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Published: 20 Jan 2015

Barclays, Winner 2013, The My Family Care Best for all Stages of Motherhood Award

Sector: Finance
Location: All UK
Employees: 73,383

Barclays has a comprehensive, inclusive and well-resourced suite of support for mothers. With full leadership support from the top of the organisation, Barclays is committed to helping women to reach their full potential. This commitment is visible throughout the company.

Careers sites clearly demonstrates support for working parents. Active role modelling means that, when they join, new recruits see senior women (and men) communicate how they combine careers with children. Forward-planning for ‘one-day’ parenthood is enabled by resources detailing comprehensive support that parents-to-be can expect at every point, from pre-birth onwards, all showing how pursuing a successful career path while being a parent is achievable.

Barclays’ family-friendly suite of policies embrace all parental scenarios, including surrogacy and adoption, and are equally accessible to all employees whatever their individual circumstances.

Targeted and tailored coaching options prepare pregnant women (and their line managers) for career ‘off and on ramping’. Generous maternity benefits mean new mothers have options in the early months of their new baby’s life; paid paternity leave is also offered so that new dads can play a key role alongside new mums. Keep-in-touch days help all new mums to re-integrate, with return-to-work discussions ensuring that women return to roles that stretch and fulfil them. Flexible working options make life easier for many at this return-to-work stage.

In fact, numerous options are available to help with early years childcare, ranging from childcare vouchers and emergency carers leave to paid Transition Days, Back-up care options assist with both child and elder-care scenarios, and flexible benefits packages include options to buy or sell leave and add dependant-provision insurance – all mitigating stress as parents juggle work and home.

Working Families and Carers networks provide practical support for parents via wide-ranging seminar series. Topics include step-parenting, child-literacy and numeracy, safe internet use and drug awareness. Colleagues can attend in person, dial-in, or listen to recorded playbacks – depending on what suits them best. Everyone is welcome too, enabling grandparents, godparents and guardians to access skills and knowledge to help them support working parents. From same-sex to single parents, relevant information and support is available.

Strategic gender talent programmes actively target career-aspirational working mothers. Personal development and career progression interventions ensure mothers know that nurturing their career is just as important to the organisation as nurturing their families is to the individual. From mentoring to international secondments, active talent and succession strategies increase gender diversity among senior leaders. International Women’s Day celebrations and Women of the Year awards (est.2006) showcase female talent, including many who are parents, while affirming the company’s commitment to career mothers.

Creating an environment where diverse talent can flourish is vital. The bank has a global unconscious bias programme to upskill 8,000 culture-setters, so setting the tone for inclusive leadership. Robust leader-led Diversity governance tracks and challenges progress. Depicting family-related stories in leadership messaging shows working mothers that they, too, can expect to be supported in integrating their personal and professional lives.

Barclays is able to measure the success of its programmes around mothers: 77,000 (52%) of its workforce are women, 34% of whom are in management grades. Female employees increased by 7% in 12 months. Female and flex-worker engagement scores are higher than their male and non-flex-worker equivalents.

Commenting on Barclays’ commitment to working mothers, Catherine Muirden, HR Director said: ‘Enabling women who want to combine a career with motherhood to do so successfully and achieve their potential is a vital part of our commitment to be the ‘Go-To’ bank for all.’