Jackie Uhi, Managing Director, Mortgage Distribution, explains why it's so important to improve opportunities for everyone within the Mortgage Family.
Teams and colleague development
My team plays a key role in guiding customers through the complex, emotional business of getting a mortgage so they can buy a home. It's our job to make the process as simple as possible and to be utterly reliable whenever they need something done. It's a challenging job and we're always pushing ourselves to be more agile and dynamic, but it's also a rewarding one — this year some 63 per cent of new recruits came from within the company, a real testament to the opportunities that exist within the Mortgage Family.
I often describe Barclays as a 'tribe' – a group of like-minded people working together for a common purpose – and I'll always try and make time for colleagues who have something on their minds. This kind of open communication is important for creating opportunities, empowering the team and unlocking its potential. For example, we've recently launched a 'trainee advisor' programme for colleagues who want to get a taste of different parts of the business without formally joining them — it's a fantastic opportunity to see if a sideways step (or a complete change of direction) will suit you, and helps build relationships across different parts of the company that may make your existing job easier. We also hold regular 'Meet the Family' events where colleagues can gain an insight into what other teams do day-to-day. Again, it's all about seeking ways to work together more effectively so we can deliver the best possible service to our customers.
Jackie Uhi, Managing Director, Mortgage Distribution, has strong feelings about the importance of leadership and diversity within the Mortgage Family.
Leadership and diversity
Corporate environments don't have a great reputation when it comes to helping other people unconditionally, but as a fan of networking – and an enthusiastic supporter of WIN, the Women's Initiative Network established within Barclays – I think it's important to share the stories of our successes and failures to help build a stronger organisation; and that applies equally to men and women.
Open communication helps build confidence – cited by women particularly as the single trait they'd most like to improve – and also encourages realistic expectations of ourselves and others. We've all made mistakes, embarrassed ourselves and struggled to achieve a good work-life balance (that includes me, I face a range of challenges just like any other single parent) but by being able to embrace our differences – our humanity, if you will – we'll not only develop better working relationships with each other but we'll reflect the diversity of our customer base as well. And that can only be good for them and good for us.