On Monday 11th November, OxWIB members were invited to attend a Female Skills Session run by Barclays. The workshop was not specifically related to banking or even the finance industry, but instead aimed to empower young women and equip them with the skills required to further their careers.
The first topic we considered was what we as females today can offer that women ten years ago could not. We were then shown a video created for International Women's Day (this can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaf_X9qSeVY) that provided some interesting statistics about developments that have impacted women in the workplace. This was a useful activity in making us realise just how far women have come, and that one of the obstacles that we face today is of our own making. For example, we are unintentionally less confident about our own abilities: 14% of women would apply for a role even if they only partially fulfilled the criteria, compared to 20% of men. At school, females consistently outperform males- so why aren't we getting ahead further on in our careers?
One of the main answers to this question is indeed lack of confidence among females, but there are other contributing factors too. One crucial aspect pointed out by the Barclays representative was the lack of female role models, and the fact that women often have too many inhibitions, preventing them from going out and finding a mentor and a sponsor in order to promote themselves. The final piece of advice we were given was to find what motivates us and to drawn on our own strengths in order to have a career that we are passionate about as well as one that we find enjoyable. We should take responsibility for our own careers and act more strategically, beginning with writing a detailed career plan and seizing the opportunities available to us.
For more information on the opportunities available at Barclays, please visit:http://joinus.barclays.com/emea/#