Laura Smethurst is originally from Edinburgh, where she studied chemistry at university and, despite enjoying this immensely, she took the decision to embark on a career in management consulting with Accenture.
Laura worked for Accenture for 18 years in financial services and for the duration she was lucky enough to work on many significant transformation programmes across insurance (for Axa and Zurich Financial Services) as well as in banking (Lloyds and Barclays).
In 2019 Laura left Accenture to join Barclays and is now the CIO for the financial assistance business area where she is responsible for running and maintaining the technology that supports the operations. She is responsible for the definition and delivery of the change programmes within this business area.
Laura has chosen to join the North West Leadership Board having joined Barclays to help direct some of the support of Barclays back into the North West, as well as to expand her breadth of experience.
Laura is passionate about encouraging women in technology and girls in Stem and so is hoping that the leadership board role will provide opportunities to develop these initiatives within the community.
Laura lives in Manchester with her husband and young children, aged seven and five.