Joanna Crew

In this ongoing series, we speak to our winners about life after winning a TechWomen100 Award.

Now in their third year, the TechWomen100 Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of women in tech – the emerging tech talent and role models for the future.

We spoke with Joanna Crew, who won a TechWomen100 Award in 2018.

Joanna has not taken a traditional route into Technology – however her keen problem-solving skills, impatience for change and passion for intellectual challenge have proven a great match for the obstacles facing Technology Project and Programme Managers today.

After gaining her Bachelors degree in Russian and Politics from Durham University, Joanna joined the Barclays Operations Graduate Scheme in 2012 and was promoted to VP after 4 and a half years. During this time Joanna has honed her project and programme management skills, including as a Regulatory Relations Business Partner and a HR Chief of Staff, joining the Technology Strategic and Regulatory Change Team in 2016. This breadth of knowledge has proven invaluable in her subsequent roles and allowed expansion of Joanna’s network beyond her immediate remit, tackling challenges with a different perspective and drive for custom-focused solutions.

In the last two years Joanna has delivered a programme of work to transform the way the Change Team operate, continuing this work in a voluntary capacity as a representative of the engagement forum to ensure colleague development opportunities. Since 2017, Joanna has been working to deliver Technology change for the Clearing business, was appointed to manage their Brexit Technology Programme and is currently focusing on streamlining KYC and Client Onboarding.

A passionate advocate for gender equality for many years, Joanna is the Co-Chair for the Develop & Promote Committee of the Barclays gender network and often sits on panels for internal and external events. Particularly within Technology, she mobilised her senior management team’s input into the International Women’s Day 2018 Campaign, and has been a champion for identification and management of female talent. Last year she also designed, coordinated and delivered a digital skills training day for a Barclays Pensioners Committee, giving them the tools to engage their 400 members through the free online training opportunities available.

Joanna has raised over £32,000 for The Prince’s Trust, WildHearts, Mind and other smaller charities through organising black-tie galas, entrepreneurial competitions, running half marathons and cycling from London to Paris. She has also worked with The Girls Network to design and establish Advisory Boards for mentoring schemes in Manchester and Birmingham.

How did you feel when it was announced that you’d won a TechWomen100 award?

It felt fantastic – especially finding out on a Monday morning, it definitely set me up for the week! It was really exciting and humbling to be named in the TechWomen100 – particularly given the standard of the other shortlisted nominees! It can be easy not to pause and reflect on your achievements, especially when you are focused on hard work and delivery, but this whole experience has been a great chance for me to do just that. It’s also a testament to the support and opportunities I’ve been given by colleagues at Barclays since I joined in 2012.

Please tell us what has happened in your career since winning the TechWomen100 award?

My manager was really good at championing my win within my business area, and the our diversity networks ran intranet articles on all the Barclays winners as well – I even had someone stop and congratulate me at an internal event as they recognised my name! It’s also been a great conversation starting point for my career development with my manager, and we’re focussing on key push areas for me to take my career to the next level. On top of that, I’ve also now been shortlisted for the WIBF Young Professional Award so winning a TechWomen100 Award has been a fantastic springboard to expand my personal brand.

Paying it forward is really important to me and I’m a big believer in ‘we’ over ‘me’. To that end, I have created a database of awards across aimed at women in Financial Services and Technology as well as a proposal for how my management team can utilise this in their talent process – this has been shared with the D&I sponsors at ExCo level to ensure we push these opportunities across the organisation. So far this year I have personally nominated eight brilliant women (and men!) across 3 different awards, as well as helping several of them with their nomination entries – at current count 3 of them have won, so watch this space for more success stories!

What advice would you give to someone else going through the award’s process?

Don’t be afraid to talk about the great things you have achieved – and don’t underestimate the impact of those achievements, even if you don’t think they’re that impressive. Self-promotion can feel really awkward but the more you practice it, the better you will get. And you absolutely should be telling people that you’ve been nominated, or shortlisted for an award, because you will be amazed at the amount of support you get back and you may also inspire someone else to achieve their goals too, especially for women in under-represented industries like Finance and Technology.

What tips would you give to our other members to enhance their careers?

Find your tribe! Yes it’s a bit of a millennial buzz phrase but in all seriousness, find those in your peer group who challenge you and encourage you to be better and try to do the same for them – in particular, make sure you seek out those who are different to you. Share experiences and champion one another, instead of focusing only on yourself. Not only will you find this really rewarding, but you will find that with several other people doing the same for you that your network expands faster than you could manage on your own, and opportunities that you hadn’t heard about are suddenly within your reach. It also means that you build yourself a strong group of go-to people who know you and who have your back.