Challenges, Milestones and Celebrations: Taking on 2020 as One Team

2020 is a year we’ll never forget. Many things have changed, but we took on each challenge as a team and came together at every opportunity to recognise our achievements and – most importantly – our colleagues. Let’s take a look back at 2020 – the firsts, the milestones and the way we stuck together through it all.

January – March

National and Scottish Apprenticeship Weeks

We kicked off the year by celebrating the National and Scottish Apprenticeship Weeks. Armed with their questions, apprentices paired up with business leaders to understand how our apprenticeship programmes. By sharing experiences and insight, they learnt from each other and showed that coaching is a two-way street.

International Women’s Day

Before social distancing, we took part in International Women’s Day in person. During a morning at the House of Lords, female colleagues came together to learn from an inspiring panel, including Baroness Karen Brady and John Amaechi.

From sharing stories to advocating for female leaders, we celebrated and empowered the women in our organisation. Hannah, a member of the Barclays Gender Network, and Sreeja, a representative from our Women in Technology network, wrote about their experience of the event, and told us about how they’re thriving at Barclays.

The Big Night In

This year, we’ve seen how small acts of kindness can make a big difference. In an effort to help people and local communities affected by the coronavirus crisis, we were proud to support The Big Night In Appeal – a huge fundraising effort led by Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need. As well as a £1million donation, we matched funds raised by customers up to £1million and matched money raised by our colleagues.

April – June

Celebrating 10 years of apprenticeships

2020 marked a huge milestone for us – the 10th birthday of Barclays’ apprenticeships. Over the last 10 years, we’ve hired more than 4,000 apprentices across our Foundation and Higher programmes. Like Stephen, who joined us after 15 years in the Army, and Winnie, who came on board as a school-leaver.

No matter how we came together, we’re so proud of every single apprentice. Celebrating this alongside our wonderful team has certainly been a highlight of the year.


As the year went on, it became clear that we’d need to develop new ways to recognise our colleagues while at home. So, when Pride parades were unable to take place, we were ready to launch Pride Inside. Throughout the month, we took the time to show that our commitment to the LGBTQ+ community comes from within.

Wherever we’re based, we’ll continue raising awareness of the challenges faced by the community, as well as sharing stories.

July – September

Supporting graduates and interns from home

As our Summer Internship approached, we took a step back and thought about how we could make the programme work from home. By devising a virtual scheme, we welcomed more than 1,000 interns onto our team – and they took part from all over the world.

From Dubai and Hong Kong to London and New York, the interns got stuck into real projects – all from home. This was a first for us, and we were so proud of our global team for pulling together to make the programme a success.

Soon after, applications opened for our 2021 global graduate and internship programmes. From offering application advice to sharing tips for acing a virtual interview, we’re always finding new ways to support our future leaders.

Barclays Women in Technology

The Barclays women in tech play a key role in developing innovations and shaping the leaders of tomorrow. This year, we continued our at-home celebrations in recognition of Ada Lovelace Day, and shared knowledge at the Grace Hopper Conference and Women in Technology World Series. They inspire us every day, and together we’re redefining the future of finance.

October – December

Black History Month

In October, to celebrate Black History Month from home, we asked our colleagues to tell us what their culture means to them. Read their stories here.

Alongside the Barclays Black Professionals Forum, we’re working to create an inclusive community and strengthen our understanding of how our different cultures and ethnic backgrounds make us stronger. Through sharing stories and educating each other, we showed that we don’t have to be in person to celebrate our culture.

Race at Work Action Plan

2020 marked a turning point in the Black Lives Matter movement. Our vision is to improve opportunities for, and representation of, our Black colleagues, and reinforce our stance of zero tolerance on racism. We will achieve this by delivering a 12-point Race at Work Action Plan.

International Men’s Day

When International Men’s Day came round in November, the Barclays Gender Network, Win, arranged a variety of virtual webinars, panel discussions and mental wellbeing sessions to promote positive conversations about what masculinity means.

From taking part in Movember to raising awareness of men’s health issues, we’re encouraging male colleagues to challenge gender stereotypes and speak out in times of need.

Looking to the future

This year, we’ve shown that no matter where we’re based, we’ll always find ways to celebrate and empower our colleagues, because, without them, we wouldn’t be the business we are today.