Khalia is a multi-award winning trailblazer who was identified as a Future Leader by Powerful Media. She was recently promoted to Vice-President at Barclays and has won numerous awards such as Rising Star for Financial Services by the Black British Business Awards for Financial Services 2015, Rising Star for Banking by We Are The City 2016 and Finalist for Outstanding Woman in Finance 2017 by the Precious Awards. Her passion for giving back has truly set her apart as a ‘Rising Star’ within Banking.
Khalia Newell
Khalia Newell

She has now been nominated for the WIBF Rising Star Award. She was nominated by Miriam Kunorubwe also from Barclays.

Can you tell us more about your job?

I currently work as a Vice-President within the Core Governance and Infrastructure (Policies and Standards) Team which forms part of the newly created Chief Controls Office at Barclays.

I am currently the Tech SME who is responsible for managing a key vendor relationship, budget and developing the cloud based technology platform used to draft and centralise all Policies and Standards for the entire Barclays Group. In addition to this I am also responsible for drafting and helping to operationalise new processes encapsulated within key Standards which impact the Barclays Group. The nature of this role requires leveraging the ideas and knowledge of senior stakeholders across the Bank. This role is pivotal as it requires implementing regulatory or legislative requirements and creating guidance for each individual across the Bank to follow across multiple jurisdictions. I have the unique opportunity to learn from some of the most senior stakeholders across every business area in Barclays and also develop Tech based solutions which facilitates cloud-based collaboration across the Bank. In addition to this I co-lead a pillar on the Black Professionals Forum and also work with outside groups such as the All Party Parliamentary Group for STEM and BITC.

You have been very involved with mentoring young people, can you tell us more about that and what is the best thing you have learned from a young person?

Having come from a disadvantaged background where I was the first in my family to be educated past GCSE level, go to University and also work for a FTSE institution I am truly passionate about giving back and paying it forward. I was fortunate to have a number of people who provided endless opportunities to help me and I really do believe it is my responsibility to do the same for others and bring them along the journey – not just when I am promoted or more senior. I frequently take part in mentoring with mid or lower-tier universities who often do not have exposure with individuals from industries within the private sector to help students with applications and help with access to the profession. One of the best things I have learnt from a young person is that their passion to make a difference often drives innovation, creativity and fuels an unusual desire to succeed. It is this diversity of background, thought and opinion which is needed at all levels; not just the junior levels within the private sector.

How did you get into the banking and finance industry?

After graduating from University I was unemployed for a year despite making hundreds of job applications. Fortunately, I was put on the ‘Future Leaders List’ by Powerful Media which recognised BAME graduates or students with high potential. As a result of this I was invited to the House of Lords for the celebration ceremony. Knowing my key strength was networking and building connections with people, I took over 200 business cards and networked with everyone I could. During the evening I met an MD for Barclays who invited me to a follow up event at Barclays for recent graduates. During his presentation I probed and asked questions around how Barclays conducted their business and made suggestions on what they could do to improve. Shortly after his presentation, I was asked to shadow him and some of his Directors for a day, at the end of the day one of his Directors Ben Eason offered me my first graduate job! The experience was a key lesson of how to focus on your strengths and how one person’s genuine desire to help can make a tremendous difference. Thankfully Ben continues to be my mentor and a great source of guidance to me all these years later.

What professional achievements are still on your to-do list?
• Work with senior leaders within the industry to help craft government policy on Diversity and Inclusion to mandate change within the private sector through the All Party Parliamentary Group on STEM I have recently joined
• Be a key individual who helps promote more women and women of colour in the senior ranks within Finance
• To be promoted within an area which encourages innovation within Technology

Who has been the most influential person in your career and why?
One of my former line managers – Julie Goldstone. She is an incredibly knowledgeable, gifted and kind individual who put the people on her team at the centre of all she did. She made me see it was possible to progress to a senior position while still being true to who you are and showing empathy and care for your team.

If you could take a month off to go travelling, where would you go and what would you see?

It would take more than a month…but I’d love to visit the Great Wall of China, Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.