Digital Eagles | #BreakTheBias

08 March 2022

This year’s global International Women’s Day campaign theme is #BreakTheBias, it’s all about helping us create a world that’s diverse, equitable and free of discrimination.  

There’s still lots of work that can be done to make sure women and girls are being given the same encouragement and opportunities, especially when it comes to technology and digital skills.

The latest report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) tells us that 31% of roles in technology are held by women.  The women and men of the Digital Eagles, however, are already at the forefront of breaking the bias of women in technology, with just under half (48%) of the team being female.

Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field, so we got some of the team together this week to chat about how having a gender equal team brings benefits for everyone.

The benefits of a mixed workforce

Having a diverse workforce can be great for business. Having a mix of genders, ages and cultural backgrounds gives teams the ability to draw on a variety of opinions, ideas and experiences to make problem solving easier, give projects different perspectives and boost collaboration and creativity.

"I believe having a mixed workforce is critical; the differing experiences men and women face in day to day life and in the workplace help to create a balanced environment and that broader range of experiences creates better opportunities for problem solving and creative thinking."

Christian - Senior Digital Eagle

"For me having a gender-diverse team means we have much more rounded thinking about problems we’re tackling or ideas we’re forming. The more diverse perspectives we have in any given situation, the better our outcome will be. We’d be lost without the talent we have in our team.”

Stephen - Digital Eagle

The role of an ally

Male allies play an important role in facilitating the empowerment, development, progression, and ultimately the success of female colleagues. Anna Collins, Senior Digital Eagle told us:

"Having male allies is so important to me – in my immediate peers there are three of us, and I’m the only woman. I found it quite challenging at first as we think very differently but with lots of work from all three of us, we have a really strong team and I think they both really confide in me. Knowing my male team members have my back makes my working environment so much better."

Anna - Senior Digital Eagle

Angela Graham: Woman to watch

We asked our leaders to nominate a woman to watch and this year they chose Angela Graham.

Angela Graham | International women's day Digital Wings

Ange is fast becoming the face of Barclays Code Playground, doing her bit to inspire girls and women to think about a career in tech.

In 2018 Ange taught herself to code after her daughter came home and asked for some help with her coding homework. Ange had heard about Code Playground, but didn’t understand why Barclays Digital Eagles were teaching it - or why it was in the curriculum, but she knew she wanted to be able to support her children as they learned.

She got in touch with Kev Garner, who looks after Code Playground who gave her lots of support, and inspired her to believe that she could learn to love coding.

Now she’s passionate about teaching children coding skills that will support them in the future, proving that women and girls can have a career in tech, and showing us it’s never too late to learn something new.

Anna – one of the leaders who nominated her – had the opportunity to catch up with Ange earlier this week. Watch the video.

Inspiring girls to choose a career in tech

"Seeing how many female leaders who are killing it makes this an inspiring and infectious team to be a part of. It’s important for younger women to see women in power and being the face of the Digital Eagles so they know it’s possible. And we definitely make sure women are at the forefront of our business, whether it’s on stakeholder calls, live training sessions or on social media.”

Katie - Digital Eagle

Nearly half of the Digital Eagles are women; creating social media campaigns, developing and delivering online digital education resources and teaching children how to code just like Ange. You can watch all of the Code Playground sessions she’s presented on our Code Playground website, and find out more about the women and men in the team over in the Digital Eagle Hub.

Digital tools to help work-life balance

Many parents know you need to be seriously organised to get everything done, and there are digital tools that can help make life a little bit easier, including:

  • Digital diary: use an online calendar or family organiser that works for you and put all your important dates and appointments in it. Lots of calendar apps can be shared with other people in your household too - and you can set reminders to make sure things like afterschool clubs, and putting the bins out aren’t forgotten about
  • Smart home apps: smart tech around the home can make life lots easier: use a smart plug in the kitchen to get the dinner in the slow cooker on, or use a smart speaker to help you with the kids homework by asking it the questions you don’t know the answers to. There’s lots more smart technology you can use around the home including doorbells, heating and appliances. Take a look at this article to find out more
  • Messaging tools: using messaging apps can help you keep in touch, but still get things done too. If you’re too busy for distractions, turn the notifications off
  • Location services: live locations can be shared using many of the most popular messaging apps. This can be great to make sure children have made it home – or to their after school club - if you’re stuck in the office
  • Shareable lists: shopping, things to take on holiday, jobs around the house, there’s a list for pretty much everything. And fortunately, there are lots of free or paid for list making tools available online to help you and the family stay organised. Choose one that’s shareable, so everyone can tick things off
  • Banking apps: It can be tricky finding time to get to the bank, so online banking and mobile banking tools can be a real help if you need to make payments quickly. Especially last minute school events, or topping up school lunch-money accounts. Find out more about the Barclays app here.
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