Cara is a Data Governance Manager at Bank of Ireland. She is a law graduate, but it took two law degrees before she finally decided she didn’t want to be a lawyer! She first joined the Bank in 2007 and started in debt recovery. During that period, it was the height of the recession, people were devastated and everyone hated the Banks. It was a really challenging time to be in a customer facing role, but Cara found the experience to be invaluable. It gave her a really good foundation of the Bank's consumer products and systems, but also an insight into working on the frontline. She thinks everyone in every organisation should spend some time in a customer facing role as it gives us a greater empathy and understanding of both our customers and colleagues.

From there, Cara moved into compliance, then financial crime prevention and anti-money laundering. She was a band 1 (entry level) throughout this time and favoured experience and learning over career progression. Her first step up was when she got a band 2 in retail risk management, in risk assessment which she adored. She was constantly juggling at least a dozen different projects at any one time, she worked across all of the different business units in the Retail Division, learning about the products and processes, and gained great exposure to senior levels of management that a Band 2 would never typically get.

Cara was promoted within risk management to a B3 role where she supported business units in meeting their policy compliance obligations, with a strong focus on sourcing and data protection. Since completing a course with the Institute of Bankers, she is now a certified data protection officer. For the last year, she has been working with the Group Data Office, delivering 5 policy standards, launching web based training, completing a course to become a certified data management professional, and being occasionally rolled out as a success story of the Group's data fluency pathway!

She’s also appointed herself as an unofficial wellbeing champion for the team after speaking with the team manager and recognising that he needed a little support in that area, and founded a people group for the department with representatives from every team in the Group Data Office! Together, they discuss culture and wellbeing within the department and what they can do to continually improve. Cara is passionate about mental health awareness, and building a work culture that facilitates psychological safety. As a woman in tech, she understands the importance of a diverse workforce, and ensuring that the right people are in the rooms where decisions are being made!


Cara McDermott

Cara McDermott

Data Governance Manager

Bank of Ireland

Cara McDermott
Cara McDermott
Cara McDermott