Zena has been a powerhouse in developing Barclays’ strategic response to Open Banking, a key industry inflection point for both Banks & Fin-techs, which is forecast by some experts to drive a £1bn boost to the UK economy.

In developing the vision, which will form the basis of how Barclays’ will respond to this exciting new opportunity, she has demonstrated outstanding visionary thinking & laser focus on the emerging external landscape. She consistently leverages cutting-edge technology & best in class digital experience to deliver for emerging customer need.

Zena’s approach is truly customer-centric, consistently co-creating with customer groups to ensure the best outcomes. She has also played a critical role in educating both colleagues & consumers around the risks & opportunities of data-sharing in an Open Banking world – whilst championing the value of innovation & competition to the industry and society.

In parallel, Zena is passionate about supporting women in technology, being an active speaker & contributor at early-career events to inspire young people to explore careers in tech. Further, she also launched a Barclays UK citizenship initiative reaching 20,000+ children across the world, focussed on developing early strategic thinking & numerical skills through competitive chess!

Zena joined Barclays as a graduate in 2013 and soon became the youngest person to be promoted to VP. Growing up she launched a number of small, student-led businesses supporting different charitable causes and ultimately helping fund her travels around the world prior to undertaking her undergraduate degree at LSE.

She is the daughter of Arabic self-made single-mum who left her war-torn country to make a fresh start in the UK and continue to provide critical support to her family & wider community back home.