Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith | BNY Mellon

Rebecca Smith

Born, raised and living in Lancashire – Rebecca graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a Sports degree and fell into financial services by accident but discovered a desire to improve processes and streamlining.

Rebecca started her career in financial services in 2003 working for Sesame, a network firm of independent financial advisors. Within the firm she worked her way up the ranks from processing and investigations clerk to Finance Manager obtaining her Chartered Management Institute certificate and AAT qualification along the way.

In 2008, Rebecca was placed in the Treasury Department at the Bank of New York as Reconciliations section manager. Rebecca’s finance and reconciliation background stood her in good stead for the management of a reconciliation remediation project. Shortly into her role she took charge of the Reporting team and then up until 2012 managed various FX Operations teams. In 2012, she was promoted to FX Processing Group Manager responsible for the FX Processing and Confirmation teams. During this time Rebecca achieved her Prince2 qualification.

Upon returning from two close periods of maternity leave in 2015, Rebecca managed the Control function incorporating the investigations, reporting and analytics groups before becoming Business Admin Manage in early 2016 which represented a move away from people management into an individual contributor role. The role requires a solid understanding and background in the technical aspects of the FX Operation and strong organisational skills. The role was rebranded as Operational CAO in 2018 responsible for aiding the smooth running of the department by owning much of the governance processes such as audits, compliance reviews, management oversight metrics and reports. She handled the department’s recruiting process as well as being the central point for ad hoc corporate wide initiatives and programmes.

In January 2019, Rebecca moved into a CAO role in the Legal division supporting the EMEA Legal team.


Cressida Stewart

Cressida Stewart | Cherry London

Cressida Stewart

Having completed an MSc in psychology, I became eager to learn more about the female psyche and the rise in anxiety and mental distress for women in modern society.

I undertook in-depth study into the relationship young women have with social media, especially Instagram, and how it is the cause of huge psychological distress.

My interest in women in society took me to Grace Belgravia, a health and well-being club , where I helped build unique member programmes to support the mental state of women who felt pressures from society. I did this alongside the psychologist of the British fashion council, and devised a programme catering to the needs of those who suffered a ‘Superwoman syndrome’. We designed and provided the tools to combat this distress for women who were mentally struggling.

My journey in psychology took me to a Behavioural Insights agency where I worked on a London council campaign that acted to change the attitude of those living in the area to live a healthier lifestyle.
I then went into brand partnerships, fascinated by the relationship between brands and their customers.

Working at Cherry London has been an empowering and rewarding experience. I have helped build The WealthiHer Network, an initiative created by women, for women. It is a movement which aims to revolutionise the perception of women in the financial sector and to exact positive change, for the benefit of all.


Noemie Djossou

Noemie Djossou | HSBC

Noemie Djossou

Having recently completed the RBWM Graduate Programme, I secured my first permanent role with HSBC as Project and Governance Manager within Retail Credit Risk.

The Programme prepared me with a breadth of experience, from customer experience and people management, to strategy analytics and finally, as Diversity and Inclusion Manager within the UK bank.

Following an early career within healthcare, the programme proved a challenging next step, but ultimately served as a springboard for my career.

Passionate about Inclusion, I’ve launched a number of initiatives connecting employee resource groups to our people, providing a platform for unheard voices and development in the under-represented.


Mwange Malawo

Mwange Malawo | HSBC

Mwange Malawo

Upon completion of my undergraduate degree in International Relations and Politics I joined HSBC as Personal Banker, where I worked for two years on the front line serving clients and providing them with a range of services.

Working in the branch gave me a great foundational knowledge of the banking industry to which I was then promoted to a Risk Analyst position within HSBC's commercial banking division. After a year in this role I was promoted to my current role as a CDD Compliance Manager which I'm currently enjoying.

Alongside my role I am also HSBC's Communications Lead for Embrace UK which is an affinity group who focus on supporting the bank to celebrate diversity whilst providing personal development support to all colleagues, particularly those from a BAME background.

Enjoying my career at HSBC by appreciating first hand how supportive the organisation is has also led me to be a mentor for front line staff that also want to progress their careers.


Christine Ondimu

Christine Ondimu | HSBC

Christine Ondimu

Christine Ondimu is a volunteer mentor, striving to live a purposeful life to inspire kindness and to lead by example.

Christine is a Compliance Governance and Standards Manager at HSBC.

Christine has lived and worked for HSBC in four (4) countries – United States of America, South Africa, Kenya and now United Kingdom.

In her 11 year career at HSBC, Christine has been actively championed Diversity through the HSBC USA African Heritage Committee, Mentor at Sizanani mentoring program in Johannesburg South Africa and HSBC EMBRACE UK in London.

As Community Engagement Lead at HSBC EMBRACE UK she has created a strong partnership with charities like the Princes Trust Mosaic mentoring programs, HESTIA and Wildfowl Wetlands Trust and DWP mentoring Circles where HSBC EMBRACE members regularly volunteer.

Additionally Christine has spoken to students at London universities and schools on the importance of Diversity in an organisation.

Christine lives in Kent, with her two children, 17 and 7.

In addition to running the 2018 London Half Marathon and raising funds for the British Red Cross, her extracurricular activities include writing, baking, hiking and gymnasium


Clodagh McCullagh

Clodagh McCullagh | Barclays

Clodagh McCullagh

Clodagh joined Barclays in 2015 on the Markets graduate programme, in the Client Strategy team.

Clodagh has set high standards for her work and has led the client strategy and analytics support for several key areas of the Macro business, including the UK Rates franchise, the Global Rates Options business and our EM franchise. She has taken the lead in training and managing several graduates in the global team.

As well as driving the client strategy for these key businesses, Clodagh has taken a leading role in developing critical IT, MI & CRM tools for the business, has assisted with Barclays graduate recruitment efforts and also received her Professional Risk Manager designation and completed Level 1 CFA.

Clodagh has been actively involved in Barclays’ diversity agenda and community projects, specifically with the younger generation:

  • Co-chair of the Win Enable and Engage committee which seeks to inspire and innovate in gender equality, personal development and talent pipeline areas
  • Leads the Spotlight workstream which brings a wide variety of speakers, both internal and external, to Barclays colleagues on a range of subjects including communication, resilience, and diversity. Hosting 12 events a year with roughly 800 colleagues attending the events annually. Through which she was nominated for Diversity Network Member of the Year 2019
  • Led the work with London Youth - City Leaders to arrange mentors for a variety of community groups across London. The goal was for the young people to pitch for funds to finance an idea that would help their community
  • Partnered with Leaders in Community to help young people with their employability skills. Arranging numerous LifeSkills sessions on communication, job applications, and networking and hosted two of them alongside other volunteers
  • Volunteered and hosted various LifeSkills sessions for young people in the community including workshops on CVs, interview skills and networking

Preeti Chaudhary

Preeti Chaudhary | AIB UK

Preeti Chaudhary

Preeti is the Head of Lean at Allied Irish Bank (AIB UK), and is focused on delivering transformational change with long last impact.

In a short time at AIB UK, Preeti that has already delivered tangible benefits contributing to the bank’s growth and overall customer experience improvement. Her passion and drive for making a difference to AIB UK is infectious and we are seeing hearts and minds being changed as a result of Preeti’s approach.

Prior to her current role, she held various roles at RBS within ‘lean’ or with a coaching or people development focus, including Lean Academy Manager, Learning and Development Manager and Transformation Approach Manager. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to sustainable behaviour and culture change. She has, and continues, to put herself in the shoes of customers to drive efficiency and effectiveness.

Preeti has grown her current team from the bottom-up, having identified and nurtured talent within and beyond the organisation. She is regarded as an inspirational role model by her colleagues, and a future leader for transformation and culture change within Financial Services.


Ericka FitzGerald

Ericka FitzGerald | MUFG

Ericka FitzGerald

After working as an ESL teacher for nearly 10 years for large corporates and a university in Brazil, I decided to challenge myself by applying for a sales role at Bloomberg following the advice of a Head of HR who happened to be one of my students at that time.

In a couple of years I became the top sales person for LATAM and decided to move to the UK where my family was based. I then joined Barclays as an eFX sales person and later MUFG. I got married, had two boys who are now 7 and 3 years-old, and, besides my role as a Vice President on the eFX Trading desk, I am the founding co-chair of Family Matters, one of MUFG’s Employee Networks founded in 2016.

I also lead the MUFG's mother’s forum, where I support new mothers coming back from maternity leave. This has significantly contributed to MUFG’s ability to support and retain women. As I work 4 days a week, I have been a role model for many others (men and women), who I mentor, to support them in finding balance in their day-to-day lives and careers.

After my first child was born I suffered from PTSD and know how hard it is to cope with mental health, a stressful job whilst being a mum and a wife at the same time. This made me passionate about creating networks and helping others especially at work where people usually suffer in silence. I regularly sit on panels to share my experiences as a working mum on a part-time arrangement and also about mental health. I have done Reiki and Healing courses and am an active fundraiser for Deep Sea Rainbows, a charity supporting young kids and teenagers in Kenya.


Jemma Waters

Jemma Waters | Lloyds Banking Group

Jemma Waters

Jemma leads the Insight, Policy and External Relations team within Lloyds Banking Group’s Responsible Transformation function. Using data analysis and mixed research methods she drives data-led strategies for responsible business and produces actionable insights for partners across the UK including charities, industry and government. This has made a real difference to the provision of digital skills in the country, and is widely recognised as a leading piece of annual insight by government and the other partners that use the data.

Jemma also leads external engagement for Group Transformation division, telling the story of Digital Inclusion, Responsible Transformation, and Diversity externally; all with the aim of Helping Britain Prosper. In this capacity she has worked to forge new relationships with corporates, policymakers, start-ups and small businesses. She has also shaped new propositions such as the Lloyds Bank Academy – a free skills academy aimed at helping everyone in the UK to get the skills they need to succeed - and #DiversitybyDefault – a series of events and papers seeking to spark new debate around the topic of Diversity. The next event will be on May 30th and will focus on suicide prevention and how corporates and policymakers can work together to help.

Prior to Lloyds Banking Group, Jemma worked at Accenture Interactive and dunnhumby, using data with human-centred design thinking to develop and deliver customer propositions and insights for a range of clients including Sky, Tesco, Channel 4 and leading FMCGs.


Milly Green

Milly Green | MUFG

Milly Green

Being part of a small intake of students studying Japanese at Oxford, a career in banking wasn't really the standard choice among my peers - most wanted to translate manga or find a creative role overseas.

However, my interest had been sparked by a schools programme at JP Morgan when I was 17 and from there I took part in a range of insight days through which a career in Banking increasingly felt like a good fit for me. I liked how the people I met seemed smart and driven, while still being friendly and approachable, and wanted to be a part of that environment.

I first learned the ropes as a Market Risk intern at MUFG Securities in 2015. There were loads of opportunities to meet people from all over the firm, and a number of the people I met at this time have gone on to be an immense support for me in my career ever since. I have now been working at MUFG for nearly 3 years in Enterprise Risk Management. My day to day role is really varied, involving areas such model backtesting, EUC design, risk appetite monitoring and recovery planning. I really like the combination of quantitative and qualitative skills my role involves, and how I get a lot more exposure to the key issues considered by the bank's management than I would have expected at such an early stage in my career.