Declan O’Gorman, Head of Enterprise Engineering at NatWest, here speaks about his drive to recognise the importance of diverse experiences, ideas and approaches.
I've always been fascinated by how things work. During my childhood this often involved me taking things apart to see how they worked followed by an attempt (rarely successful) at putting them back together again. At an early age this led to a natural fascination with computers and technology, the ability to immerse in a world of your own making and reshape the tools in front of you to meet your needs.
My interests quickly led to a Computer Science university degree at Warwick, where the amount of work still to be done to provide an inclusive cohort and access to a range of ideas from across society became apparent. From that experience I joined an investment bank in London as a developer on their graduate scheme, supporting key commodities trading systems with an incredible female boss and mentor, who to this day has shaped the value I feel diverse and inclusive organisations benefit from.
I have had the privilege of being able to turn that interest and passion in technology into a career where I can explore numerous topics including high performance grid compute, complex derivatives pricing, big data processing, customer identity / security, relationship management, open source and blockchain. Even more, I've been able to centre and support that in an organisation incredibly driven towards purpose, and understand the opportunity those creative tools provide us to support and improve our customers' and communities' financial wellbeing in a society where too many live without a savings cushion, or are uncomfortable with key financial products like mortgages or investments. Today I lead a team of hundreds of engineers and a community of ~10,000 across NatWest to deliver on that potential, and to invest in and excite others to join the journey we're on to create new experiences to help millions across the UK and beyond.
It's part of that overall mission, to deliver the best creative solutions to meet the critically important needs of individuals and communities, that drives me to continue to recognise the critical importance of diverse experiences, ideas and approaches. I'm incredibly proud to work for an organisation that this year won Diverse Company of the Year at the National Diversity Awards; to co-sponsor the Natwest Tech Gender Balanced group and Women in Technology Employee Led Network; to sponsor our TechTalentCharter commitments; to sit in the steering group of the amazing TechSheCan charity bringing new role models, education and insight to school-aged children; and to have joined the Business In The Community Gender Balanced Leadership Team amongst others.
I'm acutely aware of the potential technology has to shape the lives and experiences, social interactions, financial and mental wellbeing and am incredibly excited about the journey we're on together.