How can businesses build a skilled and diverse STEM workforce, and break through industry stereotypes within the world of tech? Lloyds Banking Group has made this a big focus, investing £4 billion in people, tech and data over the next three years.
The company has invested in a huge range of tech talent programmes and graduate schemes, reflecting their desire to shape finance as a force for good, and ‘grow with purpose’.
“We have more than 26 million customers, and one of the richest data sets probably in the world,” says Ranil Boteju, Group Chief Data & Analytics Officer at Lloyds Banking Group.
“With hundreds of branches, multiple brands, a career in tech and data at Lloyds Banking Group means you have scale, you have data, you have funding, you have access to some of the smartest people in the world; you have access to all of the tools you ever want to use.”
At the Lloyds Banking Group building in Bristol, they’re also creating a setting that inspires innovation. It no longer feels like a classic banking environment, but “more of a start-up”, according to Ilias Alexopoulos, an Engineering Lead. “There’s a shift in the culture, making it easier to foster innovation […] and making it easier for people to try out different things.”
That culture extends to bringing people in that don’t necessarily have tech expertise.
Finley Bird is a software engineer and joined Lloyds Banking Group through the graduate scheme after completing a psychology degree.
“They’re looking to just help you, regardless of where you are on your journey,” Finley explains. “For example, they took us on a boot camp at the start and that just upskilled people who had no experience and also developed those who did have a decent foundation already. They help a lot with you as an individual.”
“It’s very much open for all colleagues in general, but there’s also a lot they tailor towards graduates — such as the ‘influencing with confidence’ scheme, resilience. They do insight related courses to help you understand how you learn and can communicate with others.
“It shows a lot to me that they were willing to invest in you as a person, because these are qualities that will help you in your role whilst you’re here, but that are also transferable to the rest of your life. It’s very evident that they’re investing a huge amount in new talent.”
Breaking down stereotypes around banking, tech and cyber at Lloyds Banking Group means shaping finance as a force for good.
“We are inclusive. We have a lot of drive to enable more women in technology,” says Varsha Nogaja, Lead Enterprise Architect. “That means putting flexible policies in place, running those return to work campaigns for the women, enabling those learning and teaching capabilities to upskill the women in the organisation.
Meet Elizabeth Irvine, Senior Digital Cybersecurity Engineer at Lloyds Banking Group, and one of two female engineers in a team of 14.
“I get the same amount of backing, I get the same voice, the same opportunities, if not more than my male counterparts do,” she says. “That’s because we bring that difference, and we are appreciated for that difference.”
Elizabeth mentors graduates on the Emerging Talent programme, offering the same support she received when she arrived fresh out of university.
“It just gave me such an opportunity to learn about myself and what I wanted to do, but also learn about the careers and opportunities that were out there.
I had no idea, because you just think ‘bank’ and you don’t think tech and digital — especially back then — whereas now that’s what it’s all about. And that’s what’s really important to us.”
“We have a huge number of programmes that support young people at different stages of their career. So we’re supporting T-Level placements, industrial placements and summer placements. We’ve got work experiences, we do a huge number of apprenticeships, graduate programmes… there is something for everyone. No matter what stage you’re at.”
Explore how businesses are creating greater access and diversity within STEM roles by watching ITN Business’ new programme, STEM: Access for All.