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Cheryl Kennedy

I just fell in love with computers.

I’ve worked in technology for 10 years now and I’m fascinated about the impact it has on people lives. When I was younger my world was entirely online and I even built my own computer. Digital was, and still is, my passion. So when I stepped onto the career ladder, I was determined to head in the direction of digital. 

Innovation is the foundation of the Design and Digital office.

Simply put, our mission is to deliver a step change in Barclaycard’s digital capabilities. With the customer in our mind’s eye and collaboration at our heart, we look at how to deliver the best digital experience for our clients. I’ve been in my role for over three years, and I concentrate on digital process improvement, management information delivery and communications across the team.

Chi Eun Lee in her office
When I was younger my world was entirely online and I even built my own computer. Digital was, and still is, my passion.

A lot of people think IT is all geekiness, but they’re wrong. It’s not just about understanding how technology works – it’s working out how to translate technology into a service that’s going to benefit customers and drive value for the business. It’s about having the ability to be creative. My team has that ability, and they’re fast, forward-thinking and inventive.

Technology is a growing sector. From an economic point of view, we need more people to choose a career in technology to match the growth it’s experiencing. There’s still a huge amount of untapped talent waiting to be harnessed, especially among young women. 

Chi Eun Lee at desk

There aren’t enough women in technology, and that’s definitely not for lack of talent.

There’s appetite there – we just need to feed their interest. And that’s exactly what the Girls in IT initiative does. We want to inspire schoolgirls to open their minds to opportunities in technology. Girls in IT involves our female technology colleagues going into schools and talking to girls aged 11 to 14 about the attraction of technology in higher education or even as a career. The initiative is all about enabling our colleagues to act as role models. Together, we can encourage young girls to see through the complexities of technology and get the bigger picture – the prospect of innovation, the creation of processes that inspire a new way of thinking, and the ability to carve a future for generations to come.

At Barclaycard, we’ve already begun to pave the way.

Women account for almost 30% of our technology workforce, and they can all make a change. In fact a lot of them already have. It’s been really eye opening to see the number of colleagues who’ve volunteered their time for training, reached out to their local schools and presented themselves and their success stories to the girls there. With the materials we’ve provided, the intranet site we developed and our approach to peer training, we’ve created a self-sustaining model that truly allows us to inspire thousands of schoolgirls to consider a future in technology.

And to us, that future is already looking bright.