Namrata has made a significant impact on Deloitte since joining as Assistant Manager in 2019. With a fast track to Manager, and a number of awards under her belt, Namrata is leading the way for women everywhere.
Tell us about your current role and why you chose it?
Being an experienced hire, I had the opportunity to look around and choose where I wanted my career to go. The main thing that attracted me to Deloitte was the work culture and best-in-class professional services – things I had heard a lot about during my career. Diversity was a really important factor to me, and with the gender ratio at 45% I felt that this was the place for me, especially considering the fact that previous organisation I have worked have been limited on this space.
The opportunities for growth, career progression, learning and development are diverse, inclusive and exciting! I joined Deloitte in 2019 as Assistant Manager and since then it has been a very positive and enriching journey. I have received recognition for the high-quality delivery of the work I have managed at client sites, as well as achieving a promotion in 2020 to Manager, and subsequently receiving 2 Deloitte Impact Awards.
In terms of personal learning and development, how has Deloitte supported you?
I continue to expand my knowledge and have opportunities for growth at every turn. I get to work on a wide range of projects at multiple client sites - this helps me to expand my horizons and enhance my business acumen. I’ve also found a great tool called ‘Saba Learning’ which is part of Deloitte’s learning portal (all staff are encouraged to access and utilise this). Given that my specialist field is banking and capital markets, this portal has enabled me to develop my knowledge and become an expert in the technical aspects of banking – such as around Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) controls and implementation.
What do you think is the most exciting aspect of working in financial services at the moment?
The pandemic has had a huge impact on the financial services industry (and every other sector!) – especially in terms of the penetration/expansion of AI and cloud service technology. The speed of transformation has been exponential and businesses (particularly in the banking sector), must prioritise operational resilience and business continuity. This has created certain challenges as well as opportunities for businesses like Deloitte and professionals like me.
Additionally, the recent integration of climate change and ESG factors have brought about paradigm shift in terms of operating model and risk considerations.
So, outside of Deloitte, what do you like to do?
I enjoy doing various things in my spare time such as travelling and volunteering, but something I’m really thrilled to mention about is one of the Deloitte’s Respect & Inclusion networks which I co-founded - ‘Women for Ethical AI Network’, the network was launched in February 2021. I was very happy to start a network from scratch especially during the pandemic and I’m currently leading it globally. I’m a self-starter and it was lovely to see the support I received from partners, directors and other colleagues. It feels good to be surrounded by people who are there to encourage and support you. The network has been running for more than 6 months and in a short space of time, it has garnered membership from more than ten of Deloitte’s global locations. The network organises various activities and the monthly & quarterly events are the most sought-after having participation of more than 500 viewers from more than 35 countries. find out more here.
If friends and family ask you what your job involves, what do you say?
I tell my friends that I’m a problem solver and I solve client’s problems by utilising my skillset – something that has been built through my acquired industry experience and academic knowledge. Based within the Audit & Assurance Team, I get the opportunity to work on wide range of projects, but my prime focus is on banking and capital markets.
Final question. What do you think makes a great leader?
A great leader is a person who creates optimum growth environment through strategies that align a motivated team towards a common goal as well as ensures team’s mental and general wellbeing. This is what I have also learned whilst at Deloitte from examples around me and the support of the company.
Teresa, a software developer at Deloitte Digital in Belfast, has always had a passion for technology. She talks about leaving the North West for Belfast and the opportunities she’s discovered since joining the firm.
After growing up in Crewe, Teresa was keen to explore more of the world when she graduated. “I went to a disadvantaged school and I felt like a career in technology would secure me a better future,” she says. Learning to code came naturally, and she finds the process very creative. “It was either becoming a developer or an artist,” she laughs.
Life in Belfast
When she was offered an opportunity to join Deloitte Digital in Belfast, Teresa didn’t hesitate to say yes, and quickly settled into the city. “It’s totally different to being in England but I love that,” she says. Since joining the team two years ago, her career has gone from strength to strength. Her current role as a backend developer is very “hands on” and involves working with one of the leading multinational banks on transforming their tool for financial management. She’s also worked with the xLab to prove how new solutions are providing value, and introduce new technologies to both clients and Deloitte employees. “Modcam was one of the tools we experienced,” she says. “They are essentially smart cameras that can track people to provide businesses with data-driven insight, which can be used to improve the environments people are working in or shopping at.” But for Teresa, the best thing about her job is being able to create a product of your own. “It’s really rewarding to be able to see exactly what you’ve built after it’s come to life.”
Teresa has found Deloitte inclusive from day one. Walking in as a new graduate was a bit scary, but she found the people extremely friendly and considerate. “We always have great craic together. They also made sure I wasn’t too stressed out when I started the role, and I’ve been able to learn at a pace that feels right for me.” In addition to getting support with her career, she’s sought help for personal situations. When her father passed away during the pandemic, her team rallied around her to offer the support she needed. “I was able to travel back to Hong Kong to see family. It was such a sad and challenging time, but the people at Deloitte made the process easier for me. They did everything they could to help.”
Teresa has already begun to give back, by attending regular recruitment events in Belfast. She’s keen to show people what’s on offer at the firm, and encourage others to start a career with Deloitte. “Consulting is so diverse and you get to try so many different things. You won’t be doing one thing here,” she says. “Deloitte is committed to training and development and I’m currently being supported to get my Java 11 certificate.” Although Teresa is currently happy exploring Belfast, she hasn’t ruled out future secondments. One of the things she loves about working at Deloitte is the constant opportunity to try new things and explore her talents. “At the moment I’m keen to gain new skills here, but it’s definitely something I’ll consider in future. You pick up so much working in different regions of the world.”
For Chi Onugha, a Commercial Lawyer in Consulting QRS Legal, mentoring is a way to give back to others. After several years volunteering with the Amos Bursary, he is now a mentor at Deloitte outside of his main role, and supports the firm with our long-term diversity goals. Chi talks about his early experiences as a mentor, why it means so much to him and the future of equitable inclusion.
How did you first get involved in mentoring?
Whilst working at a previous employer, I was introduced to the Amos Bursary. It's run by a dedicated team of patrons, board members and volunteers, and their goal is to help young men of African and Caribbean descent achieve their ambitions by pairing them with a supportive mentor. In most cases, these young men have no local Black heroes or role models to support them, and that's where we step in, giving them a hand-up to show that people who look like them can go on to achieve great things. In 2015 I was introduced to Renell. At the time he was a shy teenager, but you only needed to speak to him for a short period of time to realise his potential. He has learning difficulties and autism, which compounded his anxiety - particularly when it came to public speaking. He had also been homeless for a period, which added to his challenges. I was on hand to lend an ear, share my experiences and offer some encouragement. We'd meet once every couple of months, whilst keeping in regular contact via emails. Fast forward a few years, and Renell has graduated with a 2:1 in History from Swansea University and is hoping to become a commercial solicitor. There are still many financial hurdles for him to overcome, which makes me realise how much he has been through to get where he is now. Although the formal mentorship period is over, we’re still friends and I consider him one of my Black heroes.
How does Deloitte support your voluntary work and mentoring roles?
Deloitte supports people to volunteer with charities of their choice, and you can work with non-profit organisations for 3.5 hours a month during your usual hours. As part of the commitment to supporting local communities, we run the 5 Million Futures Programme, which aims to help five million people get to where they want to be through access to education and employment. Our people are supported to volunteer so that we can work together and make positive change happen. Since joining Deloitte three and a half years ago, I’ve also become a mentor for a new joiner on my team and I offer informal coaching to one of our colleagues in Deloitte South Africa. In many ways I am very fortunate, as I have parents who were both my role models and heroes. I was also lucky enough to have a good education, all of which I think has played a part in getting me to where I am today. Not everyone is so lucky, so naturally when I get the opportunity to give something back, I jump at the chance.
How do you feel Deloitte supports diversity and inclusion?
After the murder of George Floyd in 2020 and the global protests that ensued, my team was extremely supportive and reached out to me to see how I was doing. Deloitte is committed to increasing diversity in our teams, which has been backed up by the launch of the Black Action Plan. Historically, retention and attraction of black employees to senior positions within the firm has been a challenge and one of the reasons for this is because they don’t see people who look like them in these positions. That’s where mentoring and role models can help. It’s important for people in the firm to have access to role models who give them a positive representative of themselves in another, and promote an aspirational culture, aimed at inspiring and reinforcing self-belief. I suggested this to the People and Purpose team and have since become a Black Role Model as part of the Enabling Functions Role Model campaign, profiling my experiences across the business so that others in the firm can see how my career has progressed.
How is leadership evolving?
We have a leadership programme focussed on senior managers and directors from an ethnic minority background, which aims to build a network and facilitate the career development of those in the programme to prepare them for future leadership roles. I was part of the 2021 cohort for this programme and found it extremely useful and rewarding. As well as talking about diversity, I believe it’s important to look beyond race and gender, to consider wider issues like socioeconomic background. We need to work towards equitable inclusion, where we understand all the different dynamics that affect a person’s ability to succeed and try to develop an equal playing field for opportunities.
What have been the most positive steps forward so far?
Deloitte has recognised historic challenges with diversity and is making a big effort to put in place tangible steps to make things better. In addition to excellent mentorship programmes and the launch of the Black Action Plan, we have stopped measuring racial diversity and inclusion by purely looking at how many employees fall under the category of BAME, which groups everyone from an ethnic minority background under one hat. The challenges that different groups face are unique and I’m pleased that the firm understands and acknowledges this. We also have numerous networks across Deloitte for different groups, including the Black Network, which I am part of. It’s run by our people and puts the spotlight on key cultural topics and events as well as bringing people together and establishing a community. It’s not just for Black employees, and I would encourage everyone to join and learn more.
Cathy Li joined Deloitte’s Tax team as an Analyst last month, but that’s not the only place she shines. She’s also a youth advocate for sustainability and volunteers with a range of different organisations to help combat climate change. As a government appointed UK ambassador for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this week, she explains why the topic is so important to her generation.
Sarah has been working with Deloitte for more than a decade and recently joined the Deloitte Ventures team in London from Chicago. She talks about her latest role helping the firm and our clients to innovate.
After joining through our Graduate Scheme, Ray’s revelling in the variety of challenges he faces as a Tax Analyst in our Reading-based Reward Team.
Adam’s technical and communication skills have developed enormously since he’s been here – he puts it down to the autonomy and great support he gets.
Being surrounded by great people who are always happy to offer their support is giving Meredyth the confidence to realise her potential.
Aditi’s day job is enabling technology for clients, but her positive impact goes way beyond that - from supporting Women in Technology, to steering Consulting’s take on the Deloitte Black Action Plan.