Kingsley Amoaning Yankson
What attracted you to Bank of America?
I first met a director at a road show in Ghana, where I’m from. I studied computer science and we spoke about human-computer interactions. The depth of knowledge that he had, combined with the way it was being implemented at the bank inspired me to apply for an internship. I ended up doing two internships in London before moving to Dublin.
What surprised you most when you first joined?
I knew there was a hierarchy, but I was surprised that it didn’t show. For example, I worked on the same floor as my manager – and my manager's manager – and I could approach them without having to go through any bureaucracy. After coming from a culture where older people are often separated from younger people, I suddenly had lots of opportunities to learn from them.
And what about beyond your office?
From the moment I started on this program, I’ve been on calls with people in different parts of the world. I love the fact I’m so globally connected and get to interact with colleagues in Asia and the US, every day.
What are your thoughts on diversity at the bank?
The bank is really focussed on diversifying our team, in part because we know that greater contributions from different perspectives result in better-rounded products. For instance, if a developer’s building a product for a healthcare system, they have to collect requirements. There are certain requirements that male developers might not know about, or be able to access without women. Diversity improves our culture and our business.
Tell us about your work to increase diversity within technology and finance.
I’m an instructor with Code First Girls, an organisation whose aim is to increase the number of women in the tech industry. We run female-only coding classes in local universities, as well as in our Dublin offices. Whether they’re in other industries, looking for a change or simply interested to learn more about technology, we help get them started and even find jobs.
I’m also involved in the Africa Recruitment initiative which aims to increase diversity at Bank of America by recruiting talent from top universities across the continent. We have people come in from Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa to apply for internships. Giving talented students the platform to contribute and network with some of the smartest people in the industry is a wonderful feeling.