Empowering women leaders in India

Sridevi Selvakumar

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.

During her career at Barclays, Sridevi Selvakumar has played a key role in driving a range of activities to support and enhance our colleague experience. Her line manager, Krishna Arul, Lean & Process Excellence Lead, said: “Sri is an exceptional role model because she is always enthusiastic and committed to Barclays’ values, especially Stewardship. She is a strong advocate for gender diversity, and this is clearly evidenced in her work to empower women through the ‘Wake the Dragon’ initiative.”

We caught up with Sridevi to find out more about her career:

Tell us a bit about your career at Barclays

I started my career at Barclays in 2016 as the India lead for operations product governance, handling the new and amended Product Assessment for Global Market Operations. I have a corporate banking background, so it was great to learn about the investment banking side of the business, the trade flow of the new products we launch, and the impact they have on operations. Each day brings opportunities to learn new things, which I really enjoy.

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

I am proud to work for Barclays because there are so many opportunities to grow. I am involved in several diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives through Win, the Gender Network, as well as colleague engagement activities. I am the only female mentor and leader for the Wake the Dragon diversity initiative in Chennai, which has involved coaching six future women leaders through various training sessions including time management, presentation skills and communication skills. It’s fantastic to be able to influence and implement the diversity agenda by working with colleagues to raise awareness of our D&I priorities.

I have facilitated a two-day training event through Win, something I am particularly proud of. The session aimed to empower women to stand up for themselves and achieve their career aspirations, with a focus on how to have challenging conversations, the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness and how to be more direct when communicating.

The workshop also included demonstrations of self-defense techniques, with simple tricks to help attendees protect themselves if required. I got a huge sense of achievement from being involved in this event.

Could you share a success story that illustrates how you are bringing the COO values to life?

I recently coordinated India’s largest women’s marathon event, Pinkathon, which Barclays sponsored. Over 400 colleagues took part to raise awareness of breast cancer, which is incredible.

This event reflects the COO values because it involved colleagues, members of the public and an excellent charity.

Could you tell us how your business area is delivering value to customers clients, and Barclays as a whole?

I work in the Markets Post-Trade transaction cycle. We focus on controls and cost, to ensure our customers are fully satisfied and trust Barclays as a partner. The key risk indicators (KRI) such as turnaround time (TAT), accuracy and customer feedback are closely tracked, monitored and actioned to deliver value to customers.

We identify customers’ needs and work collaboratively with the business to launch a new or improved product. I have run multiple awareness sessions on the trade lifecycle and key processing requirements to support internal mobility from other operations teams, such as Corporate Banking or PPI.

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

I admire women who have aspirations and are willing to accept the challenge and ‘lean in’ to be successful at work, even if they have extra responsibilities in their personal life. From my perspective, every individual has a unique skill set and there are always opportunities to learn from one another to develop those skills. Learning is a never-ending journey.