Ramos was born in Portugal. Her parent’s emigrated to Mozambique and then South Africa with their three children in the mid 60s in search of better opportunities. The oldest of these, Maria was just six when they began their new life in Vereeniging. Ramos matriculated in 1977 and went to work for Barclays in Vereeniging as a waste clerk, which involved collecting all the paperwork, such as deposit slips and cheques, from behind the tellers and manually processing them.Imagining that a bank would have some form of scholarship available, Ramos discovered that they had a great scholarship scheme where they sent employees to university to do a Commerce degree. Upon applying, she discovered that it was only open to men. A long battle ensued, with Ramos surmounting various obstacles in her attempt to get the rules changed; eventually she was told that if she sat the basic exams and passed, they would consider her. So she duly drove from Vereeniging to Johannesburg three nights a week after work to evening classes held by the Institute of Bankers, and passed the exam in record time, earning herself a Banker’s Diploma.
Meet Maria Ramos, Barclays Africa Group CEO and one of top 100 most powerful women in Europe, Middle East and Africa
Maria Ramos is the Chief Executive Officer of Barclays Africa Group Limited. Prior to joining Absa as Group Chief Executive in March 2009, she was the Group Chief Executive of Transnet Ltd.This was after successfully serving as Director-General of the National Treasury.