Kapila Dayal, Software Engineer for Credit Risk Analytics in NatWest Group, is a finalist in Woman of the Year – Financial Services at the Women in Technology Excellence Awards.
Here, Kapila talks about her experiences in tech and what brought her to NatWest.
I live in Dundee and am office-based in Gogarburn, Edinburgh. I joined NatWest in 2015, and currently lead the import projects as an interim release train manager for the Strategic Account Opening MI, Mortgage Toolkits and Climate Change projects. I'm accountable for the delivery of data and new MI capability on the Amazon Web Services cloud platform to our business stakeholders and users to provide better support to our customers, whilst enabling the bank's systems to be decommissioned. A customer focused achievement in the last 12 months has been leading the data modelling work for the bank's upgraded Debt Manager system on AWS.
I'm part of the Talent Academy Cohort 2021 and volunteer in the Realignment, Upskilling and Training Workstream in the Finance, Risk, Audit and Legal domain, aiming to champion the potential of our people sharing learning paths for specific job family roles. I mentor three female colleagues in technology to help them to thrive in their role.
Growing up, I really enjoyed science and ended up taking STEM subjects at school. When I finished, I attended a career fair and was keen to join the new and booming technology industry. I gained a bachelor's degree in Computer Science at the University of Pune in India, and started my career as a software engineer working offshore with the Ceridian United States Department. In 2007, I left as a team leader of 20 developers to emigrate to the UK where finding a job, with a degree from outside the UK and no UK working experience, was challenging. To overcome this, I worked in retail as an assistant manager while upskilling on a part-time two-year MSc in business intelligence from the University of Dundee. Being a technology enthusiast and staying true to my passion, I was able to return to technology with my first role in the UK as a business intelligence analyst with NatWest Group.
I'm inspired by the first female programmers like Ada Lovelace, who designed the first algorithm to be executed by a computer, and Grace Hopper, who designed the first compiler for a programming language. I'm also inspired by scientists and entrepreneurs who have changed our daily lives in a positive way. At NatWest, I'm inspired by our CEO, our senior leaders, my line manager and my mentor for their leadership skills. I continue to inspire women in technology at NatWest and beyond, positively impacting the lives of more females considering a career in or returning to tech.
I was born in the tropical island of Mauritius, the lost land of the dodo. I'm fluent in three languages - English, French and Creole - and I'm a member of both the Dundee Photographic Society and the Tayside & Fife Fungi Group - British Mycological Society. I love travelling and adventures - I've walked with lions, been on the Wien hot rod tour and dined at one of the world's ten most unusual restaurants (dining in the sky - 150ft in the air, suspended from a crane).