Barclays has launched a new smartphone app to support its gay, bi and trans staff to keep them aware of news and events.

The new Barclays Spectrum app will help staff stay in touch and is free to download from the Apple App Store and Android Marketplace. Staff can access an exclusive members area, which provides details of upcoming events, news articles and links to Spectrum’s social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Barclays Spectrum is an award winning network for LGBT staff – but to date active membership has been centred around the company’s largest employment centres such as Canary Wharf, Northampton and Radbroke in Cheshire.

However over 18,000 Barclays staff are also spread across the country working in branches and contact centres and who may not have access to a computer or Spectrum’s intranet site at work, which is where the new app can help.

Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive of Barclays Retail and Business Banking said: “Barclays is proud of our work to support LGBT staff because we can only be a great business if talented people from all sexual orientations are contributing to our team.

“We have already been rated the top financial services employer in the UK by Stonewall – and with the new Spectrum app staff right across our branch network will be able to interact, stay informed and find out what support is available to them.”

Natalie O’Donnell, Barclays Demand and MI Manager and Midlands Regional Lead for Spectrum, led in the development of the app, and said: “It was a huge challenge, but we wanted to embrace technology to enable greater and easier access to Spectrum for colleagues. I’m incredibly proud of how Barclays has supported this project and our ongoing commitment of bringing innovative ideas to our diversity and inclusion strategy.”

Barclays Spectrum is the company’s network for LGBT staff and was named Employee Network of the Year at the annual Stonewall Awards announced in January 2011.

The app is launched as Barclays Spectrum marks its 10th anniversary this year.

Barclays was also named one of the top three UK employers for LGBT people in the Annual Stonewall Workplace Equality Index in January 2012. The index assessed more than 370 public and private organisations on a number of measures, including how they implement equality policies and their performance on recruitment and mentoring.

By pioneering this new app Barclays aims to become not just the best financial services company in the UK but the employer of choice for LGBT people.

The new app follows hot on the heels of the highly successful Barclays Pingit app – the UK’s first service that allows people to send and receive money simply by knowing each other’s mobile number, without the need for bank details.