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Charlotte Smyth - Technology

“I work on projects that test my mettle – and I’ve flourished in countless ways.”

Put simply, I make sure the right people have access to the right things. It’s about preventing internal fraud – and protecting the customer. For example, we have a mortgage lending tool that uses customer data to determine whether the bank will provide them with a mortgage. It’s up to us to ensure only those with the right permissions can use this tool and access customer data.

A lot of what I do is problem solving. We run reports every day that flag any issues and then we dig a bit deeper to figure out how to fix them. It involves a lot of collaboration: we need to decide what access people need to do their job seamlessly, without compromising on the security of our controls. So I’m constantly talking to colleagues around the bank, helping establish what they need to get on with their work.

I come from a technology background: I studied Computer Science at the University of Oxford and previously worked as a consultant in Robotic Process Automation. But I quickly realised that I wanted to be part of something bigger, where I wasn’t boxed, with training that took me beyond my technology skillset. Now, I get to work in the Technology team but in a predominantly non-technical role.

When I first joined, while I was mostly a confident person, I would sometimes retreat into my shell – especially around senior managers. I had a must-please-everyone attitude. But in my role, sometimes we need to have tough conversations in high-pressure situations. I’ve learned that I can’t tip-toe around things, and I’m so much more confident in my role because of it. So even though I work on projects that test my mettle, I’ve flourished in countless ways.

What’s great is my manager trusts me to balance my workload so I can dedicate time to doing things I’m passionate about – whether that’s helping organise an International Women’s Day event, running coding sessions for kids or raising money for charity. Something that’ll always stick with me was when I dressed up as the Easter bunny, selling chocolates in our Canary Wharf office. It was so much fun, if horrendously hot, and we ended up raising around £1600 for the Wild Hearts Foundation.

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