Q. What is the Aspire Network?

Aspire is an employee-led network which is there to provide personal and professional development opportunities to colleagues right across the bank.


Q. How did it come about?

Until 2017 we were known as the NatWest Young Bankers Association and provided a platform for colleagues at the start of their career journeys to learn. However, in 2017 we re-branded to the Aspire Network and adjusted our mission to encourage all colleagues to learn actively throughout their career. Learning has always been part of the bank’s culture and even more so in recent years, with our ambition to become a leading learning organisation.


Q. How does Aspire fit into the bank, the bigger picture, and the learning culture in the Group?

We create opportunities for colleagues to connect with each other, build on existing skills and learn new ones as well as enabling networking opportunities that foster both personal and professional relationships which would not have been possible otherwise.


Q. What have been the major achievements of Aspire so far?

Last year we launched a series of bitesize video podcasts which helped our members learn in a digital on-demand way, and this year we’ve started our own blog called “A Day in the Life” which showcases roles available across the bank and aims to improve internal mobility. Both have been hugely successful and received positive feedback from colleagues!

We’re one of the bank’s longest standing ELNs, which has allowed us to deliver impact over a sustained period. We’re proud to contribute to people’s development, and we’re proud of being able to pivot our vision as the need for different learning arises to align with NatWest’s overall learning goals.


Q. What’s on the cards for the Aspire Network moving forward?

We have some exciting activities planned for the rest of this year including our first network-wide celebration of Learning at Work Week (LAWW), in partnership with the NatWest Group Academy, and a new development programme aligned to the NatWest Future Skills.

We continue to balance between remote and in-person support but being in the office recently has been particularly exciting as we’ve seen some of the physical promotions for LAWW – it’s been great to see everything coming together!

We have over 3,500 members engaging with us every month to improve their learning and development. Our aim is for our digital content and learning activities to play a part in delivering the bank’s goal of reaching 320,000 learning hours completed by the end of this year.


Q. How does Aspire make sure our senior leaders know about what’s going on in the network?

As an employee-led network, Aspire acts as a voice for NatWest Group colleagues on matters of Learning and Development. This means we have a regular dialogue with the company’s executive committee: providing updates on what we’re working on and understanding how we can support colleagues further. We look forward to continuing our work with people all across the bank, including senior management, to help support our colleagues’ learning and development.


Top image caption from left to right: Vicky Gould, Melanie Brown, Atree Ghosh and Charlotte While – NatWest Group Aspire Network

More from our Employee Led Network series…

Our Sustainable Futures Network talks about its role helping colleagues embed sustainability into their jobs and daily life.

5 minutes with our Sustainable Futures Network

Our Employee Led Networks

We support a variety of employee organised and led groups. Our networks are sponsored by members of our Executive Committee and are made up of volunteer colleagues who play a key role in delivering, raising awareness of, and influencing our bank-wide inclusion strategy.

Find out more about our Employee Led Networks

scroll to top