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Lucy Plenderleith

news published date 29 May 2019
  • Our Stories

Lucy is one of EY’s Senior Consultants in the Financial Services Technology practice, primarily serving Capital Markets clients on their Technology change agenda. Lucy was awarded the EY Global Capital Markets Rising Star Award in 2018 for her contribution to the practice and her client service. Being one of the youngest Consultants to sell and deliver a Programme, Lucy consistently demonstrates her commitment to the gender agenda, with a focus on technology.

Outside of Lucy’s client work, her key achievements have been building out the Women in Technology Network, leading an inspiration event series which aims to provide women with an open forum to discuss topics such as “how to be a good manager”, and questioning leadership on decisions relating to gender in Financial Services and Technology, to make progress towards gender parity.

Lucy has been shortlisted for our Tech Star Award. 

How does it feel to be nominated for our Tech Star Award?

To be completely honest – it feels like a bit of a dream or that potentially the judges mixed my nomination up with another – the classic “imposter syndrome” that so many women suffer from. But now that I’ve had a month to absorb it all it really is such an honour. To be nominated just 3 years into my career, in a category with such high achieving women in technology makes me very proud.

You have a leading role in EY’s Women in Technology (WiT) network, can you tell us a bit more about what that entails?

My role in EY’s Women in Technology network actually begun when I undertook a 6 week internship before my final year at university. The network had just started and was hosting 50 female clients at a private viewing at the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the V&A – I blagged my way in by offering to make name badges for everyone!

When I returned to EY as a graduate in 2016 I reconnected with the network. Since my internship within 2 years the network had grown significantly and had built a number of different “pillars” – from client events, internal workshops, mentoring programmes and much more. There were some fantastic initiatives but nothing formally pulling the pillars together into a single, cohesive and powerful strategy. So that’s where I really got involved! I built a structure for the network to operate in and formulated the strategy and mission statement so we were all striving for a common goal.

Since then, the network has blossomed even further and its impact really is significant. I’m very proud of my role in bringing it together!

What inspired you to champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Without sounding too cheesy – my Mother. I’m lucky that I had a high performing female technology executive as my Mum, so from a young age she was my role model. She started work at IBM in the 1980s, so you can imagine how male dominated the firm and industry was. She worked for 30 years to change that both commercially, and from her “side of desk roles”. She was the UK I&D Champion for a number of years – so you could say it’s in my blood!

I feel passionately that I&D is not just about gender – but any difference or disadvantage that one could experience, from race, ethnicity, disability and many more. It’s important that we don’t box ourselves off to what we experience, but think about I&D in a much broader sense.

Why do you think gendered awards are still so important?

Because we are still a long way from achieving equality – it’s as simple as that. There are arguments that by acknowledging gender inequality too strongly – or any other type of I&D inequality, we’re only giving it more air-time. But I strongly believe that to redress that gap we have to acknowledge it and engage both men and women in closing it. We also need to champion those who really are going above and beyond for the cause – awards are a fantastic way to do this.

What is your favourite tech book/podcast and why?

I am an avid reader and podcast listener – a business related podcast I am really enjoying is “Conversations of Inspiration”, hosted by Holly Tucker, founder of Notonthehighstreet. Holly interviews entrepreneurs and founders to hear the highs and lows while building their businesses. This includes lots of inspiring female founders – so I’d absolutely recommend!

What or who makes you laugh?

Any kind of dog-fail video on youtube – my friends, family and boyfriend!