Q&A With Madhu Narasimhan
Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo
February 28, 2020
Madhu Narasimhan, Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo has a proven record of innovation, organizational transformation, strategy, and business support over her 20+ year career in software development, product management, project/program management, and delivery, Madhu and her team have transformed the delivery model of digital capabilities to customers and greatly enhanced the end-to-end customer experience.
Media 7: How old were you when you had your first paying job?
MADHU NARASIMHAN: I grew up in various cities around the world and attended 14 schools between kindergarten and twelfth grade. My first paying job was a dance instructor in Indian Classical dance when I was in high school.
M7: Tell us about your career path. How did you go from Software Developer to Executive Vice President?
MN: My career has led me through various roles in technology. I moved from developer, to architect, to management, and then on to various roles supporting business areas - to my current role supporting Agile transformation and portfolio delivery. As I progressed through my career I had strong mentors who encouraged me to push myself to explore new areas.
M7: What do you feel you bring to your role that inspires others to see you as a leader?
MN: Brining clarity in ambiguity; being able to paint a future and a path towards it.
"Explore the edge of your discomfort. You don’t have to be ready for the next role, you just have to be ready enough."
M7: How do you like to work with brands who wish to engage you as a thought leader?
MN: Start with why, what is it in my experiences or exposure that would form a collaboration. Once I know the anchor point, I would know how to engage and what the messaging might be.
M7: Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share about being a woman in the tech field, or advice for other women carving out a space?
MN: Explore the edge of your discomfort. You don’t have to be ready for the next role, you just have to be ready enough. It’s the way to grow. Find strong mentors who will sponsor you.
"Diversity and Inclusion are included in every aspect of the business from how we think about team members to the Marketplace as well as our advocacy in communities."
M7: You have always been passionate about mentoring women and students in technology, what more do you think should be done to advance and raise up women in STEM fields?
MN: The first step is knowing that there is an issue. Only 29% of engineering professionals in the workplace are women (Girls With Dreams: Inspiring Girls to Code and Create in the New Generation Natasha Ravinand )
Three things help with this – promoting events that provide a platform for women to learn from others; having strong visible role models; making diversity and inclusion a part of the company.
At Wells Fargo N.A. we have all three.
We recently sponsored Techwomen. It is a U.S. Department of State sponsored program that brings women who are employed in technical fields from developing nations for a month-long internship in the Bay Area. We had three women participate from Cameroon and Kazakhstan.
We have strong women role models at Wells Fargo N.A. including Mary Mack who leads Consumer Banking and Mandy Norton who is our Chief Risk Officer who are both on the Operating Committee. As well as leaders like Debra Chrapaty and Courtney Goodrich Smith in Wells Fargo’s technology division.
Diversity and Inclusion are included in every aspect of the business from how we think about team members to the Marketplace as well as our advocacy in communities. In addition, we have a rich framework on Team Member Networks (TMNs) including the Women TMN which focuses on providing these opportunities for women. I head up the Asian TMN as the executive advisor.
"Start with why, what is it in my experiences or exposure that would form a collaboration."
M7: What is your superpower?
MN: Servant Leadership
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 8,050 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 38 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy.