Hayley Barnard is the Managing Director and Diversity Strategist at MIX Diversity Developers, helping organisations become more innovative and profitable through developing both a more diverse workforce and diverse customer base.
MIX’s clients include BAE Systems, Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile, Diageo and the Care Quality Commission to name a few and were delighted to have been nominated by one of their clients and then shortlisted for the HR Supplier of the Year Award from Personnel Today.
When Hayley was in her 20s she was in a rush... After quickly rising to become General Manager of Sir Chay Blyth’s ‘Challenge Business’ at 23, she went on to secure her first board level post by 26. Hayley studied marketing at postgraduate level and later founded her own communications and sponsorship business with Debra Searle MVO, MBE of which she is still a board director today.
Now in her 40s, Hayley wants to ensure that her time and effort is spent in effecting positive change for her clients. Her vision is that, by empowering business people, we can foster a culture of inclusivity both inside and outside the workplace – it’s this that brought about the birth of MIX Diversity Developers.
Hayley has a very personal interest in Diversity and Inclusion as many of the ‘protected characteristics’ have impacted on her life in some way. Having always been fascinated by religions and the impact they have on people’s behaviour, she chose to study Religious Studies for her first degree, specialising in Islam.
Hayley has a number of close family members who are gay and also has two children who have a disability. Needless to say, as a woman she holds more than a passing interest in gender balance and her early senior posts in her 20s left her questioning how those of differing generations can work more affectively.
Hayley is committed to seeing all achieve their potential regardless of their gender, sexuality, age, religion, race, sexuality or personality type.
One of the most innovative projects Hayley has spearheaded was the LeasePlan Women’s Arctic Challenge. For this, Hayley co-led a team of women on a traverse of Baffin Island, which lies within the Arctic Circle. The all-female team was successful despite facing a huge Arctic storm for the first 5 days and living in tents at minus 40°C.
MIX worked with LeasePlan to develop this unique platform to communicate the gender balance issue and challenge unconscious bias within their company. For Hayley, it was a time of huge personal growth where she discovered how much she can achieve when pushed right to the limit.
Around Manhattan Swim & English Channel Swim
When not at work or at home, Hayley can usually be found swimming in the nearest stretch of open water, all year round, without a wetsuit (brrrrr!). She is a passionate marathon swimmer. Her accomplishments include swimming 46km around Manhattan Island, New York in the 20 Bridges Race. Watch the whole 9 hour 30 minute swim in a 1 minute 58 second video or watch a longer version.
The pinnacle of her marathon swimming achievements to date is swimming the English Channel, a swim that is considered to be the Everest of marathon swimming. The 34km / 21-mile swim across one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world took Hayley 14 hours 12 minutes - watch a summary of the swim including amazing drone footage of a close encounter with a tanker ship. She abided by the ‘Channel Swimming Rules’ for both the Manhattan swim and the English Challenge attempt that dictate that she cannot wear a wetsuit, nor can touch her support boat or any of the crew.
Hayley regularly gives motivational speeches sharing stories from the Arctic, Channel swimming and her business career.
Hayley lives near Salisbury with her husband, who is a writer, her two children and a large Labrador dog.
She has been married to Leigh for 21 years and they all love getting out into the nearby New Forest to enjoy the amazing countryside on their doorstep.
They regret buying pale coloured carpets!