Programme Manager for Material Models Programme and she worked with a large group of stakeholders across Business, Data sourcing, Model developers and Technology team to enhance Barclays modelling capabilities across the end to end model management lifecycle.

Sharon joined Barclays 8 years ago and has previous work experiences in startups in the UK and Asia. She is also a qualified Chartered Global Management Accountant. Throughout her career, Sharon has been a strong advocate for Diversity and Inclusion. Combining her innovation knowledge, she can bring together an in-depth understanding of custom centric propositions and solutions alongside diversity and inclusion. As the CTO D&I lead, she established CTO D&I strategies and workstreams with CTO leadership team and actively leads a varies of initiatives including hosting Barclays Chief Technology Office spotlight sessions in the EMEA Grace Hopper Conference.

Aditi Bland

Aditi Bland | Barclays

Aditi Bland

I was born in India. Growing up during the late 90's, technology or IT was not a popular subject.

There were very few institutions that taught IT and it was not accepted or part of any school curriculum. Despite all the unavailabilities and disadvantages, I got myself certified as a software engineer, learning coding and building software. During my early years in the UK, it helped me to work as a programmer but I soon realised my passion lies with the design and UX side of the program. For the next 20 odd years I was a freelancer designing, developing and maintaining websites for clients. I had self taught myself every single aspect of HTML design and the scripts that comes with it. I am also very keen on digital accessibility and I make sure all my designs are correct to accessibility standards.

While looking after a young family and being a full time carer to my autistic son, I took every spare minute I could find to learn and keep up with emerging technology. My passion in technology has now inspired my children to pursue their career in IT.

I then joined Barclays, first in their Digital Marketing team for Barclaycard and then Barclays Digital Content Strategy and finally for Barclays's Chief Security Office looking after all security and cyber incidents. My strong point I believe is the ability to "translate" tech talk to comprehensible language that someone not with a tech background will understand. I know how to bridge this divide and helps me in my current role helps me to mitigate issues around technology use and misuse.

Nina Lindsay

Nina Lindsay | Barclays

Nina Lindsay

Nina works as a data analyst within the Compliance Assurance team at Barclays, and as Nanodegree instructor on the Data Specialisation pathway for the charity Code First Girls.

Nina graduated from the University of Oxford with a first-class BA (Hons) in History in 2018, following which she undertook the Compliance graduate scheme at Barclays. After the completion of placements within Data Privacy, Assurance testing, Investment Banking Compliance and Financial Crime Oversight teams, Nina joined the Barclays Compliance Assurance Data Analytics team as an Assistant Vice President in 2020. Within her current role at Barclays, Nina utilises her technical skill and industry knowledge to complete data analytics testing across the retail and investment bank, providing reliable and valuable insights on the management of conduct and reputational risk.

Nina recently took on an additional role as an instructor for the charity Code First Girls' first ever Nanodegree in Summer 2021, delivering sessions to over 40 women and non-binary individuals in SQL and Python over an intense 12-week ‘Data Specialisation’ course. Her support of the Nanodegree followed her completion of the Code First Girls Fellowship programme in 2020, where she volunteered to deliver an 8-week course in SQL and Data Science and also completed a group research project into learning styles in a virtual teaching environment.

Nina continues to develop her technical skill and knowledge by undertaking a part-time MSc in Computing and Information Systems at Queen Mary University of London, due to complete in Summer 2022.

Emily Li

Emily Li | Barclays

Emily Li

Driving analytics through the power of data for the Retail Bank, Emily transitioned to Analytics four years ago after pursuing a career in Finance as a qualified Chartered Accountant.

In addition to delivering value in her work, Emily is actively involved in delivering and shaping L&D for the 300-strong Data & Analytics team, chairing the People Forum to promote team culture and wellbeing.

Rise, created by Barclays

Rise, created by Barclays

Rise, created by Barclays

Rise, created by Barclays, is a global community of the world’s top innovators working together to create the future of financial services.

Our mission is to connect technology, talent and trends from across the Rise ecosystem to accelerate innovation and growth in the financial services industry. We do this by operating FinTech workspaces around the world, with a virtual community, where cutting-edge startups and scale-ups can connect, create and scale their businesses, backed by Barclays’ global network of industry experts, mentors, investors and partners.

Driving the Digital Innovation Agenda from FinTech and Beyond' with Mariquit Corcoran, Barclays - She Talks Tech Podcast

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast on 'Driving the Digital Innovation Agenda from FinTech and Beyond' with Mariquit Corcoran, Barclays

Driving the Digital Innovation Agenda from FinTech and Beyond' with Mariquit Corcoran, Barclays - She Talks Tech Podcast

Today we hear from Mariquit Corcoran. Mariquit is the head of Barclays Ventures US and The Global Rise FinTech Platform.

Since joining Barclays, Mariquit has been involved in supporting start-ups from around the world and running world-class programs targeting technological sectors. Mariquit will discuss the latest industry trends alongside investor and market insights and share’s the work that Barclays Ventures is doing to drive innovation growth from health tech, to female founders and so much more.

You can find out more about and connect with Mariquit on LinkedIn.


‘She Talks Tech’ brings you stories, lessons and tips from some of the most inspirational women (and men!) in tech.

From robotics and drones, to fintech, neurodiversity and coronavirus apps; these incredible speakers are opening up to give us the latest information on tech in 2020.

Vanessa Valleley OBE, founder of WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen brings you this latest resource to help you rise to the top of the tech industry. Women in tech make up just 17 per cent of the industry in the UK and we want to inspire that to change.

WeAreTechWomen are delighted to bring this very inspiring first series to wherever you normally listen to podcasts – and the first three episodes are now live!

So subscribe, rate the podcast and give it a 5-star review – and keep listening every Wednesday morning for a new episode of ‘She Talks Tech’.

Produced by Pineapple Audio Production.

Barclays logo, North West Women network featured

Network Spotlight: North West Women, Barclays

Barclays logo, North West Women network

The network was founded in 2019 as part of a wider bank agenda to focus on Women in Technology. The network was founded out of our Technology Centre outside Knutsford.

The Network was founded to provide women working at this site with easy access to likeminded women, to help expand their networks and to fundamentally support and drive through the Gender Diversity Agenda at the site.  Nothing like this had previously existed.  The network created on site events to help women (and of course our male colleagues) in networking, meeting and collaborating in a face to face environment.

Now, in light of the Pandemic and the move of all our teams to working from home we have shifted our focus away from just the Technology Centre site to all of our sites in the North West. This also means that we have expanded our reach to our non technology colleagues. Barclays in the North West has a heavy Operational presence and so we felt that it was important to include them in our Network, not least because most of the content is valuable whether you are technology or not, but also because we are keen that we support the internal mobility of our colleagues from Operations to Technology careers.

What is your network’s prime objective?

The purpose of the Network is to bring together like minded people to collaborate and share ideas and initiatives with the intention to encourage women to pursue, develop, continue or initiate careers in technology.

How is your network helping women to progress in the workplace?

Our Network helps women progress in a number of ways:

  1. We share openly and honestly our success stories of women across the bank who have had varied careers in technology from the most senior MD’s to our junior Apprentices to demonstrate the wealth of different experiences and journeys. We hope this encourages other women to see their Career in different ways.
  2. Creating and supporting technology careers events by showcasing different areas of technology and the roles that exist there and what it means to work in those areas from people that already do.
  3. Running various events to support career progression for example the network supported a week long set of events across the spectrum of career development in October and we also created a set of events to support Ada Lovelace week in November.
  4. Delving into specific areas of concerns for women in technology. For example, running sessions on imposter syndrome or looking into why women may not be applying for senior roles within the organisation.
  5. We run monthly sessions to simply talk and share and collaborate on the key issues at the time, a fluid session that changes monthly.

All these events are aimed at empowering our Network to fulfil the career that they dream of having.

Tell us about your events?

Recently we ran a week of events to support Ada Lovelace week and this included:

  1. Interview style sessions with a group of women that we called “Our Ada Lovelace’s” where we shared career highs and lows with our audience.  We also showcased these women externally through linked in.
  2. A session focussed on the transition from AVP to VP level, a key career transition in Barclays. We heard from hiring managers, recent promotes and out internal talent team to help people considering this transition.
  3. A session on Salesforce ran by 3 women who had all transitioned back into technology after either periods of career break or who had never working in tech before! As well as sharing their journey they took the audience on an immersive journey on Salesforce and how to code it.

What advice would you give to anyone who is joining a network for the first time?

I would advise people to get involved, come to our sessions and be open. I think there is so much that this group can share and the strength we can achieve together in empowering and encouraging others should not be under-estimated.

Any top tips for new networkers? Why is building your network important?

Building a network is so crucial as you build out a career and like a career it is not something that happens overnight.  Your network grows as you grow and meet and work with more people.  However, in addition to this organic growth that happens over time I think people do need to be actively thinking about how they grow their networks more specifically to help them progress.  For too long women especially have been reticent to do this so we must encourage people to reach out and invite people to be part of their network and not be afraid to call out why, for example building a network with someone in an area that you ultimately would like to work in.

Finally, what’s next for your network?

So, through 2021 our focus is threefold:

  1. Widen our reach across the North West and outside of just Technology
  2. Focus more attention onto our junior members to ensure that we are growing our pipeline of budding technologists
  3. Continue to tap into the demand for our sessions and events by being creative and engaging.

WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube

Gillian Lamela

Gillian Lamela | Barclays

Gillian Lamela

Gillian M. Lamela started her career as a Web Developer at Lehman Brothers in 2004 and then joined Barclays Investment Bank in 2008 where she held additional roles ranging from web development, systems design & analysis, testing automation and end-to-end delivery programme execution resulting in over £1B cost savings to date.

Gillian is currently an Engineering Delivery Lead at Barclays Investment Bank where she focusses on accelerated migration enabling Markets and Corporate businesses to provide a simpler, faster access to storage and compute, reduce our physical server estate and data centre footprint, support cost optimization, drive developer productivity, and innovation solutions.

Prior to her current role, Gillian supported mission critical programmes enabling Barclays to complete first CCAR Submission in 2017 and following the financial crisis in 2008 driving ‘OneBarclays’ transformation programme where she simplified the technology estate across 7 legacy network domains, reduced operational costs, developed new operational models to support new processes and delivered collaboration tools across in Enterprise Technology.

Gillian is one of the co-founders and currently co-heads the Barclays Women In Technology Europe network whose platform to inspire and empower women across to achieve their career aspirations in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM). She also sits on the Barclays Diversity & Inclusion Committee promoting gender and generational diversity at Barclays.

Gillian has received several recognition and awards throughout her career and most notably nominated by Microsoft UK for Computer Weekly’s “Most Influential Women in UK Tech” in 2020. Gillian was featured in ‘Careers in Tech’ campaign September 2020 can be seen in several publications in Barclays, London Tech Week, New Scientist magazine, Business & Industry, Media Planet UK, etc.

Gillian is extremely passionate preparing the future workforce in technology and presented at global events such as Microsoft’s Future Decoded Conference 'Artificial Intelligence Panel in Financial Services', FISD Technology Forum at J.P. Morgan, Refinitiv’s ‘Cloud Regulatory Controls and DevOps Innovation’, [email protected]’s Career Spotlight, Everywoman STEM Graduate Day Keynote, Northern Blockchain Group ‘Women in Innovation’ and ‘Diversity in Blockchain’, and many others.

Gillian has also done some work with schools and universities to promote STEM and is a featured judge/advisor for #Teens in AI’ organization who teaches students ages 10 to 19 years old programming fundamentals, Artificial Intelligence technologies, design thinking and innovation skills. Outside of Barclays, Gillian has competed in the 2018 Dutchchain Blockchaingers Hackathon with over 800 participants and placed 2nd in Global Digital Identity Competition where her team built a digital identity passport solution using blockchain in 48 hours.