Our Diversity and Inclusion strategy is overseen by the Executive Diversity Group, led by Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive of Retail and Business Banking, and the HR Director. This group sets the direction for our strategy and reviews progress against key priorities.
Our diversity policies seek to foster a more inclusive workplace and ensure we deliver relevant and differentiated products and services for our diverse customers. We take our responsibilities to equality and fair treatment seriously, with progress on diversity regularly reviewed by both the Barclays Board Corporate Governance and Nominations Committee and the Barclays Board Citizenship Committee.
Our approach to diversity
We have a global diversity strategy in place across the organisation, and we are continuing to extend and update this to reflect industry best practice and the expectations of our stakeholders and customers. We continue to enhance our policies and benefits packages, designing them to make the most of our colleagues’ skills across their whole career with us, from school leaver and apprenticeship schemes, to supporting working parents and carers, through to phased retirement options.
We have also enhanced the support we give to colleagues on international assignments, updating our global mobility policies to ensure we better understand the needs, for example, of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) colleagues who travel abroad for business.
We focus on enabling all our colleagues to fulfil their potential, and provide coaching, training and mentoring, as well as customised equipment and adjustments where appropriate for disabled colleagues. We have many active employee networks across the organisation including Women’s Initiatives Networks (WiN’s), Spectrum for LGBT colleagues, working families and carers groups, cultural diversity networks, disability awareness groups and an age employee network. These groups ensure that we understand any issues that affect their members and continue to inform and shape our strategy.
We provide specific diversity and inclusion training for all colleagues, with tailored training for line managers and HR specialists. We also work closely with our external recruitment firms, so that they understand our diversity priorities and help us access the widest possible pool of talent. We use selection techniques that enable all applicants to demonstrate their potential and work hard to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to job opportunities.
Our first Diversity and Inclusion Summit was held in New York in October 2011, and brought together 200 colleagues across the organisation, all committed to creating an inclusive workplace at Barclays, and to delivering products and services that address the needs of our diverse customers and clients.
Since the beginning of 2011, we have achieved 100% in the US Human Rights Campaign Index for LGBT Equality and in 2012 we were placed 3rd in the 2011 UK Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. Our Spectrum network also won the Stonewall Network of the Year award in 2011. We were named one of the UK’s Top 10 employers by Working Families and won an Opportunity Now award for Advancing Women in the Workplace, as well as retaining our position as one of The Times Top 50 Employers for Women, a position we have held every year since the ranking began.
Our programme covers every aspect of diversity including sexual orientation, race and cultural awareness, age, and religion and belief. However, our priority is to promote gender equality in our workforce and support colleagues and customers who have a disability.
We continue to focus on achieving a better balance between men and women in our workforce, particularly at senior levels, and we are not the only financial services business facing this challenge. While progress has been slower than we would have liked, there is a complete commitment to this objective, from the Board to the front line, and the number of women in senior roles is tracked and reviewed quarterly. We currently have two women on the Board (16%), and our Chairman has stated his intention to increase this to at least 20% by 2013 and 25% by 2015. In Barclays as a whole, more than half of our employees are women. The proportion of female executives remained relatively stable last year (11%), and the number of female managers reduced from 24% to 22%.
We have a number of development programmes across the world designed to identify talented women and help them progress through the organisation. For example, our businesses in Africa put in place a Women’s Leadership Programme, connecting women and empowering them for future leadership roles. In France, Barclays is a founder member of Financielles, a network for women in financial services, and has a mentoring programme for selected senior women. There is a Women’s Talent Forum in Portugal, and a pilot women’s development programme in UK Retail and Business Banking, as well as other similar initiatives in other parts of the organisation.
There are many coaching and mentoring programmes for women across Barclays, and several businesses offer specific support to women returning from maternity leave. We are particularly keen that our gender balance improves by developing women within our own organisation, rather than by external hiring. We scrutinise the process of recruitment at senior level particularly closely. We aim to eradicate unconscious bias and ensure female candidates are not unintentionally disadvantaged.
We continue to champion the Barclays ‘Women of the Year’ programme for our colleagues, recognising female employees who have achieved outstanding success, and men who are recognised as champions of gender equality. This initiative began in 2007 in the UK but is now our keynote global programme promoting gender equality, and is sponsored by Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond. In 2011, the awards attracted more than 1,600 entries from 34 countries, and showcased the wide range of inspirational women who have had a major impact across Barclays at every level.
We also want to promote gender equality outside Barclays, as well as inside, and this is why we collaborate with partners who share this aspiration. In 2011, we continued to support the annual Women of the Year Lunch and Lecture, and the from Cranfield University. We also participated in the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society held in Deauville, France, and contributed to a best practice database brought together by the World Economic Forum, entitled ‘Closing the Gender Gap’.
On International Women’s Day 2011, we hosted a programme of events involving 20,000 colleagues in more than 50 locations across the world. These included discussion panels with major public figures and our own leadership team, as well as special sessions of our Women’s Initiatives Network groups. Topics discussed at these events included Barclays commitment to women in its business and the practical challenges women face in the workplace.
We focus on ability, not disability, seeing this as the most effective way to ensure all of our colleagues can fulfil their potential. We participate in the ‘Positive about Ability’ scheme in the UK (also known as ‘two ticks’), which is awarded to companies who demonstrate a commitment to disability awareness in recruitment, training, retention and consultation. We have provided recruiting managers with specialist training to ensure they are aware of the issues and confident in dealing with them.
Colleagues can access a wide range of support and practical assistance, from specialist equipment and adaptive technology through to disability helplines providing advice and guidance. Our Disability Listening Groups, led by Chief Executives across the organisation, provide a mechanism to drive positive change. These groups, and our Disability Awareness Networks, which are open to all employees with an interest in disability, give us valuable feedback about workplace improvements. They can also help us shape better services for disabled customers and clients.
Recognising those who support the disability agenda is also vital. Our annual Glenn Shaw Everest awards scheme, established in memory of a disabled colleague, has now grown into a global event that highlights the talents of our disabled employees as well as the colleagues who positively contribute to disability awareness.