HeforShe – Moving feminism forward: Barclays’ Mark McLane shares why he’s in support of HeforShe

Mark McLane, HeforShe “We have to continued to define feminism for what it stood for originally – equality” Mark McLane, Managing Director, Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion at Barclays, told WeAreTheCity recently.

He added: “It’s about taking the power back to what it used to be and moving feminism forward for women in gender equality all round. As a man I’m a feminist and the HeforShe Campaign is a great way for men to come out as one.”

McLane has a background in deploying diversity and inclusion programmes worldwide having launched strategies in over40 Countries reaching more than 140,000 employees.

At Barclays he designed a leadership development programme for more than 8,000 leaders globally, which address unconscious biasness through talent management, how to embed diversity and inclusion into talent management and raising the issue of accountability for senior leadership.

McLane also implemented Barclays’ Women on Boards programme which is designed to ensure senior women within the company are encouraged to reach the level of non-executive directors.

In addition he designed and deployed global work streams which address Gender, LGBT, Disability, Multicultural and Multigenerational barriers in the workplace. These streams have resulted in greater employee engagement and innovation which lead to the creation of the likes of talking ATMs and online British sign language interpreters in retail branches.

Furthermore, McLane introduced a predictive analytics model which analyses hiring, attrition and promotion rates for women at Managing Director and Director levels globally.

Prior to Barclays, he was the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Booz Allen Hamilton and has also held the position of Chief Diversity Officer for Whirlpool Corporation.

In March Barclays utilised International Women Women’s Day to launch its own internal campaign in support of the United Nation’s (UN) HeforShe. The UN’s HeforShe campaign aims to engage one billion men in the advancement of gender equality.

In partnership with Barclays’ Women’s Initiatives Network (WIN) the campaign focuses on mentoring, talent development and community involvement, in a bid to make a more diverse and gender balanced workforce and industry.

it is important to get men asking other men to get involved.

Discussing Barclays’ support for the HeforShe campaign McLane said: “HeForShe is absolutely aligned with our women’s network already, so it made sense for us to support the campaign. We are focused on equality right across the board.

“You can become part of the campaign via our website to offer your support through mentoring.   We track globally where the support is growing. We track the person’s involvement to see other areas they might be able to help with, say with an event or if they have the time to take on another mentor.”

McLane noted that Barclays’ International Women’s Day event was hosted by men as he believes it is “important to get men asking other men to get involved.”

He explained that men have previously felt unwelcome in the gender debate and uninvited to events and networks: “Men have felt uninvited to an extent mostly from how diversity was approached in the early days – they had to attend workshops on what they shouldn’t do.”

“A lot of senior men now don’t want to miss a trick, but they don’t want to align with a group and be seen as trying to solve something that women are capable of doing themselves. It’s about inviting in the men who are already there and already supportive.”

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