It’s been brilliant
We hear from Enid Hayes, the Barclays Community Banker who’s been with the company for 54 years. Enid discusses her five decades with the bank, from ‘Banking For Women’ booklets to the introduction of credit cards – and the joys of “serving my community every day”.
“You probably won’t believe this, but when I first started work we didn’t even use calculators at the bank. Every transaction had to be worked out with a pen and paper.”
Enid Hayes chuckles as she recounts her Barclays story, and quite a story it is. The Staffordshire-born Community Banker has worked in nine different branches over the last 54 years.
“I started on 15 August 1964,” says Enid. “I’d had my interview in Birmingham and was sent to the Stoke-on-Trent branch at the age of 18.”
An employee of Enid’s experience has, of course, witnessed many changes during her decades with Barclays, and her first role at the bank would be inconceivable to a school-leaver starting today.
If you are willing to work hard, then Barclays will do the rest – it offers you everything
“Technology changes have been immeasurable,” says Enid. “Take credit cards for example: the first Barclays one didn’t come out until the mid-sixties and they were just amazing. People didn’t have to come into the bank to collect money anymore – although I myself wasn’t allowed to have one as I hadn’t turned 21.”
Rules around age and gender – many of which seem shocking when reflected on in 2018 – were not uncommon in the early years of Enid’s career.
Enid explains: “There were of course barriers facing women throughout British society. For example, you didn’t get many female managers or assistant managers when I started. Women were offered a completely different career path.”
The lack of equality is painfully evident when viewing the ‘Banking For Women’ booklet – which circulated throughout the bank in the early sixties – in which the bank promised to “explain banking in a way you will understand”. Such patronising tones were normal, says Enid: “You simply didn’t expect to be treated in the same way a man was.
When I first started work, every transaction had to be worked out with a pen and paper
“But that all began to change in the seventies,” she continues. “Throughout society, women finally started to be valued in the workplace, and more avenues began to open for us.”
Enid sees that things have changed completely, with the bank offering a wealth of opportunities to all individuals – regardless of sex, faith, race or background. Enid encourages more women to apply for jobs with the bank, citing her own career as a testament to the avenues available. “It’s been brilliant,” she says. “If you are willing to work hard, then Barclays will do the rest – it offers you everything.”
And it’s not just the bank that has changed over the decades – Enid also sees a huge difference in customers today, and in the way spending habits have evolved over the generations. “I believe the younger people are more cautious than we ever were. They seem to be conscious of their savings, which is great to see.”
Like so many Community Bankers across the business, Enid most values the links with her local community. Looking back on a career that has spanned over five decades, she says: “I’m from the area and I’ve always worked in Staffordshire. I know my colleagues really well, and I get to serve my community every day.”
So does Enid have any regrets leading a one-organisation career, and staying with Barclays throughout her working life? “Not in the slightest,” she smiles. “I’ve always been looked after and have met a lot of great people. No regrets at all.”