International Women's Day
International Women’s Day (IWD) acknowledges the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women while advocating and pushing for gender parity.
Barclays has been a long-time supporter of IWD and continues to raise awareness of gender issues, not only within the organisation but across the industry, as well as implementing steps across its business to address challenges and support its female population. Barclays was the first financial services company to sign up to the UN’s HeForShe campaign when it launched in 2015, and Barclays’ CEO, Jes Staley is one of the UN’s Corporate Impact Champions; Barclays is the only financial services firm represented.
As we mark IWD 2017, Barclays will be building on the success of previous years engaging more men as advocates and agents of change for gender equality and women’s rights, as well as encouraging them to speak out and take action against inequalities faced by women. Barclays recognises that gender equality is not a female issue alone, and to address it in a meaningful way, it must create an environment where all colleagues, irrespective of gender, feel they have equal opportunities to contribute to the discussion and ultimately be able to pursue their career ambitions.
It is with this focus and as part of its IWD focused activities that Barclays will be launching male ally networks throughout its global offices. These networks will ensure there’s a comprehensive and inclusive dialogue across the organisation driving and advocating change. It will also be looking to grow its cohort of HeForShe supporters and encourage those who have already pledged their support to recruit more individuals irrespective of gender or grade.
These activities are complemented by the work Barclays is doing externally to engage its stakeholders and the broader industry. For example, Barclays recently hosted an event at Parliament with government and clients to explore the work that has been done to support women in business and how this can be enhanced and developed.
Supporting female veterans
Barclays has a long history of supporting the military. We meet one such veteran who has successfully made the transition from the military to ‘civvy street' and look at how Barclays has supported her journey.
Kim, a classically trained musician, joined the Armed Forces in September 2008 as the Principal Clarinettist of the Band of the Welsh Guards, and was promoted to a Junior Non Commissioned Officer in January 2012. She was responsible for coaching, mentoring and leading a section of 10 soldiers for all engagements, including such events as The Golden Jubilee in St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Trooping of the Colour and The Royal Wedding.
After seven years Kim was looking for her next challenge, but with a young daughter, she was looking for one that would enable her to better balance work with her family commitments. Ever ambitious, she wanted to ensure she’d continue to push her career, and started to look for opportunities outside of the military. It was through Barclays’ military connections, specifically through its AFTER programme, that she was able to identify a role that interested her within Barclays’ Home Solutions team.
Kim was clear in her interviews that she would only be able to work three days a week, this didn’t deter Barclays. To her delight she was offered the role as Deputy Leader within the team, managing between 10-15 advisors with responsibility for their development and leadership training.
Barclays’ approach to flexible and remote working has meant that Kim has been able to manage her personal and work commitments and says she that couldn’t be happier with the support she’s received throughout her move to civvy street. As she looks ahead to how she can further develop her career, she very much sees her future at Barclays.