Gender Equality Awards 2017: Responsible Business Award for Gender Equality- Barclays

Starting from the Davies review, Barclays has set internal targets, including 50% of graduate recruits to be female – an increase of 6% in two years. Targets have also been set for the board of directors, including having 40% women in the rotational leadership group and increasing candidate diversity in senior positions. The rotational aspect has also been adopted by executive committees across the business, and is driven by the CEO who is also keen to look at other aspects of diversity.

Talent management
To project what needs to be done for effective talent management, and meet the graduate recruit target, an analytics tool has been put in place. Barclays uses data and analytics to understand the organisation's diversity – including a review of how it is managing graduate population attrition through a gender lens.

Male allies
To engage male allies, Barclays has introduced the HeForShe campaign globally through an intranet site with five commitments employees can sign up for, allied to the UN goals. Employees who sign up automatically become champions. Senior leaders attended events to encourage male colleagues to participate. This approach gives men an entry point to step forward as active allies and support each other to be in a dialogue they previously felt excluded from. Male allies are tracked on their performance through a scorecard and held accountable through the performance system.

A strategic network
Barclays is aiming to break down the hierarchy by unpicking diversity at middle and senior levels, thinking about executive committees from a reporting line standpoint and focusing on potential. Throughout Barclays' gender network, which is focused on junior to middle development and raising aspirations, many women and men are keen to hear about what it means to be a board member. The network is aligned with Barclays' diversity and inclusion strategy and is tasked with building and reaching out within the framework. Barclays has a layered women on boards programme, with a FTSE 250 programme and another tranche of new hires who aspire to board positions outside the organisation.

Recently Barclays sponsored a group of women to attend the in-house bi-annual Women in Leadership forum which is attended by 700 people. In 2016, Barclays worked with a partner to scale the event. Vice-presidents were invited to participate through webinars, giving them the opportunity to see what the female managing directors were involved in and come together to share their learning. Further activity is planned for the 2018 event.

Culture change
Barclays is changing the dialogue around maternity leave to one about parental leave, leading focus groups around the world and analysing existing programmes' usability to increase returners. Dynamic working was launched in 2015, giving both men and women a platform to partner, and data already shows an increase in engagement from individuals working dynamically. Barclays' next step is to look at why employees are not using dynamic working and how it can increase uptake, such as through CEOs acting as role models.

Barclays is looking at the experience of returners, including where the entry points are and addressing visibility. Women and men who have taken five- or ten-year breaks may have left at senior levels and returned at a lower level. Returnships were piloted in New York last year, and 11 of the 12 participants have been offered or accepted new roles at Barclays. Taking a more structured approach has stretched the organisation, but experimenting and testing things will increase diversity.

Barclays is also addressing what apprenticeships look like in banking, recruiting apprentices in a wide range of business areas and focusing on increased diversity rather than grade requirements. The organisation is also giving apprentices ownership of their career path through rotations in experience, providing flexible working, gaining relevant support from line managers to achieve their career goals and opportunities to feed back to the early careers team. 47% of Barclays' apprentices are female, and 43% are from an ethnic minority background, and there is no upper age limit.

Commitment and engagement
Despite significant changes in the last five years, Barclays has not wavered in its commitment. Throughout this change, the commitment to women in leadership has shown improvement in female progression. Senior leaders have made a commitment and stuck to it through turbulent times. The employee engagement survey echoes this, with 89% of line managers saying they support this commitment – 10% more than the finance industry as a whole. Barclays' gender network is also continuing to grow and has 5,000 members.