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Encore!, Barclays' flagship returnship programme, helps experienced professionals re-enter the workforce after a career break, as well as provides leadership and development training, mentorship, networking and a pathway to joining Barclays as a full-time employee.

After spending about 5 years as an associate at a real estate private equity firm in Miami, FL, Leilani Soto took a career break to relocate to the UK in order to start a life with her husband stationed in the military outside of London. While Leilani was initially nervous about taking a break so soon in her career, she decided to take a calculated risk to make the move to a new city to be with her partner.

But after a year of transitioning in the UK, Leilani was eager to return to work. She came across a newsletter geared towards women returners and was pleased to learn about Barclays’ Encore! programme. Leilani was excited for an opportunity to rejoin Barclays, where she had previously interned as a summer analyst in debt capital markets at the firm in her early twenties.

Leilani Soto

Encore! fellow Leilani Soto joined Barclays in 2019 as an Assistant Vice President in Real Estate Banking.

She quickly excelled in the Encore! programme and received support and encouragement from senior leaders across the Investment Bank. The 2019 Encore! class participated in roundtable sessions on financial markets, networking events and workshops that provided the foundation for a support system.

A senior ambassador to the programme, Brendan Jarvis, Head of Real Estate Banking in EMEA, mentored Leilani and was keen to hire her to join his coverage team upon her completion of the programme. Brendan felt that his team was a perfect fit for Leilani given her background and experience in real estate. Leilani joined Barclays Investment Bank as an Assistant Vice President in Real Estate Banking, where she now interacts with UK-based real estate clients, companies and homebuilders on all their capital market needs.

I truly benefitted from the mentorship opportunities and exposure to senior leaders at Barclays through the Encore programme – a huge support system that made my transition back into the workplace more comfortable.
Leilani Soto , Assistant Vice President, Real Estate Banking, EMEA

Linda Laret found her ideal job at Barclays through the Encore! programme after a 15-year career break. Linda started her career in Securitized Products Sales at Salomon Brothers where she participated in the Sales and Trading Training programme, then spent several years at another top tier investment bank before taking a career break to raise her two children. 

Linda Laret

Encore! fellow Linda Laret joined Barclays in 2019 as Vice President in Securitized Products Sales based in New York.

A high-energy and hardworking Wall Street veteran, Linda is “someone who gives 110%” to whatever she does. During her time away from the corporate workplace, she stayed active as a business-savvy mom and took on roles such as Treasurer of the Parent’s Association at her children’s school.

Linda was ready to return to work after her youngest child graduated from high school and she found Barclays’ Encore! programme through iRelaunch. Encore! provided Linda with broad based support from colleagues throughout the firm and the opportunity to network and build relationships with other Encore! fellows with whom she is still maintains close relationships.

I was incredibly lucky to find an opportunity that brought me right back to the seat I had left 15 years earlier. I am delighted to be back in the markets doing what I love.
Linda Laret, Vice President, Securitized Products Sales

Now a Vice President at Barclays in Securitized Products Sales based in New York, Linda is energised by the excitement of a fast-paced trading floor environment, covering institutional clients including money managers and insurance companies. Colleagues and clients alike value Linda’s contributions because of her unique experience and perspective, as well as the maturity that she brings to the team at Barclays.

Leilani and Linda are both among the first Encore! fellows to join Barclays in client-facing roles, further demonstrating the programme’s ability to attract and retain top talent. They both gave similar advice to other experienced professionals considering applying to the program: “Just go for it!”

2019 Class of US Encore! fellows at Barclays Investment Bank's headquarters in New York City.

2019 Class of UK Encore! fellows at Barclays headquarters in London.

About Encore!

Now in its fourth year, Encore!, one of Barclays’ flagship diversity and citizenship programmes, helps experienced professionals who have taken a career break for at least one year prepare to reenter the workforce. Barclays values diversity of experience and perspective among its talent and views Encore! as a way to achieve this. The programme provides leadership and development training sessions, mentorship, networking opportunities and a pathway to joining Barclays as a full-time employee upon completing the 12-week fellowship.


Click here to learn more about the Encore! programmeClick here to learn more about the Encore! programme

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