Gemma pioneered the use of Open Source technology to monitor both hardware and software enterprise wide at Credit Suisse. She worked with her team to develop a strategy combining Open Source and vendor software to position Credit Suisse at the forefront of monitoring capability with reduced running costs and increased efficiency and automation. Gemma is a regular speaker at industry conferences on AI innovation in monitoring, leads the EMEA technical graduate recruitment program and works tirelessly to promote gender diversity in STEM.
Gemma has been shortlisted for the WIBF Tech Star Award.
How does it feel to be shortlisted for the WIBF Tech Star Award?
I am really honoured and happy to have been shortlisted for a WIBF Tech Star Award. I had recently returned from my third maternity leave and was in the midst of the confidence drop that I’ve felt each time I’ve returned after an extended break. It is a mix of exhilaration at being able to use my brain in a different way again but with a niggling self-doubt that I may no longer add as much value and am behind on tech trends etc. Being nominated, however, felt absolutely fantastic and has helped to reassure me that I am good at what I do.
Can you tell us about your current job role?
Currently I work in the Strategy and Architecture function within Enterprise Technology. My role involves strategic thinking around Resource Monitoring, Event Management and Performance Management and the associated Automation and Orchestration tooling. I work with engineers and architects to set strategy and then ensure its implementation via in house engineering, external product management and customer adoption. My role is equal parts technical and cultural which I find fascinating and stimulating and I’m always grateful for the opportunity to work with cutting edge software.
What developments in tech and AI do you think will be benefiting the finance sector in the next ten years?
I think it’s going to be all about AI and machine learning capabilities helping us to draw more meaningful and actionable insights from the proliferation of data sources we are able to collect relating to every aspect of the financial services industry. Automation will then enable us to act on these insights with great efficiency.
You are involved with ‘Women Connect’, what does that entail?
I have had the pleasure of being involved with ‘Women Connect’ from its inception 3 years ago and it really does what it says on the tin. I have been able to connect with senior women at Credit Suisse far beyond my own departmental reach and have benefited from informal mentoring, sharing ideas and sometimes just pure moral support. We meet bi-weekly in smallish groups to discuss and act on hot topics surrounding diversity in the work place and career progression. We also organise larger scale events and have paid forward what we’ve gained by running some sessions for more junior high potential females at Credit Suisse.
What measures do you think companies should be taking to improve gender diversity in STEM?
Two key measures spring to mind for me:
1) Working with schools and universities to champion and inspire diversity in STEM subjects from a younger age, increasing the pipeline of diverse candidates.
2) Roll out unconscious bias training to all employees to encourage employees to check their instinctive perceptions and avoid perpetuating diversity challenges in STEM by hiring with affinity bias ‘in their own image’
What do you enjoy doing when not at work?
I have three little boys aged 7, 5 and 18 months so when I am not working spending time with them is my favourite thing to do. When I’m not running after them, I like to exercise (I’m actually quite a keen runner) and then maybe curl up with a glass of good wine and a book (I studied English literature at University).