We had the privilege of interviewing the Women Tech Council’s Technology Accelerator Award recipient, Tami Fisher. She is currently Senior VP Director of Technology Strategy and Governance at Zions Bancorporation, a national financial service company with a $3.1 billion 2023 net revenue and $87 billion of total assets. She has had a nontraditional 17-year career with the company. Tami Fisher is a unique individual who taught us about her nontraditional technology approach, shifting career directions, building relationships, and what it means to have a lattice career.

Starting with retail banking, Fisher got a job as a bank teller after graduating high school and received a full-ride scholarship to the University of Utah. She became a branch manager at 21 and thought she had reached her pinnacle of success. Deciding on the nontraditional route, she stopped attending the university and devoted her time to retail banking. It would later bloom into a ten-year initial career based on creating personal relationships with branch customers and colleagues across local banks.

After being in the retail banking industry, Fisher decided to change paths to a more operational approach in banking due to feeling burnout on the front side of the business. She did what most people in their careers would be terrified to do and again switched directions. Her shift in careers is what is known as a lattice career move, whereby one takes a different direction instead of taking the traditional route of a vertical career ladder. She started working for Zions by doing back-office operations, managing the ATM department, and moving into various operational roles. After several operations functions, she eventually moved into more technology-centric roles.

Despite having an earlier successful career, Fisher realized she was holding herself back without higher education. Her mentor sat down and told her she was limiting herself from opportunities by not having a college degree. Heeding that advice, she& decided to enroll in Westminster as a working woman in mid-career. Fisher said this program at Westminster helped her have the confidence to go back because she knew she would be surrounded by others who took a similar nontraditional route.

In her current role in technology strategy and governance, Fisher led project management and business analysis for the commercial credit team. She then used her experience to expand governance for the project management office at Zions. Realizing that her endeavors were all tech-adjacent, she made the shift to technology.

With a new focus on blending technology into this stage of her career, Fisher initiated a talent-upscaling program for members of the Zions team. She played a leading role in the technology-wide initiative to develop people. Her program allowed her to listen and help “expand people's ideas of what they might be able to achieve” and help them visualize “what they might be able to take on.” She adds that this program made her “think about what opportunities can she open doors to for others.” By helping people carve out a path like she did for herself, she actively eliminates the barriers to personal growth and development.

Through her time in technology, she found that many barriers are created by people themselves. One barrier that is common in all industries, especially among women, is imposter syndrome. Fisher also struggled with imposter syndrome throughout her nontraditional career approach. We asked her to share her advice for high school girls who might struggle with imposter syndrome. Fisher replied with the advice she heard from a recent speaker, “If you stay in your comfort zone, you aren't growing. But if you always overachieve, you’re also not growing because you're in a state of burnout.” She added, “The only way to maintain this equilibrium while staying in a growth mindset is to talk to people and create a support group for collaboration.” This is especially important for women.

Fisher recommends everyone should start early in creating a “personal board of directors,” consisting of family, friends, and trusted colleagues. These are the people you can turn to when you need help. She never found a way to balance her career, personal life, and passions without asking for help. It can be hard to create a network outside of work (and school), but without this network, balancing life can be incredibly challenging.

To current high schoolers, Fisher advises them to understand that everyone's path is different, depending on who they are. It is normal to change directions. After all, careers aren’t always straight or upward paths, and sometimes lattice careers (where career progression happens in multiple directions) are better for certain people. 

Fisher concluded by reminding us to reach out to our “personal board of directors” even when it’s uncomfortable and to ask for advice. “Everything is hard for everyone the first time they do it.” One piece of advice she passes on to all her mentees is, “Unless there is something impossible in front of you, find ways to say yes.” 


Isabelle and Alli are SheTech-TechBuzz media interns. They attend DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts in Ogden, Utah.

As part of the SheTech-TechBuzz media internship, Isabelle and Alli interview women tech leaders in Utah, including 2023 Women Tech Award finalists and awardees. SheTech media intern articles are published on TechBuzz News and active in the Silicon Slopes Community, SheTech Media Intern’s Instagram, and other social media channels.

Join Isabelle and Alli at SheTech Explorer Day taking place next week on March 14, from 9:00am to 1:15pm, at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy. For more information click here.

SheTech welcomes volunteers at Explorer Day. Many tech companies in Utah offer generous volunteer hours to their employees high-impact, worthwhile events. Explorer Day is the perfect event for such volunteering! Click here to volunteer at Explorer Day.

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