Jacinta Stewart

We recently sat down with Jacinta Stewart, HR Managing Director at Barclays, to hear about her career journey, to get her thoughts on Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace, and to learn more about the exciting new Buchanan Wharf development bringing 2,500 jobs to Glasgow.

What is your role at Barclays ?

I joined Barclays 12 years ago and I am currently the Head of Human Resources for Barclays International Chief Operating Office and Barclays Execution Services Management Office. I also have the pleasure of being the Head of HR for Barclays in Scotland. It's a really exciting time for the bank as we increase our footprint and build a new world class campus at Buchanan Wharf.

What do you enjoy the most about your job ?

I'm really lucky to have a varied role, every day is different! One day I focus on talent and resourcing, and the next I am driving our Diversity & Inclusion strategy. This, coupled with the global nature of my role, and being able to manage it from Scotland, is what keeps me energised and motivated.

Jacinta Stewart mi

You've recently been promoted to Managing Director, tell us more about that?

I feel extremely privileged to have been promoted to Managing Director, to make it to this level in my career is a huge personal accomplishment. It demonstrates Barclays' commitment as an organisation to supporting females to grow their careers, and I hope my journey shows others within the industry in Scotland that there is career trajectory and paths to progress.

How do you feel the industry is embracing Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace ?

Taking Diversity & Inclusion seriously is critical to Barclays as an organisation, and to financial services as a whole. When I joined the bank our activity in this area was not as focused and seeing how much progress has been made makes me hugely proud.

At Barclays we aim to drive a culture of conscious equality where everyone can be their true self at work and reach their full potential. It's important that the work in this area is business led as opposed to HR driven and I am blown away by the passion our colleagues have for this agenda.  Their efforts and determination have led to a number of external awards for Barclays including the Scottish Financial Services Award 2018, Best Large Private Sector Employer in the 2018 Working Families Scotland Awards, and being rated as a Top Global Employer by Stonewall.

For me, being a diverse and inclusive employer is a key driver in helping us to attract the best talent. It's particularly inspiring to see peer organisations now coming together to deliver industry wide initiatives. In 2018, Barclays jointly launched This is Me Scotland with PWC, and other business partners, to reduce stigma surrounding mental health issues in the workplace. Strength in numbers and a collective approach really shifts the dial and helps to position Financial Services as an industry of choice.

What is it about Glasgow that makes it an ideal location for Barclays to grow ?

Glasgow is a fantastic location for a number of reasons; the local talent pool and the calibre of graduates and students from universities and colleges is world class, the accessibility to other parts of the world makes it easy to do business globally, and the warm and welcoming culture is key - you can't bottle it, if you could you'd make a lot of money! The slogan 'People make Glasgow' couldn't be more fitting!

As we expand our footprint, we are recruiting a diverse range of people to ensure our colleague base represents the customers we support, and is reflective of the communities in which we operate. We are also heavily focused on our Early Careers talent pipeline and supporting more young people to get into the workplace.

How do you manage your work life balance?

I am a huge supporter of dynamic working to be able to fulfil both my work and personal goals. I couldn't work in an organisation that didn't feel the same and believe it really helps to form a psychological trust between colleagues and an employer. It has given me the flexibility throughout my career to look after my family whilst delivering against my objectives at work and it's one of those intangible things that I feel really makes a difference to the engagement of our colleagues. It is also a key contributing factor supporting us to significantly increase our gender balance in senior roles in Scotland.

Interestingly, I thought that my children would need me more when they were young but now living through the teenage years, I realise I was wrong and I'm grateful that I have been able to support them. No two people use dynamic working in the same way and it's important to make it work for you, whatever your situation may be.

What is your top tip for young females in Financial Services?

2 tips:

  1. Have confidence. Early in my career, I was asked by my manager to take on additional responsibility and it took me three times to say yes. Finally, once I took that step, I realised I was more than capable of doing the role and could have been there much sooner!
  2. You don't always have to be the finished article; you can grow into a role. If you have the skills and ability to do the majority of what's required, go for it! There's always room to learn and develop on the job.

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