Until January 2019, Payal was the first woman in a commercial executive position in a FTSE 250 Bank, which had previously gone through a number of turbulent years. Payal spearheaded the group D&I strategy to combat this, which included the Bank joining HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter and bringing about change in the bank’s recruitment policy by ensuring gender parity on shortlists. Payal also initiated a D&I Speaker Series, bringing key women working in the D&I space into the Bank to provide powerful female role models. Both the CEO and Chairman have championed and participated in the Speaker Series. Having left the bank, Payal is proud that the D&I agenda is now firmly embedded into the strategy. Externally, Payal is Chair of Women in Data (WiD), a not-for-profit organisation that is seeking to achieve gender parity in data and technology roles, especially at senior levels. Under her leadership, the network has grown from 125 in 2015 to 28,000. She co-opened the latest annual conference with Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who recognised the WiD network as an influential group that’s creating change in the data and technology industry. Within the last 12 months, Payal has attended forums at Downing Street and has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences raising awareness of the importance of diversity.