We return to Rising Star winner Abisola Barber to find out what she has been up to since winning our award in June.
Abisola Barber
Abisola Barber
"I would encourage young women starting out to truly believe in themselves and their capabilities."

Abisola was our 2018 Rising Star award winner. She works as a Trading Business Manager within FiRM at Barclays and is responsible for three bespoke trading desks and supporting the business in its responsibility for driving returns and managing financial resources across Barclays International.

Its been two months since you won the WIBF Rising Star Award, what have you been up to since then?

It’s been a fantastic and challenging few months since the WIBF Achievement Awards! Within my role at work I have stepped up significantly, taking on greater responsibility over the Trading businesses I manage. The summer months are additionally my busiest within my remit as co-chair of Barclays’ WIN Recruit & Retain work stream, as the summer interns and graduates take their seats and we provide supportive networking and mentoring sessions. This year I have been more involved in sponsoring a bespoke female summer internship programme to recruit women in their first year of university into Investment Banking roles. I have been interviewed on live TV and newspaper in recognition of my award, and was also fortunate enough to be awarded WeAreTheCity’s Banking & Capital Markets’ “Rising Star” award!

What positive outcomes have there been since winning the award?

The most positive outcome since winning the award has most definitely been the recognition: not necessarily of myself and my skills, but of the work that is being done to champion women. I have had numerous people from both inside and out of the workplace reach out to me to enquire how they can support the advancement of gender equality and female talent, learning from what is currently being done and developing new ideas to embed into their own societies.

What are your memories of the Awards Luncheon?

It was so lovely to celebrate the achievements of all the women in the room, but particularly great to catch up with my fellow Rising Star nominees. I am very fond of the girls so to meet their teams and supporters was a fantastic opportunity. The Awards Luncheon also gave me the chance to network with individuals I would not usually encounter: great to expand my connections and insight into the people and industries championing the advancement of gender equality.

Where do you keep your award?

My WIBF Rising Star Award takes centre stage on my coffee table at home! It helps serve as a daily reminder for me to continue to work hard and do the right thing.

What advice would you give to young women starting out in banking today?

I would encourage young women starting out to truly believe in themselves and their capabilities: not in a boastful manner, but an assured agreement that they can face those challenges, they do have the skills required, and that there are others out there supporting them to succeed – even if it’s not immediately visible.

You talked about becoming a role model, who inspires you?

I draw inspiration from a number of people who have both featured in my life, or who I have admired from a distance. I wouldn’t necessarily say there is one sole person to whole I aspire to be; but a range of qualities and characteristics I’ve witnessed displayed by people such as Indra Nooyi, Michelle Obama, Serena Williams – and even my mother.

What is next for you? Do you have short term and long term professional goals?

For now, my focus is predominantly on establishing myself within my wider remit at work and settling in. One of the most important characteristics I seek in a role is to be continually challenged and stimulated, so seeking opportunities for that growth is essential. I am also keen to study for a qualification to enrich my mind; and continue pushing the gender agenda and supporting young women entered the Banking industry through my work with WIN.