Appreciating each other's differences and celebrating everyone's cultures.
Feeling safe, supported and represented in my workplace has always been a top priority for me. And, I'm happy to say, I found this at Barclays. Here, I'm surrounded by diverse colleagues who appreciate each other's differences and celebrate everyone's cultures.
Having grown up in the south of India, I moved to the UK to attend the University of Warwick. Moving to a new country on my own was daunting, but I was lucky to meet friends, classmates and even strangers who showed me kindness, which played a huge role in helping me get to grips with my new surroundings. Now, almost six years later, I'm a Commercial Strategy Manager for Barclays Payments division, and I still see the impact that small acts of kindness have, every day.
Support for all
I wanted to continue this pattern of giving and make a difference to other people's lives too. So, outside of my daily role, I began to get involved in citizenship projects. Firstly, I joined the health and wellbeing network where I helped to ensure all colleagues have the mental and physical wellbeing support they need. Then, I found out that I could represent the business by attending universities and speaking to students about my experience of the Barclays graduate programme. This gave me the platform to openly and honestly say that Barclays supports colleagues from all cultures.
From celebrating Eid to Diwali to Christmas, here, we're encouraged to share experiences and educate each other - often over a delicious meal prepared in our office canteen. But it isn't all about food - Barclays also has several cultural societies where you can connect with those who share your beliefs or cultural background. Here, our workplace - both physical and virtual - is respectful of everyone's differences, and this accepting culture has been visible in every colleague I've met.
Rallying together, through thick and thin
The past few months have presented challenges that many of us didn't anticipate, and although we are all in the same boat, we've all had very different experiences of the storm. For me, Barclays has been incredibly supportive, both from a business and personal perspective. As an organisation, we've united as one global team. From CEOs to line managers to neighboring teams, we are supporting each other as equals and being constantly reminded that if we need help, it's only an email or phone call away. Right from the very top down, our leaders are leading by example and ensuring we look out for each other.
We are taking more time than ever before to understand each other as people and are making sure we have all we need to succeed. As a member of our health and wellbeing network, it's been wonderful to see the whole business rally together and support each other. So, I was thrilled when I learnt that in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week, Barclays was hosting a panel for our senior leaders to come together - virtually - and discuss how we can develop our supportive and inclusive environment in these challenging times.
The importance of gratitude
During this discussion, our senior leaders from across the global shared their experiences of recent months. They stressed the importance of being kind to each other and exercising gratitude. When you're sat on the other side of a screen, it's easy to let opportunities to show gratitude pass by, but they stressed how it's important to reach out and be thankful for even the smallest of things. Then, it was inspiring to hear the panel discuss their weaknesses and the challenges they're facing, personally. This brought home the reminder that we are all human and no matter how experienced we are, we're going to come across challenges - and that's ok.
Six years after moving to the UK, I'm thankful to have found Barclays. As a member of our global team, I know that whatever the world may throw at us, I'll be supported, included and provided the platform I need to give back too.