Meet Nyet, the Chief Architect of Group Functions at Standard Chartered, Singapore. With a strong educational background, Nyet holds a Bachelor's Degree in Information Systems and Computer Science, as well as a Master's Degree in Management of Technology, both from the prestigious National University of Singapore. Since joining Standard Chartered in January 2022, Nyet has made remarkable contributions to the Bank. Her expertise and achievements in technology make her an inspiration to women who are forging their own paths in this rapidly evolving industry.
Why did you choose a career in technology?
My journey into the world of technology happened rather unexpectedly. After completing my A-levels, my academic results were fairly average. It was my dad who suggested that I consider a career in IT, as it seemed to offer promising job prospects. Intrigued by the idea, I thought, "Why not give it a try?" Little did I know that this decision would lead me to where I am today. Looking back, I remember tinkering with coding back when I was around 14 years old, experimenting with writing my first HelloWorld program in DOS BASIC. Although it started as a mere curiosity and experimentation, it ultimately shaped my path and ignited my passion for technology.
What has kept you motivated to stay in the technology field for so long?
My motivation to stay in the tech industry stems from two key factors: having the opportunity to continuously learn in a dynamic environment and the constant challenge of finding suitable technological solutions. Not every problem requires a technology-based fix; sometimes, a fresh perspective or a different approach is all that's needed. These factors have been instrumental in keeping me engaged and motivated throughout my career journey.
What is your proudest achievement in your career with Standard Chartered so far, and why has it been meaningful to you?
One of the proudest moments in my career at Standard Chartered has been the successful establishment of a centralised Architecture function for Group Functions. It was challenging to break down barriers, bring individuals from previously different teams together and to forge a new team. Through our collaboration, we discovered the true strength of working together as a cohesive unit. This year, as part of our own team’s objectives, we have set an objective of Kaizen in our team so in essence, we will be never be done, but more on Kaizen later. This achievement holds immense personal significance for me as it exemplifies the transformative power of teamwork and reinforces our unwavering commitment to continual progress – settling for anything less is simply not an option.
How do you foster a culture of innovation and collaboration within your team, and what role do you believe diversity plays in driving these outcomes?
I strongly believe that innovation is not solely about grand ideas; we can't all be Einsteins. That's why I'm particularly thrilled that this year, my team has fostered a culture based on the Kaizen Philosophy, focusing on continuous improvement. We value every idea, no matter how small, as long as it enhances productivity and effectiveness. Our aim is to cultivate a mindset of ongoing growth, which naturally leads to innovation.
Collaboration follows a similar path. When approaching a challenge, I always encourage my team leads to seek input from different individuals, both within and outside the team. By consciously seeking diverse perspectives, we ensure that the ultimate solution is enriched and more robust. This active inclusion of varied viewpoints leads to better outcomes. Over time, these practices become intrinsic behaviours within our team, which extends the mindset beyond our immediate workspace.
What would surprise people about working at Standard Chartered?
One aspect that often catches people by surprise is the sheer scale and complexity of our operations at Standard Chartered. With a presence in 59 markets and numerous regulators to engage with, the scope of our work can be quite awe-inspiring, especially for those who are new to the company. It's a testament to the vast and diverse challenges we face in our day-to-day activities. The dynamic nature of our work environment truly sets Standard Chartered apart.
What would you say to someone thinking about making the move from a technology organisation to Standard Chartered?
At Standard Chartered, you'll have the unique opportunity to delve into the world of technology within a globally recognised bank. Our operations span diverse markets, presenting complex challenges that require innovative solutions. By joining us, you can contribute your skills and expertise to help solve these intricate problems and make a meaningful impact across our wide-reaching network. It's a chance to gain valuable experience and learn how technology operates within the context of a large, international bank.
What advice would you give to young women looking to build a career in technology?
Follow your genuine interest: Make sure you have a true passion for technology as it encompasses various areas, from coding to project management. Explore different roles to find what resonates with you.
Embrace the challenges: Recognise that the industry can be demanding with long working hours and high-pressure situations.
Balance work and family: While remote work has provided more flexibility, achieving a healthy work-life balance still relies on supportive bosses and organisational policies. Some women may choose to prioritise family, and that's a personal decision to be respected.
What are the key pieces of advice you would you give to young women who aspire to reach a leadership position in the technology industry, and what steps can they take to achieve that goal?
Set clear targets: It's important to have a target in mind, even if it's not a long-term goal spanning 10 or 20 years. Given the rapid pace of change, it's advisable to keep the target within a maximum of 3 years, especially if you're just starting out, and perhaps extend it to 5 years as you progress. Continually consider how your current role prepares you for the next one and if it aligns with your aspirations. Don't disregard lateral roles, as they can provide valuable growth opportunities.
Define your own success: It's perfectly acceptable to be content where you are, even if you don't aspire to a leadership role or feel uncertain about reaching your set target. Happiness in your work is paramount, and it holds more value than aiming for a corner office. Remember, leadership can manifest in various ways. As long as you consistently contribute and deliver value in your daily work, you are already on the path to being a leader.
To reach their goals, young women can focus on building their skills and expertise through continuous learning. Seek out mentors or sponsors who can provide guidance and support. Actively participate in industry events, conferences, and networking opportunities to expand their professional connections. Additionally, taking on challenging projects and seizing leadership opportunities within their current roles can help demonstrate their capabilities.
By setting targets, valuing personal fulfilment, and embracing leadership opportunities in various forms, young women can chart a path towards achieving leadership positions in the dynamic and rewarding field of technology.