Safira Adam joined Aldermore in July 2019 as a Service Delivery Manager. Fast-forward just 19 months later and she’s now heading up the entire team. Here she shares her story, her thoughts on life at Aldermore and the technology market, and what the future holds…
I’ve been in tech delivery and customer-focused roles over 20 years now, starting at grassroots level after university. My Aldermore career began as a Service Delivery Manager, building and developing our service management capability.
I’m a parent to two children aged 12 and 9, so when I’m not helping to keep the bank running you can find me taking the role of referee and taxi service! I’m originally from London but have now made my home in the North West and see my long-term future here.
I could see a real opportunity to build something new at Aldermore, inspire change and grow my own career within the financial services industry. Our clear investment in service delivery and tech really spoke to me.
I had an amazing former colleague who was a great mentor to me. I saw her present at a ‘Women in Banking’ group and her journey really resonated with me. I contacted her and she became an invaluable mentor, providing real coaching, support and guidance in forging a career – not only as a female in technology – but also in broadening my outlook beyond the parameters of my own role.
I still feel like there’s room to grow, develop and improve without any fear of hitting a glass ceiling. I’ve recently been nominated to attend a leadership summit to further develop my executive management skills. It’s very exciting and speaks to the freedom and encouragement we get to learn and grow.
No two days are the same here and you have a real ability to enact change. Service delivery lends itself to a broad exposure across our technology estate and you can see how our people are empowered to really shine.
Everyone is approachable and the recognition of people as experts in their fields is fantastic. Our commitment to the diversity & inclusion agenda, including female career development, LGBTQ+, BAME and mental health shows we really care about our people, which in today’s environment is more important than ever. Last year, I supported our programme of International Women’s Day events, hosting a panel between our sites and I’m regularly involved in our Inspiring Future Female Leaders and Valuing our Differences working groups.
Financial services can appear daunting as an industry, but believe me, it’s not what you think! I used to think it was a closed-off ‘boys club’, without a finger on the tech pulse. And, although this can be the case at some places, it isn’t always the reality.
A real highlight of my time at Aldermore… has been building the Service Management team from scratch and transitioning between Managed Service Providers within a six-month timeframe. Aldermore absolutely followed through on the promises at interview by allowing and trusting me to deliver the new operating model in this space. My promotion following this is a real testament to this. I feel my input is valued and listened to at a senior level – right through to Executive Committee level.
The best advice I’ve been given here… is to have confidence in your ability, be yourself and don’t be afraid to speak up.
Aldermore in three words? Collaborative, fast-paced, dynamic.
If I could go back in time to the start of my career… I’d remind myself not to put any boundaries around what I can achieve. You can absolutely get to the top if that’s what you want!
If reading this has made you think about applying for a role with us, go for it! You absolutely won’t regret it. Bring your best self to work and the rest will come through. As an organisation, we want our colleagues to be successful and will support you in doing so. And remember, you don’t have to be incredibly technical to work in technology!