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Working - and Thriving - in a Diverse and Inclusive Environment

Barclays strives to provide equal opportunities for all colleagues. 

Programme Lead, Sreeja, tells us about her experience of life at Barclays.

Togetherness – you can really feel it here at Barclays, whether you’re in the office, at home or halfway around the world. That’s just one of the reasons why I’m proud to have worked here for six years – and counting. Another reason? No matter your race, gender or preferences, Barclays strives to provide equal opportunities for all colleagues. 

I work in the Technology sector, a space where women are typically under-represented. That’s why, for me, it’s important to work with a business that will not only support my personal growth, but that will empower me to strive for greatness. So, when I came across Barclays and discovered their commitment to championing colleagues, I felt like I’d struck gold. 

World-Class Mentoring 

Mentoring has always been a significant part of my career journey here. Whenever I’ve wanted that extra layer of support, I’ve turned to my mentor for guidance. At Barclays, I have numerous mentors, some of which I’ve been partnered with as part of Barclays’ mentoring programme, others who I’ve connected with myself. From female leaders to those in technical roles, I have complete trust in each of them. I’ve always wanted to be awarded based on merit and succeed in my career because of my hard work, and my mentors have helped me to achieve just this. 

Learning from leaders who are thriving in their careers has been especially inspiring, however, I’ve found reverse mentoring with my team equally important. In my team of 15, I’ve learnt an awful lot from my colleagues – from new ways of thinking to innovative ideas on the execution. I continue to learn something new every day and am proud to have fostered an environment where my team and I can grow together. 

Women in Technology 

Women are vastly under-represented in the technology industry. So, to promote tech careers and encourage women to take up technology-related roles, Barclays created the Women in Technology network. This network runs both external and internal events to show the variety on offer with a tech career. By attending internal discussion groups, I've met countless women in my field and have learnt something new from each of them. For someone like me, it’s great to hear from women who are in a role I’d like to have myself in the coming years. 

And I haven’t only been inspired internally at Barclays – I’ve also had the opportunity to attend events and learn even more, like at the WeAreTechWomen conference earlier this year. Here, I met all sorts of women who work in the tech space, including those who are developing fintech themselves. Being surrounded by all these powerful women gave me a thirst to connect with more inspiring leaders and develop my career further. 

Celebrating International Women’s Day at the House of Lords 

Earlier this year, I was thrilled when I was selected to attend Barclays’ International Women’s Day panel discussion at the world-renowned House of Lords. Here, our Chairman was joined by Baroness Karren Brady and John Amaechi for an insightful conversation on empowering women in the workplace. At this event, it was inspiring to hear the panel talk openly and honestly about gender parity – reflecting on how far we’ve come but also how far we have to go. Barclays is committed to continuing the gender conversation and won’t stop until we have complete equality.  

A key message from the session, which stood out to me, was that to ensure a high quality of decision-making, you should involve people who haven’t had sight of the project beforehand, no matter their level of experience. This point particularly resonated with me because Barclays has never thought about me as a person with a set number of years’ experience. I’m always looked to for my opinion whether I’m the most senior or most junior person in the room, and my point of view is always considered and respected. This motivated me to ensure I reflected this in my management style, and I loved implementing this mindset within my team. Even now that we’re all working from home, these lessons have stuck with me, and despite our physical distance, I always ask my team to share their different perspectives, irrespective of their prior experience

Leading my Team to a Successful Future 

At Barclays, you aren’t judged based on your experience, your culture or your gender – we’re equal partners, who are there to work together to produce cutting-edge technology, services and solutions for our clients and customers. I feel empowered in my career every single day, and I know that I have an entire team around me who can offer support and guidance, so we can achieve a successful future, together. 

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