One in four pregnancies results in miscarriage, and regardless of the stage at which this may happen, the results can be devastating. And yet, despite this being a common occurrence, many still feel it is a taboo subject which prevents people from getting the support and comfort they need.
Having personally experienced loss and fertility issues, Asma Ali, our Head of Audit for Technology, and the Global Co-Chair of our Families & Carers Network, recognised the lack of awareness and support in this area. Asma reached out to colleagues across the bank and asked if they would benefit from support, to which she received an overwhelming response, and subsequently launched our Fertility & Loss employee-led network.
The network provides a forum and safe space for people who’ve faced challenges when trying to start a family, as well as those who’ve lost a baby, and their families. Everyone reacts differently to loss, but having the option of someone to talk to can be enormously relieving.
Help when it’s needed
During Baby Loss Awareness Week in 2019, the new network arranged a baby loss conference, attracting a wide range of people from both inside and outside of the bank.
Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place in October, and aims to support the mental health of those who’ve experienced pregnancy or baby loss. Bereaved parents and families are offered advice and given the opportunity to share experiences and navigate their way through their grief.
Following the successful launch of the Fertility & Loss network, Asma has taken on a Global Co-Chair role for the Families & Carers network and continues to raise awareness and provide support to colleagues through all stages of the family lifecycle.
The work Asma does across both networks continues to champion potential, bringing together people who can really help each other at particularly low times. These networks are among many that aim to connect people and help them work through difficult experiences, while raising awareness and providing a sense of unity.
Driven by purpose
Asma is proud to work for a bank which brings us all together, and makes sure every colleague has someone to talk to, regardless of the challenges they’re facing.
‘I love my job, and I work with some amazing, talented individuals in my team and across the bank, to keep the bank and our customers safe,’ says Asma. ‘I am equally passionate about bringing people together across the bank, to serve another purpose, that of employee-led networks. In both roles, I'm always being challenged and this – together with being able to make a positive difference – is what gets me out of bed in the morning.
‘My time with the bank is the longest I have ever worked anywhere, and it's because of the people, the culture, the different challenges and opportunities that I have chosen to work here. I look forward to what the future brings, in a bank with a clear purpose.
‘We’re thrilled that our Families & Carers network has been shortlisted as a finalist by Working Families in their Annual Working Families Awards. This is a huge recognition for all the great work the network has done.’
Recognising that our colleagues continue to need our support in the current climate, the network has organised support circles for colleagues going through IVF, or due to undergo fertility treatment which has been cancelled due to Covid-19. The team has also organised panel events on a variety of topics, including working from home with young children and dependents, and caring for a loved one whilst in lockdown.
Learn more about our employee-led networks and the various ways they provide valuable supportVisit Inclusion