Hena Naranbhai

Director Strategic Development

Barclays Bank PLC

I work for Barclays as a Director of Strategic Development in both Finance and Technology and I hold the role of Chief of Staff for Women in Technology EMEA. I want to be able to use my super power to help others and create opportunities that will allow others to grow bright and tall. I program manager Finance Projects, liaise with stakeholders and get things done for the good of the organisation and people.

I love meeting new people and collaborating on ideas

I always create a list of things to do and people to meet or call each day. It helps me to plan my priorities. I use my day to prepare presentations on the current status of a program, I speak to other members of the team to understand what is going well and if there are any blockers. If there are problems I will get involved to solve these and I will communicate with stakeholders to give them an update. Sometimes I have training to complete and because I’m involved with the Women in Tech Network I’m also often involved in organising events.

My journey to this position isn’t traditional or straight forward. My parents were immigrants in the 1970s and my siblings and I were born in the UK in the 1980s. We went to school like normal children. I’m the eldest and I was fortunate enough to go to university. I was the first girl in my family to attend university. My parents couldn't afford for me to go away, so I lived at home and traveled to uni every day. I made it into university, but by the skin of my teeth. I failed all my A Levels and I didn’t know why. I had worked very hard to get to this point. In my final year at university, I found out that I was Dyslexic. This provided me with a reason for my struggles during my education. After university, I pursued a career in accounting. I had realised that I was good at numbers and I could become a professional accountant. As an accountant, I loved problem solving, which I why I have gravitated towards Finance technology projects over the year. I use my skills to help others and support others through mentorship programs like 'Cajigo' and 'Tech Up'. I gain great satisfaction from helping others and I want my children to see positive role models. In 2023, I was named a "We Are The City Rising Star"! ⭐️

My future is not set in stone, but I want to continue to progress my corporate career, perhaps one day be a Managing Director. I will continue to give back to my community and highlight positive roles models. I want to be able to use my superpowers to help others and create opportunities that will allow others to grow bright and tall. I am currently in the research stage of a project where I hope to make more South Asian Women in Technology visible, as we all need more people who look like us to inspire us.

I spend time with my children - we bake, go to the park, and create arts and crafts projects. I enjoy exercise and attend a local yoga studio on a regular basis. I also love cooking and knitting.

"Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader." ~ Indra Nooyi This quote is from my all time role model, Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo. She is one of a very small South Asian population who look like me, have traditions like me, and that is why she is my role model.