Making progress towards parity

Barclays remains focussed on improving gender diversity through a workplace environment and culture that supports and empowers women and men across the organisation to attract and retain women at all levels.

From hiring the UK’s first ever female bank manager in the 1950s to being the first financial services company to sign up to the UN’s HeForShe campaign in 2015, Barclays has often been at the forefront in championing women’s careers and engaging men in the conversation.  

We want to achieve gender equality at every level of Barclays so that our female colleagues can fulfil their career aspirations. We know that we have more to do to continue accelerating the progression of women into more senior roles and we will continue to push our ambitions much further on gender diversity and gender parity.

Read more in the Barclays Diversity, Equity and Inclusion report. 

We remain focused on driving change, advocating the gender diversity agenda and building an inclusive culture. In order to continue to make progress towards parity, we have set a Gender Ambition of 33% female representation in senior leadership roles (MD/D) by the end of 2025. We actively provide development opportunities for our leaders of the future, such as ex-officio roles and places on our development programmes.

Paul Compton

Global Head of Corporate and Investment Bank and President, Barclays Bank plc

Gender DEI Priorities

Our priorities for our gender agenda are:


  • Gender Ambitions of 33% female representation in senior leadership roles (MDs and Ds) by the end of 2025 and improving our EVP as an inclusive hirer
  • Accelerate the development and progression of female talent through accelerated development programmes, sponsorship and ex-officio roles to improve representation and achieve our Gender Ambition
  • Engage active male allies who will help drive inclusion and progression of female talent
  • Promote the Win ERG, providing opportunities that enable them to influence positive business outcomes
  • Provide quarterly insight packs to track progress by business area, holding each BU accountable to progress against their Gender Ambitions
  • Consistent review of the UK pay gap, encouraging leaders to take measurable actions that aim to close the gap
  • Consistent review of female representation at all corporate grade levels, encouraging leaders to take measurable actions that aims to improve female representation (e.g. graduate intake, AVP/VP and D/MD)


  • Support female entrepreneurs: Female Innovators lab in NY, Female Founders First and Female Founder Accelerator
  • Double spend on women-owned suppliers by 2025
  • Develop and continue partnerships with Gender-focused external partners that amplify female progression and drive employer value proposition


  • Increased female visibility in external client events and deal teams where possible

Working at Barclays

Development at Barclays is about empowering all our colleagues to thrive through a range of development opportunities. We run a number of leadership programmes, which aim to develop high-performing female colleagues to fulfil their potential, and take ownership of their career progression.

Aspire, is programmatic development experience designed to empower, connect and mobilise our high-potential colleagues at Vice President level with the skills and knowledge to thrive in a complex and uncertain world.

Launchpad, has been designed to accelerate the career advancement of ethnically diverse and female colleagues as Assistant Vice President and Vice President level. The programme focuses on helping colleagues to build their leadership capability and confidence, and successfully shift the Barclays culture today and in the future.

Strategic Leader, is a leadership experience that is designed to build a long term inclusive talent pipeline of diverse senior leaders by supporting and challenging our high potential Directors to build the skills to lead transformational change at Barclays.

Increasing the number of women in senior positions is integral to our long-term goal for Barclays, to create a more inclusive leadership culture in which everyone is equally able to progress and access opportunities to support their career development. International Women's Day, sponsorship and mentoring initiatives, enable us to support the considerable achievements of the talented women across our business outside of structured programmes on a day to day basis.

Two men with yellow background
Women with blond hair

Women in Finance Charter

As a founding signatory of the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter, a signatory of the Hampton Alexander Review and contributor to the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, we proactively set gender targets. Our ambition is to achieve 33% female Managing Directors and Directors globally by the end of 2025. As of 2021, we met our global commitment to a target of 28% of women in senior leadership roles – our Director and Managing Director population – up from 26% in 2020.

More information about HMT and our progress in becoming a more inclusive organisation is set out in our first ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report. (PDF 1.5MB)

Pay Gaps Disclosures 

2023 marked the seventh year for which we have reported our gender pay gaps, and the sixth year we have reported our ethnicity pay gaps, in the UK. In December 2023, we published gender pay gaps for Barclays Ireland for the second time.

Details can be found in the UK Pay Gaps 2023 (PDF 2MB) and Ireland Pay Gaps 2023 (PDF 1.8MB) disclosures. 

Since 2018, we have also been publishing the French Gender Equality Index (GEI). Details can be found in the France GEI 2023 (PDF 150KB) disclosure.

Sonal Lakhani
Two men with yellow background

Win, the gender resource group

Win, the gender resource group exists to encourage, inspire and support women in achieving their career goals and potential at Barclays. Dedicated to attracting, retaining and developing female talent to increase the representation and decrease the turnover of women at every level of our business. Both men and women are able to join Win.

Win anchors its programmes to key dates such as International Women's Day, to continue to drive the conversation on gender equality. The employee resource group offers targeted career and personal development opportunities to women through initiatives like Win Careers Week. 

Empowering Male Allies to champion gender equality

Barclays has a long history of progress towards gender equality, and men have always been part of that journey. As a founding member and corporate Impact Champion within the UN HeForShe movement, Barclays committed to engaging men in the drive to increase the number of women in senior leadership.

By empowering Male Allies, it has created a powerful network of global advocates, pledging to take action to be effective allies for women at work, accelerate gender parity and achieve a more equitable workplace.

We have documented some of the practical steps that we have taken to empower male allies to champion gender equality in this guide HeForShe Proven Solution

Man with green background

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.

Read our story with seven women from across the bank, who tell us about the incredible work they are doing to inspire inclusion at Barclays and beyond. 

International Womens' Day colleagues
Busniess woman at work

Supporting female-led businesses

We are committed to supporting female entrepreneurs, especially as the economy recovers post pandemic.  We are a founding signatory of the UK Government’s Investing in Women Code , and in the past few months have made a number of long-term commitments.  These include helping 100,000 women across the UK to start up and run their own business, and continuing to provide support through the New York-based Female Innovators Lab , and global programmes such as Female Founders First .

In 2021 we expanded our Female Innovators Lab, to help entrepreneurial women in the UK and Europe to build venture-backable businesses, and increasing diversity in the FinTech sector. 

Established in the US in 2019, the Female Innovators Lab  led by Barclays and Anthemis, is a venture fund and studio dedicated to investing in and cultivating entrepreneurial talent in women across the financial services ecosystem.  The Lab combines Barclays’ and Anthemis’ early stage investment expertise and wide fintech network.  It identifies female founders at the earliest stage of their journey and matches them with capital and support to build and scale a company.  The founders will receive an investment from the US$30m UK-based fund of which Barclays is the anchor limited partner, as well as bespoke support from the lab team and access to Barclays’ and Anthemis’ dedicated office space in London. 

The Female Innovators Lab expansion builds on the work Barclays has already done to promote diversity and inclusion in the start-up community through programmes such as Female Founders First , and the Black Founders Accelerator.