“If not now, when?” Making a difference through our Women’s Network

11 December 2018

Anneliese Jones and Patty Macdonald

Our colleagues drive innovation and change daily. Impacting the way we serve our customers and how we work together as colleagues. But success is not just about what you achieve, it’s about how you achieve it. Our Chief Operating Office (COO) recognises the value our colleagues bring, not just to their roles, but our culture and values. COO have recognised a number of exceptional women who have made a difference within Barclays, the industry, and the wider community through their impact and passion for change. Learn more about Patty Macdonald and Anneliese Jones and how they increased the reach of the Women’s network (WiN) in Manchester.

Anneliese and Patty are part of a team of four who were established in 2017 when each of the individuals recognised that the WiN Gender Network was not visible enough in Manchester and decided to act upon this opportunity. By forming this network and having a shared vision, they were able to reach out to fellow colleagues and all work together to encourage positive changes across the business.

We spoke to Patty and Anneliese about their time at Barclays and how they took the initiative to widen our Women’s network in Manchester.

Tell us a bit about your career at Barclays

I have worked at Barclays for the last 14 years, starting my career as a cashier in the branch. During my 12 years in the branch network I had a number of roles, including Banking Hall Coordinator, Personal Banker and Branch Manager, which I had the pleasure of achieving at 21.

A couple of years ago, I decided to broaden my skillset and learn a new job for my own development. This is when I moved across into Personal Banking Operations. In this position, I have been able to use my knowledge of what happens at the frontline to help improve client experience.

I started my career at Barclays in 2008 after graduating from university with a BSC Environmental Science degree. Since my first job in data entry, I have had various roles within Consumer Lending and Personal Banking Operations as a Subject Matter Expert, Change Analyst, Business Analyst, and in Optimisation.

What do you feel has been your biggest achievement/proudest moment during your time at Barclays?

I love the variety of my job and how there are many opportunities that you can be involved in, to make the bank a better place for our communities and colleagues.

A personal highlight over the years would have to be running the citizenship agenda for my local community. This has allowed me to organise CV and interview sessions via LifeSkills for over 200 students as well as raising £49,000 for local charities. I was also able to meet our senior executives after receiving a Think Smart award for my idea to add QR Codes to our literature. The QR Codes enabled Barclays to provide customers with a service to instantly access brochures and leaflets on their device, which directly updated customers and reduced paper waste. More recently, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Sir John Timpson for a video series that was shared across Barclays UK when welcoming him as a new member of the Non-Exec Board of Directors.

It would have to be setting up WiN – The Gender Network in Manchester. At the start of 2017, Anneliese Jones, George Crone, Sharon Pilling and I, embarked on setting up WiN in 4PP. With over 1,000 colleagues in the building and a global emphasis on gender equality, we felt that this was the time to take action. We have grown the network hosting keynote events such as International Men’s and Women’s Day, alongside smaller events such as self confidence lunch and learns, interview skills and guest speaker events. We have had a lot of support from senior leadership, male allies and colleagues who have helped us to make this a success.

Is there a woman who has particularly inspired you? If so, who and why?

It is hard to call out one person in particular, I have taken inspiration from so many people over the years. Sometimes it is the smallest of actions that people take that have the biggest impressions on us.

It would have to be Emma Watson. Emma is a United Nations Women’s Goodwill Ambassador and an advocate for the HeForShe campaign in promoting gender equality. Having watched the speech Emma gave at the UN she says “…to ask yourself if not me, who? If not now, when?”. This was my kick start into thinking about gender, myself and other women in society.

What does Barclays’ commitment to Diversity and Inclusion mean to you?

This is something that is really important to me. I currently co-run the WiN Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) working group in Manchester and I am part of the wider D&I forum for Manchester and Kirby. Times are changing not just in the workplace, but in society and I am happy that I work for a company that recognises this and offers support to its colleagues. Everybody is entitled to equal opportunities, and should feel as though they can apply for any role, speak up and express their opinion regardless of their gender, race, faith, age, disability or sexuality. It is about changing mindsets and promoting the great work we do. If I can change just one person’s mindset, then that’s a job well done.

For me it’s all about visibility. D&I commitment is essential to ensuring we have visible role models and therefore hire and keep diverse talent at Barclays. Greater diversity means we develop better solutions and adopt a more open and collaborative working culture. I am proud to be part of WiN – The Gender Network.