I no longer get wound up so easily
IT lead Sheila Gemin has earned her spurs as a professional in many different fields. She is now back with her old love, tech.
“And to think that I actually wanted to be a teacher,” says Sheila. “During my Computer Science studies I worked as a teaching assistant, teaching first-year students to program in SQL, PL/SQL and Java. But after my studies I wanted to work in the business world for a while.”
Business and networking
After a long time as an IT consultant at Cap Gemini – in those days still a male stronghold – followed by spells as a head-hunter and independent recruiter in tech and a period of maternity leave, she took some time to think about what she really wanted. “Then I started a business aimed at amateur endurance athletes, developing training programmes in collaboration with experts, based on training data and algorithms. It was a great time during which I learned a lot about entrepreneurship. In parallel I did a master’s in Executive Coaching at the VU and chaired a global NGO focused on gender equality in business and society.”
Back at home in tech
“After a few years I wanted to go back to my roots in tech. I wanted to know what that world looked like now. I soon felt at home again and saw how my knowledge and experience, and my tech profile, could provide added value. Through Atos I ended up at ING and when they asked me to be their lead, it was a fabulous opportunity.”
“It was a leap in the dark, as I wasn’t particularly attracted to the world of finance. On the other hand, ING is known as the most technically innovative bank and an organisation with a real engineering culture. And I certainly felt at home from day one.”
“My tech teams work for the global business partners such as the HR organisation, real estate and facility management, marketing and communication and the global transformation office. We also develop services in the field of intelligent content management, service management and workflow management. We deliver and maintain the technology and ensure that we are compliant with our risk policy.”
“From day one I was able to get stuck in and devote myself to sharpening the strategy and purpose, hiring new people in my MT and reinvigorating relationships with the business partners. The fact that I had to do that from home (coronavirus, of course) was crazy and sometimes exhausting, but it also gave me focus. Online meetings are very functional. Gradually the pennies dropped and I got more and more context.”
Just getting on with it
“All the things I've done before this have shaped me and ensure that I no longer get wound up so easily. Age plays a part too, I'm in my mid-40s and I've more or less shed all the ballast of being insecure. I'm very practical: let’s just get on with it.”
A helping hand
“That doesn't mean I don't have anything to learn, absolutely not. I continue to ask questions and challenge my assumptions. My experience at ING is that there are always people ready to give me a helping hand. Just as I always try to support 'my' people in meeting challenges on a strategic, tactical and operational level. Letting others grow may be the thing I like best about my role.”
Sheila comes from a very sporty family and does some kind of sport four times a week, mainly on her racing bike and on the golf course. She has four children with her husband and is a ‘crazy fan’ of science fiction and fantasy, preferably by female writers.