Welcome to our new blog series, “Behind GiT” where we delve into the team behind Girls in Tech London and show you the many different pathways into the tech industry!
This month we interviewed Adam Baldwin- our General Counsel. Adam joined GiT London in May 2022 and plays a key role at GiT as he uses his legal expertise to handle the various legal, regulatory and risk issues that impact us as a charity.
These are the questions we asked him about his work at GiT and how he got to wear he is in his career:
Why did you join GiT and what is your role at GiT?
I joined GiT London in May 2022 and am the General Counsel, with a mission to handle the various legal, regulatory and risk issues that impact us as a charity.
I have followed the wider GiT organisation for a number of years, having first attended an event in San Francisco in 2019. I loved the mission, the mandate and the passion of the members. The creation of the London chapter is an exciting development for the charity, and a real professional challenge for me to assist in its growth.
What is your job/ are your main responsibilities? (not GiT)
I work within the Digital Banking team at BNP Paribas, a global investment bank headquartered in Paris. Our team builds and develops a full suite of digital banking products and services, offered to over 10,000 clients in 45 countries.
I have a broad role interacting with business lines, tech teams and controlled functions in the Bank, along with working alongside our partners and new ventures. My job is a really exciting synergy of technology, finance and legal topics!
I am really fortunate that CSR initiatives are thoroughly supported by the Bank. In addition to many formal charity partnerships the Bank has, as individuals we are given 4 days each year from our work calendar to volunteer for good causes. It sets a great example for the industry and a true indication of the commitment to our CSR ambitions.
What is your favourite part about your job?
The constant evolution of my job is a particular benefit. The technology supporting financial services is ever changing, meaning that I constantly have to evolve and upskill; there is no standing still. Every day is a school day! I also really enjoy the social aspect of the role, as success relies on working with a global team to deliver effective solutions.
Can you briefly talk about your career history? (i.e. studying at uni, previous roles, and how you eventually got to where you are now?
I completed a degree in Law at the University of Southampton, followed by the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. I began my legal training with the law firm Allen & Overy, which included an incredible six months in their Paris office. I then moved firms to Slaughter and May, focusing on intellectual property and technology. The work was broad and extremely rewarding, working on various deals that made the front pages of the financial papers. I also began to get exposed to Fintech, tasked with advising on the (then) emerging technology of blockchain. I remember reading the original Satoshi Nakamoto white paper on Bitcoin, but alas I was not investing at that time! I had a brief secondment at Vodafone, which prompted me to take the move in-house to BNP Paribas, with a view to grow as a more business-focussed lawyer.
Since joining BNP Paribas, I gradually moved across to the business, diversifying my skill set and getting closer to the business and the technology. Having completed post-graduate diplomas in Fintech from the University of Oxford and Harvard University, I am now nearing completion of an Executive MBA at the University of Cambridge.
How do you think men and big companies can help support women both in the hiring process and while working at similar companies?
I believe that men need to be active and visible in their support of equality, equity and diversity in the workplace. I recently spoke to the Financial Times on the topic of ‘office housework’ such as note-taking and administration, which is still one of the most visible hangovers of gender inequality. Men should ensure that the low value, non-revenue generating work, is fairly split. Another simple action is for men to refuse to speak on all-male panels, as not only does this send a powerful message, but also stimulates real change. Company-led initiatives and policies are also vital for women joining and thriving. Supporting and encouraging the organic growth of women-led groups and initiatives are key to creating a positive atmosphere.
What is your biggest piece of advice for any girls or women looking to break into tech/ work their way up to a job like yours?
Networking is key. Technology, finance and legal are all inherently social industries. Therefore, if you can build your network you will be well placed to learn of new opportunities, connect with industry leaders and leverage experience. Speaking with people is also a great way to understand if a career, industry or job is right for you in the first place! For women starting out in their careers or finishing University, this advice is particularly relevant, as your network will grow with you and in all directions.
Head over to our Instagram to check out how Adam juggles working at BNP, studying for his MBA, and working at Girls in Tech! Keep a lookout for future posts in our “Behind GiT” series to learn about the career journeys about the rest of the team at GiT London.