A specialist diversity unit has helped drive the recruitment and inclusion
of ethnic minority staff at one of the world’s largest banks.
Barclays has increased its percentage of ethnic minority staff in the UK
from 6.3 to 8.3 per cent over the last two years, after a root and branch
review of its diversity policy. The bank has also run an initiative to increase
the number of ethnic minorities in senior positions, culminating in two people
being appointed to the board.
Niccola Swan, diversity director at the company, was given a team of 11
people to examine the whole area of inclusion across the bank’s entire
"Our objective is to ensure our workforce represents the community it
serves at all levels. We want to target more diverse customers as well,"
Barclays started the process by carrying out a staff survey to look at the
overall picture on diversity at the bank.
Swan and her team decided to focus on four key areas: fairness in
recruitment and selection, handling inappropriate behaviour, building an
inclusive culture and work-life balance.
Swan then reviewed the whole recruitment process to ensure it had no race
bias, as well as improving the psychometrics and widening the number of
universities it selected from.
Recruitment agencies used by Barclays were also called in for a briefing to
encourage them to look at ways of attracting a more diverse range of
candidates. A series of employee support networks for ethnic staff or gay or
lesbian staff were also set up.
Swan also identified ethnic minority role models within Barclays to act as
an inspiration to others. Those interested in rapidly progressing up the ladder
were given extensive career development and coaching.