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Barclays: Striving for ‘Most Accessible FTSE 100 Company’

Category: Disability Confident

Disability on VERCIDA red background

Barclays have set out to improve its accessibility for disabled people with the goal to become the world’s most accessible FTSE 100 company.  

Accessibility applies to both employees and customers. As a result, Barclays attempts to make it easier for its disabled staff and in turn it benefits by retaining talented employees. As for its customers, Barclays offers different services that are ‘barrier-free’. This includes technology such as talking cash machines and online sign-language translators, as well as impeccable customer service.

Getting started

When starting their diversity journey Barclays became an early participant in the government’s Disability Confident scheme. They want to start a dialogue around the issues concerning people with disabilities to force the company to define what accessibility means. 

Barclays has already implemented a range of innovations in its employment of disabled people. For starters, it’s built a team dedicated to researching and developing new accessible technology. It has also introduced its Able to Enable programme which allows people from different areas of society- many of whom have disabilities- to get involved in apprenticeships.

In bid to make career development easier for disabled people, Barclays have redesigned and adjusted its internal processes. when a new colleague joins, Barclays makes sure their particular needs are catered for whether that’s changing doorways for accessibility or changing the computer screens (paid for by the government’s Access to Work scheme). This also includes flexible work hours to incorporate important wellbeing practices like therapy sessions. These are discussed at the beginning of the employee’s career so they can feel relaxed and taken care of by Barclays.

Be prepared to listenImage of Mark from Barclays

The journey of disability employment has meant that Barclays are not only making their employees feel included and comfortable; their needs are openly discussed and implemented. Barclays have also experienced many of the benefits like widening its talent pool, improving team engagement and communication; adding to the brands reputation. However, the journey to inclusion and equality is not over yet, Barclays’ continue to strive for disability employment and are focused on the next stage of accessibility. 

Mark McLane, head of diversity and inclusion at Barclays states ‘It’s about listening to your disabled colleagues and customers about the changes that can really make a difference to their lives,’ says McLane. ‘You then have to build that into the front-end, in the design of both your processes and products.’ 

Barclays have set up listening groups in which disabled people are able to comment on how they think the company is progressing and how more changes can be implemented to further develop Barclays as a disability employer. These sessions have already brought about various changes not least in the provision of accessible technology for customers. The colours and features of their card have also been altered so colleagues can easily be distinguished.

A competitive advantage 

McLane admits ‘It’s certainly not a tick-box exercise,’ he says. ‘Although I have nothing against that if that’s what gets a company started. It just can’t be the end goal.’ 

Barclays understands that the company needs to continuously looking at what to change and adapt in order to become truly accessible and disability confident.
So, for a company that is starting out on their disability confident journey they can learn a lot from how Barclays are operating. Start by creating a dialogue by your colleagues that identify as disabled; ask what changes would help them?

Almost 4,500 organisations have already signed up to Disability ConfidentClick here to join them

Are you interested in a career with Barclays? Please click here.

Vercida works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with Vercida to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email info@vercida.com for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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