Inspirefest 2017

Anita Sands

Board director, Symantec, Service Now & Pure Storage

Dr Anita Sands is a global business leader, public speaker and advocate for the advancement of women. She currently serves as an independent board director for three Silicon Valley public companies: Symantec Corporation, Service Now and Pure Storage; and as an adviser to Grand Central Tech, a leading NYC technology incubator. An active angel investor, and adviser to various start ups, she has a particular interest in technologies that are disrupting the world of enterprise IT.

Sands earned both her PhD in atomic and molecular physics, and bachelor’s degree in physics and applied math from Queen’s University Belfast, as well as a master’s in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where she was a Fulbright scholar.

Prior to her latest career pivot into technology, Sands spent a decade in the financial services sector, specialising in transformation and technology-led innovation. She was the youngest ever senior vice-president at the Royal Bank of Canada, where she served as the head of innovation and process design. At the age of 33, she was appointed as chief operating officer for UBS Wealth Management Americas, responsible for technology, operations and corporate services.

Sands has been honoured on many occasions for her contribution to technology leadership and the advancement of women, and was recently acknowledged by the National Association of Corporate Directors as one of only 39 directors under the age of 40 serving on the boards of publicly traded companies in the US. She holds a diploma in piano from the London School of Music, and has travelled to all seven continents, including on an expedition to Antarctica. She is a former all-Ireland public speaking champion and a frequent commentator on digital transformation and women’s leadership.