Amplifying colleague voices on diversity and inclusion
What are Employee Resource Groups – and how are they helping to create a more diverse and inclusive culture at Barclays? Find out about the bank’s 12 ERGs, their roles in amplifying colleague voices and why their efforts offer real business value.
Over 25,000 colleagues globally are members of Barclays’ 12 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These colleague-led groups are dedicated to ensuring that all voices are heard, helping to create a culture that attracts, retains, develops and engages talent from diverse backgrounds.
“The purpose of our global Employee Resource Groups is to amplify the voices of our diverse workforce – to better understand the needs of our colleagues, clients and community by enabling them to create a sense of inclusion and belonging,” explains Hannah Awonuga, Global Head of Colleague Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion at Barclays.
Each ERG aims to highlight the experiences and perspectives of their members, in support of the bank’s six diversity and inclusion agendas: multicultural, socioeconomic inclusion, gender, disability, LGBT+ and multigenerational.
“They provide an opportunity to build a community of colleagues and allies with shared goals and interests,” adds Ray Dempsey, Group Chief Diversity Officer. “They are constructive influencers to our senior leaders, and act as a collective voice for our colleagues. They create connections, provide support and enhance our talent attraction and retention efforts. And in support of their membership, ERGs provide mentoring and leadership development.”
Colleagues can participate in a number of ways: as active members, as allies, as part of an ERG committee or as supporters and, says Dempsey, their involvement helps to ensure that Barclays serves the needs of every client and customer, regardless of their background, location or experience.
Spectrum, the LGBT+ Resource Group, for example, played a vital part in Barclays offering the option of the gender neutral ‘Mx’ prefix to customers. Another Resource Group, Reach – which focuses on disability, mental health and neurodiversity – has helped the bank’s accessibility teams to make sure appropriate measures are in place to support different groups.
Barclays' 12 Employee Resource Groups
“There is even more we can do to leverage our ERGs”
Some ERGs have been operating for more than 15 years and, recently, many have seen membership grow significantly. But looking forward, one of Barclays’ priorities will be helping all 12 ERGs – including Inspire, a new group dedicated to socioeconomic inclusion – to create “a diverse and inclusive workforce that opens pathways of opportunity for all of our people and across all of our businesses,” says Dempsey.
This year, the Diversity and Inclusion team hopes to create opportunities to connect colleagues around the world, find new ways to bring an intersectional lens to the bank’s diversity agendas – and support more colleagues to get involved with the groups.
“There is even more we can do to leverage our ERGs to be a supportive community for their members and to also deliver real value,” says Dempsey.
“Membership continues to grow year on year but there are still many colleagues that are not aware of our Employee Resource Groups. Our ERGs are open to all colleagues, and we encourage them to also sign up as allies and supporters, to learn and engage with other diversity groups. Being part of an ERG creates a sense of belonging, and gives you a voice in support of driving progress on diversity, equity and inclusion across Barclays."
Find out more about Barclays’ Employee Resource Groups.