Colleagues in the community
Barclays’ colleagues are an important part of how we deliver our Sustainability and Citizenship Commitments as we strive to play a positive role in society.
Throughout the year, thousands of colleagues around the world give their time, skills and expertise to help people develop new skills to get into work, or by supporting businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive. In October, colleagues come together to volunteer in support of Barclays annual Make a Difference campaign.
Barclays also supports colleagues to help the causes they care about through our volunteering, fundraising and giving programmes.
Going above and beyond
The Citizenship and Diversity Awards shine a light on colleagues whose commitment to citizenship and diversity is helping customers, clients, colleagues and society to rise.
Whether it’s helping people gain the skills to get into work, creating a workplace where everyone feels included, strengthening the local community or the environment, or supporting diverse colleagues to grow, the awards are a celebration of our extraordinary colleagues.
2021 global finalists
Developing people’s digital, financial or employability skills and creating pathways into work.
Finalist: Per Scholas Java Developer Curriculum Team – US
Working in partnership with Per Scholas, which provides tuition-free technology training to people often excluded from tech careers, the team created a 14-week Java developer curriculum for underrepresented students in Newark, NJ. Colleagues spent nine months developing the programme and were actively engaged as volunteers to provide career guidance, discuss real-world situations that a Java developer could encounter, and support on interview preparation. The programme materials will continue to be used by Per Scholas to enable more people to benefit from the content. Following completion of the programme, many of the 22 students in the inaugural class have secured entry-level technology roles.
Finalist: Barclays Summer Academy Team – Hong Kong, UK
Colleagues in Hong Kong designed and delivered the Barclays Summer Academy, a multi-week employability programme. In 2020, the team rolled out the Summer Academy programme to ethnically diverse students and young people looking for jobs, who face various barriers to work. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, colleague volunteers supported the programme participants online, delivering virtual CV clinics and sessions on career planning and interview skills. In total, 84 volunteers delivered over 150 hours of support for 61 students – the highest number of participants since the programme began in 2017.
Winner: Her Own Boss Team – UK
Delivered by six BUK graduates, Her Own Boss is a programme designed to help young women break down the barriers they face at the start of their careers. Women under 25 being most likely to have had their employment affected by the pandemic. The team are working to tackle the gender disparity in early career confidence and female representation in entrepreneurship. With sponsorship from Eagle Labs and Rise, Her Own Boss have extended their audience, reaching over 3,500 podcast listeners and 1,000 followers on social media. The team continue to produce five-star rated podcasts and grow their online community to increase their impact.
Supporting entrepreneurs, businesses and customers with our products, services or expertise, to have a positive societal or environmental impact.
Winner: SOURCE Global Private Equity Placement – US
Barclays acted as financial advisor and placement agent for SOURCE Global’s US$50m Series C1 capital raise. SOURCE produces unique hydropanels that use solar power to extract clean, pollutant-free drinking water from the air without needing an additional electricity or water supply. This transaction represents one of the largest private capital raises in the water technology sector over the last few years and was the first financing deal involving Barclays and an Unreasonable Impact company. With this round of investment, SOURCE will be able to scale their global installations of hydropanels and accelerate innovation in renewable water technologies.
Highly commended: Falck Renewables Green Convertible Bond Team – Italy, Spain, UK
Barclays acted as joint global coordinator for a €200m 5-year green convertible bond issue for Falck Renewables, a leading Italian renewable energy company. This was the first ever green convertible bond offering in Italy, and the third in Europe, highlighting Barclays’ contribution to the growth of the green finance market in the region. The funds raised will be used by Falck Renewables exclusively to finance new or existing renewable energy assets, including investing in new energy plants. The success of this bond will pave the way for future sustainability-linked transactions and further open up the green finance market in Europe.
Finalist: Female Founders First Team – UK, US
Research shows that women-led businesses could contribute an additional £250bn to the UK economy, but female founding teams are 1.4 times more likely to be negatively impacted by COVID-19. Inspired by this, the team created Female Founders First, a bespoke accelerator programme for 30 women, comprised of 26 workshops, daily online engagement, 150+ coaching interactions, 180+ mentoring sessions and 17 media training sessions. The team’s focus on the founders' priorities was reflected in the participants’ positive feedback. The success of this programme will inspire future work to support entrepreneurs and the team have created a plan for each founder to ensure they remain supported by Barclays.
Strengthening the local community or the environment by giving time, money or expertise.
Finalist: Henderson Win Mask Project – US
When personal protective equipment (PPE) became scarce early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Henderson chapter of Win, the gender network, put out a call to network members to help make and donate face masks to help meet the needs of the community. A small group of colleagues, along with their families, made 450+ masks through more than 200 hours of collective effort. Recipients of the masks included HELP of Southern Nevada who support at-risk, low-income families and young people in the community; staff at nursing homes and medical support facilities; small essential businesses which remained open to the public; and on-campus Henderson call centre colleagues.
Colleagues' Choice winner: Each 1 Teach 1 Team – India
In partnership with the NGO Om Foundation, the team designed a 12-week skills development module to improve the employment prospects of seven students from underprivileged backgrounds living in Noida. The virtual employability sessions included 1:1 coaching, interview skills and communication skills. In total, more than 100 colleagues collectively logged over 500 volunteering hours to create and deliver this programme, with all participants able to secure jobs in the middle of the pandemic. Following the success of this programme, there are now plans to roll it out in Pune and Chennai.
Winner: Colleague Collaboration and Samaritans – UK, US
Colleagues came together to support the mental health charity Samaritans continue to deliver their life-saving work in a virtual environment through the pandemic and beyond. Colleagues from Enterprise Technology offered their virtual call centre expertise to help the Samaritans team to understand the steps to provide their services virtually and to procure the technology required. The team were connected to the Citizenship team to secure funding through Barclays’ COVID-19 Community Aid Package to deliver this work. In addition, a team of Barclays senior leaders supported the senior management team and trustees of Samaritans to brainstorm ways to ensure their longer-term resilience.
Strengthening the local community or the environment by giving time, money or expertise.
Winner: Idara Otu – US
Idara is the founder of the non-profit Let Girls Read, Run, Grow, which supports the development of girls in Nigeria through education, athletics and entrepreneurship. She has successfully leveraged public and private partnerships to commit resources to improve the lives of female students. In 2020, Idara continued to build on the success of the organisation’s existing projects by rallying the help of donors to support over 100 students. This included granting more than 50 scholarships, distributing sports equipment to student sports teams, and providing several months’ worth of food, educational materials and school supplies across two orphanages.
Finalist: Martin Strejc – Czech Republic
Martin has dedicated significant time and energy to organise an annual summer camp for people with disabilities in the Czech Republic, which is funded through his personal contributions and donations from Barclays colleagues. The camps have had a hugely positive impact on the participants, their families and the facilitators. In addition, during 2020 he was instrumental in enabling Barclays’ COVID-19 Community Aid Package donation to the Salvation Army to support their valuable work through the pandemic. Martin is a true role model for Citizenship in Prague and inspires colleagues to volunteer their time and energy to support the community.
Highly commended: Claire Sawyer – UK
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, with no support services available for vulnerable people, Claire created ‘We Are Knutsford’ to deliver vital support services. She quickly created a network of 3,000 members and recruited 500 volunteers and spread the word to local residents. Under her leadership, the group delivered over 6,000 community support activities including shopping and collecting prescriptions for those shielding and self-isolating, and making garden visits and welfare calls to members of the community. In addition to fundraising £7,500 for the organisation, Claire set up an online shop to distribute fresh food parcels to families in need.
Celebrating colleagues (individual or a team) who have helped to build a more inclusive culture or created significant change in the workplace across diverse groups.
Joint winner: Barclays US Consumer Bank Spectrum and Embrace Black Professionals Forum
As part of Pride month activities in June 2020, the team developed allyship training, which provided resources, information and knowledge to enable colleagues to explore what it means to be an authentic and inclusive ally to the LGBT+ and Black communities in the workplace. The team created the materials and content to provide techniques for managing change, challenges and pressures that may be associated with active allyship. All colleagues in the Americas are able to attend and the content is refreshed regularly to support the changing environment, from new legal challenges that face American citizens to the ongoing fight for equity and justice.
Finalist: Women in Tech India – India
As the head of Rise Mumbai and a core member of several D&I initiatives, Lincy Therattil has driven a number of internal and external activities creating opportunities for Women in Tech in India. With a focus on increasing our female talent pipeline, she launched a knowledge series that was attended by 180 external professionals. The success of this led to the format being brought to an internal audience with colleagues gaining insights on repositioning themselves and accelerating their careers. She also leverages her extensive network at Rise to provide mentoring support, business and investor connection opportunities to entrepreneurs, and supports early-stage female founders.
Joint winner: LifeSkills D&I Content Team – UK
Gemma Stevenson created an innovative suite of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) resources that teaches young people in schools and colleges about the importance of inclusivity and diversity at work. The resouces include case studies from LifeSkills covering gender, disability, LGBT+, age and race. Young people aged 11-24 can learn through the website, which includes a dynamic film about race within the workplace. The training provides them with the tools and confidence to champion issues to help support a more positive society. These resources contributed to LifeSkills exceeding its annual target with more than 2.3m people taking part across the whole programme last year.
Exemplifying the vision of supporting diverse colleagues to flourish.
Finalist: Global Lean In Circles – US, UK, India
Global Lean In Circles come together each month to share their experiences and learn from each other with the overarching goal of removing barriers for women in the workplace. In 2020 they grew from being aimed at small groups of female colleagues who met regularly to utilise the power of peer support, mentoring and shared experiences, into an all-bank, all-colleague initiative. More than 600 mentoring participants in 42 Circles took part in more than 7,500 professional development modules and 16 hours of speaker sessions. Global Lean In Circles empowered colleagues to develop their network internally and apply for new roles, and provided a safe space for colleagues to use their voice and drive inclusion at Barclays.
Winner: Women in Machine Learning – India
Women in Machine Learning was conceived to tap into existing female tech talent at Barclays and upskill them in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The group ran a 12-week programme, which received more than 850 applicants, of which 60 colleagues were shortlisted. Participants learned to code, received 1:1 mentorship and learnt to approach any challenge with data insights. As this community grows, they will organise roadshows and hackathons, and expand the programme to the UK and the US.
Highly commended: Reach UK Mentoring Programme – UK
The Reach UK Mentoring Scheme sees traditional and reverse mentoring initiatives combined. Colleagues with a disability, mental health or neurodiverse condition learn from their mentor’s experienced insights, who in turn grasp the challenges, experiences and remarkable strengths their mentee’s condition brings. It was set up in response to colleagues who voiced concern around their condition holding back their career, while senior leaders felt they lacked confidence to talk to their teams about disability, mental health and neurodiversity. After the success of the pilot in the UK, in 2021 the scheme will operate internationally. It was showcased as an example of best practice to external disability networks at an event facilitated by PurpleSpace about supporting disabled colleagues’ careers.
Recognising a team that has delivered measurable impact in achieving their D&I network’s goals or objectives by promoting action or building collaboration across networks.
Winner: Embrace Black Professionals Forum Americas Research Team – US
Colleagues in the US Black Professionals Forum developed a research paper called Path Forward, which helped Barclays progress action towards racial equity. Members were also part of the workstream that helped to launch ex-officio guidance, an ethnicity dashboard and mandatory race and ethnicity training. The Embrace Black Professionals Americas Research Team have worked hard to drive an understanding of the challenges that Black colleagues, clients and communities are facing. The team have leveraged personal and business contacts to support Barclays with various events and communication and led on partnerships raising money for a number of charities.
Finalist: Win APAC – China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore
While dealing with the huge disruption to work and home life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and having to transfer to programming virtual events, Win APAC didn’t just survive – they thrived. They held 70 spotlight sessions with senior leaders, upskilled 90 women with tech skills and hosted three fundraising events for charity. A mentorship programme run in partnership with NASSCOM also saw over 35 colleagues successfully graduate from the programme in early 2020. Network members worked relentlessly to engage both men and women through the Win and Male Allies campaign to challenge men to take the gender equality agenda forward, which led to a 9% increase in membership – a third of whom were men.
Highly commended: Embrace Black Professionals Forum UK – UK
The UK Black Professionals Forum (BPF) wrote a heartfelt ‘open letter’ to their members sharing how they were feeling and offering support through the global pandemic and the emotional toll of the Black Lives Matter movement. Colleagues based in the North West of England also created a regional chapter. BPF supported colleagues via Mentor Mondays, all-colleague calls, and individual support. They delivered ‘the best UK Black History Month that Barclays has seen’, curating more than 20 events, with participation from high-profile speakers, senior leaders, educational sessions and cultural exploration. They ran a virtual colleague mentoring programme and a reverse mentoring initiative, giving senior leaders insight into issues that Black colleagues are facing. Membership of the UK BPF grew 375% as a result.
An inspiring individual, champion or ally who has role modelled inclusion and made a significant contribution to promoting equality and a workplace of opportunity.
Finalist: Nicole Dye-Anderson – US
Nicole has been a dedicated advocate for Barclays’ D&I efforts, acting as a champion of the communication pillar within the global Race at Work committee and serving on the US Black Professionals Forum leadership team. She has been instrumental in creating Race at Work events, including a panel discussion with Jes Staley and Dr. Sheila Robinson, leading a panel discussion about Black Lives Matter, and driving a social media campaign entitled #BlackWealthMatters. Nicole championed Historically Black Colleges & Universities Week, partnering with JetBlue and Delaware State to create an engaging programme raising awareness and visibility of Black pilots aligned with university’s flight programme with the Dover Air Force base.
Finalist: Minal Mane – India
Minal is committed to promoting accessibility, disability and mental health awareness at Barclays to help all colleagues to reach their full potential and helping to create an inclusive culture. Under her leadership, Reach Chennai launched interactive group mentoring sessions, a programme encouraging colleagues to connect with each other and sessions that taught 120 colleagues sign language. She also launched interactive group mentoring sessions between senior leaders and colleagues with disabilities based in Chennai. Topics such as mental and physical wellbeing during COVID-19 were covered.
Winner: Natalie Ojevah – UK
Natalie is one of the creators of the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator, a 12-week virtual programme helping Black founder-led tech businesses to grow and scale. The programme received more than 200 applications and she worked with award-winning social enterprise Foundervine to co-create a curriculum of masterclasses, including sales strategy and leadership development. Natalie recruited a group of Barclays colleagues to mentor the cohort of 25 Black founder-led businesses, and the programme culminated in a Demo Day, as Black founders are often overlooked for funding and other opportunities compared to their non-Black peers. This is why Natalie is passionate about supporting ethnically diverse founders.