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Meet the Game Changers: The Inspirational Women Behind our New Banking App

Tech Inclusion

Meet the Game Changers: The Inspirational Women Behind our New Banking App

Celebrating the inspirational women here at Nationwide, we spoke to Jen and Cheryl from our tech team who were heavily involved in the roll-out of our new banking app. They shared with us the part they played and how Nationwide has supported their careers as Women in Tech! 

Please introduce yourself.

Jen: Hi, I’m Jen and I'm a Delivery Manager in Nationwide's Digital team, working on our digital channels including the Banking App and Internet Bank.

Cheryl: Hi, I’m Cheryl and I’ve been at Nationwide for 8 years, working as a Project Manager for Digital transformation projects like Strong Customer Authentication and most recently for the Digital Resilience Enablement (Infrastructure) team.

What do you do?

Jen: I focus on project management and business change to ensure our customers and colleagues are ready and able to use the new features we deliver. I joined Nationwide eight years ago having started my career in management consulting. Outside of work, I’m married and have two young sons who keep me very busy. I am passionate about driving change and innovation in the digital space, and I am excited to be a part of the team launching our new banking app. It has been a challenging but rewarding experience, and I am proud of the impact it will have on our customers. I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Cheryl and the rest of the team to bring this project to life.

Cheryl: My background is in scientific research and development, but not in IT!  I remain curious about innovation, and I love delivering things that make customers’ lives better. Working in infrastructure might seem contrary to this, as the outcome should not be visible to the customer. Our purpose is to keep the Digital channels, like the Banking App and the Internet Bank, running reliably and securely, whilst new features are introduced and the demand increases. We are the Digital Ninjas!  

What excites you the most about being part of the team behind our new banking app?

Jen: I have absolutely loved working with the team on the common goal of delivering a great app to our customers. Our customers are at the heart of all our decision making and it makes me proud to work for Nationwide.  We also celebrate each other’s successes and champion each other to push for better. It's also incredibly exciting to be at the forefront of innovation in the banking industry and to be able to make a positive impact on the way our customers manage their finances. The opportunity to work with such a talented and dedicated team has been truly inspiring, and I am thrilled to see the positive impact our new app will have on our customers' lives.

Cheryl: Even a small improvement to our banking app impacts millions of customers. The most exciting moment is when it’s released to the public and your friends start to use it.

What skills or expertise did you bring to the table during the development of our new banking app and what did you learn?

Jen: I brought my expertise in project management, specifically in the area of stakeholder management and communication. I learned the importance of clear and transparent communication throughout the entire process, ensuring that all stakeholders were informed and involved in the decision-making process. I also brought empathy and understanding - when it comes to implementing such a significant change for our customers and colleagues. It's important to anticipate their needs and concerns and provide the necessary support and resources to help them transition smoothly. I love problem-solving and thinking of creative solutions to issues and both were critical when thinking about how we would roll out the new banking app to our 6 million digitally active app users. Overall, I believe my skills and expertise, combined with the valuable lessons learned, were instrumental in the successful launch of our new banking app.

Cheryl: As a project manager, I use my skills and expertise to make sure the team has everything they need to get the job done. This may mean dealing with other competing tasks so they can prioritise building the infrastructure for the new app. I help with the flow of information to and from my team with the teams building the application so that our timings are aligned, and nothing falls between the gaps.

How has Nationwide supported you as a Women in Tech?

Jen: I think Nationwide are an amazing example as we genuinely celebrate diversity. Within the digital team, we make better decisions and develop better solutions for our customers when our teams represent the diversity of our customers. I have always felt so supported as a woman and a working mum and have been given opportunities to grow and develop in my career. I believe that the banking industry can better support and promote diversity and inclusion by actively seeking out diverse talent, creating a culture of inclusion and belonging, and providing equal opportunities for career advancement. It's important for the industry to recognise the value of diverse perspectives and experiences in driving innovation and better-serving customers. By fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce, the banking industry can better understand and meet the needs of all customers, ultimately leading to better outcomes for customers.

Cheryl: I joined Nationwide from a chemical/ pharmaceutical background where I was sometimes the only woman and at best in the minority. In one case there was not even a women’s/ unisex toilet – I had to get one installed! Protective clothing was often only in men’s sizes and equipment and materials were too big and heavy for me to operate or lift. So, for me, joining and working for Nationwide was much easier.
In terms of what Nationwide do to support women, firstly I would say flexible working is the most beneficial. There are also provisions available for everyone for emergency dependents leave, carers, families etc that are really helpful for dealing with the ups and downs of life.
I had the opportunity to attend Women in Project Management and IT events and having seen my colleagues win awards like the Women in Tech Excellence award, I feel that Nationwide really does support and value the contribution of women to the organisation. This is also reinforced by having a woman as CEO and a good representation of women across the whole organisation in a variety of roles.

Whether you're just starting out, or looking to change the direction of your career, our purpose-built Early Careers programmes give you the skills, knowledge and supporting network to set you up for your whole career, not just the start of it. Find out more here.