Building a Career and Making a Difference

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Photo Courtesy of DTCC.

Photo Courtesy of DTCC.

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Lynn Bishop spent ten years in financial services consulting, gaining valuable experience as she took on increasing responsibility in different roles at several firms. She knew she found the organization to plant roots and further grow her career while working on an assignment at The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), a global market infrastructure provider for the financial services industry.

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Bishop was first introduced to the company and its unique culture while serving as a consultant at another firm. When she was offered the opportunity to join DTCC, she was excited to be part of an organization that played such a critical role in protecting the markets and where she knew she’d have a chance to learn, grow and develop her skills. Now, she’s been at the company for 16 years, served as its Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer, and recently was appointed Chief Information Officer. She says DTCC’s important work, along with its “family-like” atmosphere, is something she still loves about her job.
But how did she develop her career at DTCC, and how can other women follow in her footsteps? In a recent discussion with Fairygodboss, Bishop shared her journey to CIO, along with her best advice for women who want to find a job that makes them feel truly fulfilled. She also gave us a look at how she’s helping other women succeed in technology and what you should know about applying to DTCC. 
How long have you been with DTCC? What about it made you first want to join?
I joined DTCC in 2004 after spending several years there as a consultant. Although I enjoyed each of my 10 years of consulting experience, my time here stood out because of the people and the type of work the firm does. It was an easy decision to join DTCC when I was offered a full-time position. I love that we are a relatively small company with a “family-like” atmosphere, yet we are at the center of the industry making a difference. 
Tell me about the roles that you’ve held at DTCC. What about your current role most excites you?
When I started at DTCC, I was a Systems Director where I managed application development for our settlement services. Since then, I have held a number of roles in the technology organization, including Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer, and today, Chief Information Officer. It’s exciting and also challenging knowing that our technology underpins services that are critical to the financial services industry. In fact, last year, we processed securities transactions valued at more than 1.85 quadrillion, including virtually every equity trade in the US markets on our technology platforms and services. As we continue to evolve these services, one specific project that we are working on at the moment is an exciting effort to re-architect and modernize our technology platforms and systems to create a new post-trade platform of the future. We have an incredibly talented and motivated team who is developing very creative and innovative solutions. 
What’s the first or last thing you do at work every day? 
It’s never the same thing, which is what makes things interesting! In any given day, I have to handle a wide range of issues, from working closely with Management Committee and Board members on DTCC-wide strategy and decisions to overseeing the IT department, with broad range of strategic, operational, and people management responsibilities to keep things running smoothly every day while ensuring we are best positioned for the future. That diversity of work allows me to use all of the skills I’ve learned over the course of my career to help set the strategic direction of the firm and make an impact on how we serve our clients.
A lot of people believe that developing your career means changing companies, and not infrequently. What has enabled you to advance your career at DTCC without job hopping?
Over my 10 years of consulting experience, I identified my likes and dislikes, as well as what I wanted from a company and corporate culture. DTCC was — and continues to be — a place that I find fulfilling. I am constantly challenged and feel appreciated. Although I have been at DTCC for many years, I have moved roles every several years, so I am constantly learning and doing new things. We are big supporters of mobility at our organization, which is very important. We want our employees to feel that they can continue to develop and grow without needing to change companies.
What’s one thing you think young job seekers should know about DTCC? What about those who are in a more advanced career stage? 
As I mentioned earlier, I’m very proud to be part of an organization that plays such a critical role in financial services. When job seekers begin to understand the scope and importance of our work, they find it fascinating. It’s our culture, people and what we do to safeguard the financial markets each and every day that truly sets us apart. I was struck recently by the celebration of employee anniversaries at our end-of-year IT town hall. We started the recognition at 20-year anniversaries and were still going at 35+ years, which I think speaks volumes to the people and type of company we are. At the same time, we attracted over 300 new technology employees to the firm in 2019. It is an exciting time to be at DTCC.
How have you used your role to help bring up other women behind you? How do you build time into your schedule for this kind of work? 
Throughout my career, I have been very fortunate to have an amazing support system, including my family, friends, colleagues, and mentors. I truly believe I would not be where I am today without their support and encouragement. As a result, I’m passionate about doing whatever I can to help close the gender gap in technology by encouraging girls and women to pursue technology careers and helping those already in technology to grow. DTCC is extremely committed to diversity and inclusion, and that passion for the advancement of women is one of the many reasons I enjoy working here. A few years back, DTCC formed a corporate sponsorship with Girls Who Code, a non-profit focused on increasing the number of women in computing careers. This past summer, we hosted our first immersion program to help provide high school girls with career exposure and mentorship. It was wonderful to watch the girls build confidence, increase their engagement and feel a sense of achievement.
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
There are two pieces of advice that stand out as having made the biggest difference in my experience. First, build a network of sounding boards and mentors who will provide guidance to you throughout your career. Second, take risks — push yourself to step outside your comfort zone. 
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