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From psychology student to top IT job at Danske Bank

What career do you envision for somebody who has studied organisational psychology? Not necessarily a top IT job at Danske Bank. Nevertheless, this is exactly what Ona Juodkienė is now doing…

“I used to get bored in my jobs really quickly - but not with IT, because that is a field where things change really fast”, says Ona Juodkienė.  

The Lithuanian was only 29 when she became Head of IT Service Desk in Danske Bank. Since then, her career in Danske Bank has continually progressed with different or increasing responsibilities almost every year, and now she is Senior Vice President, IT Lead for the Risk Tribe.  

Focused on her own development rather than changing others 
At the very beginning of her career as a leader, Ona Juodkienė quickly realised that she could draw on her background in psychology to become better at her job. 

“To be honest, I was pushy and controlling, and not focused on people in my early days as a manager. But that didn’t work for my team! So I started working on my desire to control everything and spent much more time on connecting with people instead and working on my emotional maturity. I really changed my approach. Usually people try to change others, but I realised that it was me who needed to change if I wanted to see a change around me!” she says.  

Blue book, Ona Juodkienė

At Danske Bank: 
Senior Vice President, IT Lead for Risk Tribe
Development Director, Head of IT Operations 
Development Director, Co-Head of IT Operations 
Head of IT Operations Centre
Head of IT Service Desk 

Masters in Organisational Psychology
Bachelor degree in Psychology

Despite the many IT titles on her CV, she has never been a hands-on IT person:  

“My work has mainly been about making change and transformation happen. And here, my background in organisational psychology has been really useful.”

Working at Danske Bank in Lithuania
Ona works at Danske Bank’s Lithuanian headquarters – a vibrant place with an engaged workforce. To make up for the distance to Copenhagen, she takes part in as many global Danske Bank initiatives as possible, for instance as a member of Danske Bank’s global Diversity and Inclusion Council.   

My work has mainly been about making change and transformation happen. And here, my background in organisational psychology has been really useful.

Ona Juodkiené

After six years, she has now worked longer for Danske Bank than for any other employer. “I have had a lot of very interesting opportunities, where I was able to make a difference and participate in different forums where decisions are being made. That has helped me develop a lot. I just like the whole culture in the bank. People are straightforward in their communication and Danske Bank is a caring employer,” she says.

The future: Drive huge transformations
So, what are Ona Juodkienė’s dreams for the future?  

“I don’t have goals for a specific role as such. For me what is important is being able to make a difference and drive transformations where I can see that things are better than they were before,“ she tells.