Soraya Weill

Soraya Weill | Oliver Wyman

Soraya Weill

Soraya is a senior consultant at Oliver Wyman. On every project, she focuses on achieving the best client impact while creating an open environment for her team.

She is thrilled to be able to promote inclusion & diversity both at work and outside of work.

Soraya’s academic background include a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology; as well as a Masters in Psychological research from the University of Oxford. During university, Soraya showed a keen interest in technology and computer science selecting lectures in Statistical Theory, Algorithms, and Python programming. Soraya’s professional project experience has spanned multiple industries all the while retaining a strong focus on digital, technology & analytics as well as organisational effectiveness.

At Oliver Wyman Soraya has embraced her role as an I&D champion. She co-leads external engagement for WOW, the Woman of Oliver Wyman network, as well as co-leads EMPOWERED UK, Oliver Wyman’s network for racial ethnic & cultural diversity. Outside of her professional role, Soraya is an advocate for young women. She is the founder of a network of 400+ female university students. This network organizes cv workshops, case interview preparation and networking events to help female students gain employment in the professional services industry.

Soraya has recently taken on a new challenge; she has been developing her own charity leveraging new technology and advanced analytics to provide faster streamlined support for homeless Londoners.


Joud Hadaie

Joud Hadaie | Oliver Wyman

Joud Hadaie

I am an Associate (junior project lead) at Oliver Wyman, in the Digital practice. I aim at providing deliverables that help client drive tangible impact.

Having graduated with a degree in Computer and Communications Engineering from the American University of Beirut, I wanted to gain business and consultancy skills, so I joined Oliver Wyman as a business management consultant less than four years ago. After a year, I combined technical and consulting skills and affiliated in the Digital practice, where I work on creating innovative robust scalable solutions to our clients.

Combining both technology and consulting at Oliver Wyman, allowed me to create fast, profitable, impactful and innovative client solutions.
When I first joined the digital practice, I owned and developed python calculation engines for top tier financial instructions. Earlier this year, I shifted into a product owner role owning a technical solution deployed at multiple clients. Leading multi-disciplinary team, responsible for the overall success of the solution and working in agile ways.

At work, being a strong advocate for diversity, I am a leader of the OW’s diversity network. I believe that delivering diverse and successful solutions require having diverse teams.


WeAreTechWomen Conference Speaker Spotlight: Deborah O'Neill, Oliver Wyman

Deborah O'Neill

WeAreTechWomen speaks to Deborah O'Neill, Head of UK Digital, Partner, Oliver Wyman, about her career.

Deborah is also one of our speakers at our upcoming WeAreTechWomen: The Future World of Work conference on 22 November. Deborah will be discussing how to prevent big data anarchy in the UK.

Deborah O’Neill is UK Head of Digital and a partner at Oliver Wyman, where she leads complex digital transformations at the world’s largest companies. She helps her clients build out their engineering and delivery capability, making them self-sufficient and able to make changes more rapidly.

An expert in untethering businesses from technology systems and approaches no longer fit for purpose, Deborah has recently worked on the build and launch of several Greenfield businesses.

She is widely published on issues relating to how financial services companies can free themselves from legacy IT infrastructure, use data to strengthen connections to customers and better use analytics to prepare for AI.

Deborah’s work as a female leader has been recognised with numerous accolades. She is a committed advocate for gender equality who seeks to create mentoring and sponsorship opportunities for future female technologists both within Oliver Wyman and the industries she operates.

WeAreTechWomen, the Technology arm of WeAreTheCity, is hosting its fourth full-day conference in London, aimed at over 400 women who are wanting to broaden their technology horizons, learn new skills and build their tech networks.

Our unique conference will include the opportunity for our delegates to learn about a variety of technical topics and get involved in Q&A’s, hands-on activities and interactive workshops. Our aim is to provide an environment where our delegates can upskill and grow their skills/networks for the future.

Can you tell us a little about your background? Where you’ve come from, where you’ve worked, how you got to where you are today?

At the beginning of 2019 I was appointed the first Head of Digital for the UK and Ireland at Oliver Wyman, a global management consultancy.

I lead complex digital transformations at some of the world’s largest companies. This means designing and assembling future-proof technology capabilities that make their business processes faster, smarter, and more agile at adapting to change.
Being a practical, no-nonsense northerner helps me tremendously in my role. I cut through jargon, translate complex technology processes into plain English, and bring together diverse teams to solve complicated problems.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

When I think about career progression, mine has been like a level of Chuckie Egg – there are long ladders, but also places to hop off and sidestep onto another route. In my case, this was moving from working exclusively with financial services companies for six years into helping businesses across all industries deliver technology transformations.

What inspired you to get involved with in motivational speaking?

I started late in technology, but this has not hampered my move into such an exciting and growing sector. I’m now keen to show others – women, non-binary, BAME, LGBTQ+, or any combination of minorities - how they can develop into technology leadership positions.

Do you have a favourite experience from your career?

In 2018 my team helped start a new digital bank from scratch for RBS. During that year I served as interim Chief Technology Officer responsible for overseeing the design and build of the new technology platform, as well as recruiting a new team of experts to run the platform after the Oliver Wyman team finished.

What I really enjoyed about this temporary role was the opportunity to fully immerse myself in a ground-breaking project and lead a large, diverse team towards a single goal.

What do you think WeAreTechWomen guests will gain from your talk?

My talk will remind people about the positive impact big data has made in both business and society, and I’ll help the audience appreciate why tackling unethical use of personal data is so difficult, both nationally and globally. As a practical take away, attendees will be shown an ethical baseline for how they process personal data, and I’ll discuss with them what else governments and companies could be doing. In addition, I’ll show how actions by governments and companies will not enough to prevent further unethical data use unless each of us takes a greater responsibility for what we share digitally, from credit cards to birthdays to advertising preferences.

What are your top three tips for success?

  1. When you come to manage others, stay focused on leadership and empathy, not developing your individual skills to an expert level in all areas. Think of your team as a car with many moving parts and you are the driver behind the wheel. In this analogy, you don’t have to be a mechanic to set the direction and speed. It’s useful if you can learn how to change a tyre, but you must trust the experts on your team to corner balance the suspension or change the transmission fluid.
  2. Do everything you can to keep talented people on your team. To keep women in our teams, I make it my business to find out if our policies on issues such as parental leave and flexible working meet the industry standards and there is no stigma attached to taking advantage of them.
  3. Set up mentoring relationships for others – and be available as a mentor yourself – and showcase role models who those in minority groups can identify with. Don’t underestimate the power you have as a leader to act as a sponsor. Use your connections to advance the careers of those on your team through their endorsement and guidance.

What has been your biggest challenge during your career?

Balancing the development of my technical and content skills with getting more exposure to experiences such as presentation and client management skills. I was always very fearful of being “found out” for not knowing everything so I would try to learn everything before putting myself out there but I have found over the years that actually the ability to connect dots and structure the problem were almost more important. My tip would be to try and find safe spaces to practice presenting your ideas – either within internal team meetings or even just to take one segment within a larger presentation.

Which female role models are you most inspired by?

I studied physics at university, a field that has many female innovators hidden from mainstream history. While many will know that Marie Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903, fewer can name the other two women who subsequently won it: Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963 and Donna Strickland in 2018.

In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle for women at work and how can it be overcome?

Oliver Wyman research shows that while women begin their careers with ambitions equal to those of men, between the ages of 30–50 they become less willing than men to make sacrifices in their personal lives, and between 40 and 50 the proportion of women with ambitions to reach senior management drops below that for men.

To overcome this, businesses need to set an Executive Committee talent pipeline strategy. They need to develop bolder structural solutions by providing more flexible working options at all levels and finding ways to remove the stigma associated with using them. All genders should be encouraged to take parental leave and companies should have robust return-to-work programmes to support them back into the business. Address the promotion and pay gap, understanding that this is likely to be driven by invisible cultural factors.

Cultural change is also required: offices should endeavour to build an inclusive culture that a) recognises and promotes the value of diversity along all dimensions and b) is free from unconscious bias and therefore supports gender balance. This means putting practice ahead of theory, supporting men to support women and seeking enlightened leadership.

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

We’ve all heard about the statistic showing how competent women are getting bypassed by overconfident men. Men apply for a job when they meet only 60 per cent of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100 per cent of them. Clearly, this means we need to empower women to apply for more roles. Part of this is establishing and communicating a new approach to recruitment. For example, hiring managers should make it clearer that a job specification is more of a ‘wish list’ than a ‘check list’ and that the individual they want to hire can have a mix of these qualifications plus other valued skills and experiences.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

I would remind myself to say ‘no’ more. So much of the work we deliver for clients has a technology component, and I am frequently being asked to join project calls and steering groups. I now empower people to hold these meetings without me and ask for help when they need a fresh perspective or a second opinion on the way forwards.


SECURE YOUR SEAT

WeAreTechWomen logo featured


Technology Leadership featured

7 tips on being a technology leader: Bridge the skills gap to create diverse, high performing teams

Technology Leadership

Deborah O'Neill: Head of UK Digital and Partner at Oliver Wyman

This month marks my five-year anniversary of joining Oliver Wyman Digital, the business I now head up in the UK and Ireland.

When I think about career progression, mine has been like a level of Chucky Egg – there are long ladders, but also places to hop off and sidestep onto another route. In my case, this was moving from working exclusively with financial services companies for six years into helping businesses across all industries deliver technology transformations.

I started late in technology, but this has not hampered my move into such an exciting and growing sector. I’m now keen to show others – women, non-binary, BAME, LGBTQ+, or any combination of minorities - how they can develop into technology leadership positions.

Click here to read the full blog


Deborah will be speaking at our WeAreTechWomen Conference in London on 22nd November 2019. Our aim is to inspire attendees by delivering bitesize learning sessions for our audience. With the help of our amazing speakers and panellists, we will provide the opportunity for our delegates to learn about a broad range of technology topics as well as interact through panels, hands-on activities and workshops.

You can buy tickets for this event here.

 

 


Relaunch Programme | Oliver Wyman

Oliver-Wyman

Oliver Wyman has created a 15-week programme for returners, which is designed to help and support you re-join the workforce after taking a career break.

If you are thinking about returning to work in management consulting, Oliver Wyman would love to hear from you. You will be supported by a network of individuals, whilst working on interesting client-facing projects. Oliver Wyman is partnering with Women Returners to provide bespoke external coaching support. At the end of this programme they will mutually discuss the potential of a permanent position with you.

Who is Oliver Wyman looking for?

  • Experienced individuals looking to return to work after a career break, who have prior experience in management consulting
  • Highly collaborative people who are keen to be part of a supportive and growing business
  • Candidates with excellent communication skills and the ability to build effective relationships
  • The London office offers a wide range of sector opportunities and will be there to help you choose which one is right for you. They are particularly interested in candidates with previous consulting experience in sectors such as Financial Services, Digital & Technology, Energy & Resources, Transportation & Services or Consumer & Retail.

What’s in it for you?

  • You will have the opportunity to take ownership of your work, while focusing on interesting and stimulating projects
  • Access to a fantastic support network and tailored approach to help you return to work, including being assigned a mentor, buddy, team members and wider peer group
  • You will receive training from Oliver Wyman and participate in the Women Returners’ Career Returners Coaching Programme
  • Oliver Wyman anticipates that this is a full-time role, but are open to discuss more flexible ways of working
  • Lots of opportunity for networking, social events, and informal learning sessions in a dynamic and friendly organisation

Programme Information

Location: Oliver Wyman’s offices are based in Baker Street, London

Their clients are spread throughout the UK and Europe. Whilst every opportunity will be made for you to work on a London-based project, there may be a possibility of you being placed on an out-of-town project. Oliver Wyman will discuss with each individual their ability to be away from home, as they realise that this may be a significant change for some.

Remuneration: Oliver Wyman’s compensation is competitive with the UK market

About Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting, combining deep industry knowledge with specialised expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organisation transformation.

Oliver Wyman people carve out their own areas of expertise within their diverse, non-hierarchical partnership. They promote and build their firm’s culture in a way that encourages enjoyment at work and fundamentally value each other’s time and are sensitive to how it is used.

Oliver Wyman is proud to have been named one of The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for 2019, listed as one of Stonewall’s Top 100 LGBT+ Employers 2019 and was named as one of Working Families Top 30 Family Friendly Employers in 2018.  Oliver Wyman also has extensive and established networks across the business including Women in Oliver Wyman (WOW) and Family Life in Oliver Wyman (FLOW).

FIND OUT MORE AND APPLY


Louise Bradley | Oliver Wyman

I’ve always been a woman in STEM.

When I was 12 I auditioned for Newsround based on an article I wrote imagining the news reports around the first human cyborg!

When I was 18 I left home to study biological sciences at the University of Oxford, a highlight of which was getting access to a scanning electron microscope – it was an analogue machine from the 70s, but it was still the coolest bit of tech I’d ever used! (Tough luck, iPhone X!)

Moving into a creative field after my degree did not stop my tech ambitions:

• In my first role, at AS&K Mercury, I produced interactive video DVDs educating doctors on immunodeficiency diagnoses and treatments
• When I worked in the NHS Lewisham communications team I was responsible for the website and the staff intranet, often using html coding to root out bugs
• When I worked in the NHS Lewisham performance management team I created and maintained basic databases on healthcare KPIs
• One of my first roles at Oliver Wyman marketing was to refresh the CRM data for the Retail team’s business development efforts, and since then my role has been ever more digital.

I now lead on strategic and digital marketing for the UK market, representing on the Global digital marketing team and the Global social media team.

This means I create campaigns that are digitally-led and deliver campaigns built by other teams through Oliver Wyman’s digital channels.


Martyna Szumniak

Martyna Szumniak | Oliver Wyman

I was born in Poland and, at the age of 5, moved to Sweden where I grew up. In high school, I studied the International Baccalaureate, which is where my interest in technology started. As well as doing photography and recording and editing videos in my free time, I photographed for the student union and was responsible for social media for our drama and music club. Additionally, I wrote my final assessment on the history of McDonalds advertising and the shift to digital media in the advertising industry.

After graduating with a score of 37/45, 9 points above world average, I started my studies at King’s College London, studying a BA in Digital Culture - a course exploring technological development and its impact on economics, politics, social relations and personal life. Through my course, I have researched and written about topics such as the history of mobile networks, digital globalisation and digital economy and am in the process of becoming a subject ambassador
Since February 2018 been interning at a global management consultancy, working for their marketing department with a specific focus on digital marketing. I have built social media campaigns, webpages and written social media guides as well as created templates for social cards, advised on current social media trends and been an overall support for the team.

In my free time, I have for 4 years been involved in the European Youth Parliament, where I spent 2 years as a board member responsible for PR and Marketing for the southern region, and have attended multiple sessions as a media team member working on creating and coordinating creative output using the adobe suite and promoting the sessions using Facebook and Instagram as well as blogs and websites.