Starling Bank – Rakhee Modha, Data Practice Lead

We interviewed Rakhee Modha, Practice Lead at Starling Bank on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.

  1. What does your job role involve?

I am the Practice Lead for the Data Analytics team. My role mostly focuses on helping the team deliver analytical solutions to the whole organisation. This ranges from the development of the data warehouse to working on analytical projects to solve some of our most complex problems at the bank.


  1. What made you choose a career in technology?

Maths was always my favourite subject, which is why I chose to study it at university. As part of my thesis, I worked on large volumes of public sector data to develop an outlier detection algorithm. This was the project I enjoyed the most – it showed me how data can solve real world problems. It’s one of the reasons why I chose to pursue a career in data.


  1. Did you study an IT or technology related subject at GCSE, A-Level or University?

I studied Mathematics at university for my undergraduate degree and Statistics for my masters. A technology / IT course is not mandatory to get into Tech.


  1. Did you get any work experience in IT or technology before this role?

I have been working in data for 8 years. I started my career working in analytics for a consulting firm, and have since worked in a media company, a large corporation and now a technology company. I have learnt how data is used in different sectors and the approaches to analytics in organisations.


  1. Do you think there is a lack of females in the IT and tech sector?

Yes – I think that overall within the sector there is. However, the IT and tech sector is broad and female representation is better in some areas than others. I have seen more women in data roles than engineering roles. Over the years, I’ve had female managers, and the team I manage at the moment has equal representation. I think it’d be hard to find this in engineering roles today but I have hopes this will change in the future.


  1. Do you find there is a stereotype that a career in IT or technology is just for men?

There has been historically but I do think this is improving, especially given the growth in women studying STEM subjects at school/university.


  1. What would entice women to study technology related courses?

Seeing other women in technology related roles or teaching STEM subjects at school and university. Making an active effort to have women in these positions will help make these roles feel accessible. I think the rise of social media will also have a part to play – where hopefully young girls can see women code.

  1. What advice would you give to young women at the start of their career?

The best way to learn is to just get stuck in and give it a go. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, we all make them.