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Taking the initiative on Diversity and Inclusion

11 December 2018

Ann James

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 Ann James and her work with the Women in Technology group.

Ann is based in Radbroke, a Barclays Technology Centre (BTC), and is passionate about promoting Women in Technology. She runs the Women in Technology group (WiT) for Radbroke, with a focus on breaking preconceptions of Technology being a domain for men.

Ann took the lead of WiT in January 2018, and grasped the opportunity to refocus the purpose and agenda of this group, which had existed for a number of years. Inspired and ignited by the group, Ann has built up a pool of ‘role models’ (men and women) for WiT. These colleagues are champions in their field and passionate about promoting diversity within technology. In addition to their day jobs, these role models assist in the recruitment process of tech colleagues and help promote careers within Technology, showcasing Technology as a domain where women can flourish. Since the relaunch of WiT, Ann has also been asked to lead the Diversity and Inclusion agenda for Chief Controls Office (CCO), to support the CCO global people agenda.

As a result of the actions by WiT, diversity conversations have increased within the teams in Radbroke. An increasing number of line managers are reaching out to Ann to discuss gender diversity, and how they can consciously manage dynamics of their teams. ‘It’s not just about showcasing Women in Technology” says Ann, “but about understanding how each of them can make positive changes”.

Ann is also a huge advocate of showcasing gender diversity externally, through the use of Barclays’ social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) to promote our Employer Value Proposition and encourage female talent to apply for recruitment opportunities in Technology.

Technology Spring Week was recently held at Radbroke and was a great opportunity for 49 university students to visit the site and learn about what it means to work at Barclays. The teams were able to successfully showcase the diversity within the site, and provide an insight into female success within technology.

We caught up with Ann to discuss her role and the success of WiT

Tell us a bit about your career at Barclays
I joined Barclays in 2007 as a VP in Global Information Security. Since January 2013, I’ve worked in GTIS (Global Technology Infrastructure Services) Controls Office and mid-2017, I was successful in my application for Director, GTIS Chief Controls Office Central team. My team is responsible for evaluating, responding and monitoring control performance, including supporting and assuring GTIS deliverables within the BICEP programme, and driving controls sustainability for GTIS.

What do you feel has been your biggest achievement/proudest moment during your time at Barclays?
I am really passionate about enabling positive change and inspiring action on gender diversity. Since January 2018, I’ve been leading the Women in Technology (WiT) group at Radbroke. I’m really proud of the way we have built up a population of role models for women in Technology, working collaboratively with HR and Early Careers. This approach is widening awareness of recruitment opportunities and inspire more females to apply. 

Is there a woman who has particularly inspired you? If so, who and why?
Marie Curie (1867-1934) stands out as a source of inspiration to me. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and has become a household name. One of her admirable traits was her perseverance. She challenged the typical male and female roles that existed in her lifetime, pursuing a career in a male dominated field. She believed “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood”. She inspires me to contribute to breaking the gender imbalance in the world of technology.

What does Barclays’ commitment to Diversity and Inclusion mean to you?
Working for an organisation that fosters a culture of diversity is important to me and I am delighted that gender is one of Barclays D&I pillars. I feel empowered to be relentless in my focus on building and maintaining a diverse environment. This brings many opportunities for others to get involved too, and I am proud to be championing initiatives for men and women to play a part and make a difference. People can’t action what they don’t know about, so I’m excited and committed to spreading the word, supporting Barclays’ wider D&I agenda.