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Hayley Barnard, Debra Searle MVO MBE and Stef Clifton-Sprigg at the National Diversity Awards 2015

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.

LeasePlan Women's Arctic Challenge

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.

Hayley Barnard - LeasePlan Women's Arctic Challenge
Hayley Barnard - Channel Swimming

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 in preparation for her 45km swim around Manhattan Island on 25th August 2018 and her solo English Channel swim attempt in 2019.

The English Channel swim is considered to be the Everest of marathon swimming. The 34km / 21-mile swim across one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world will take Hayley between 12 and 18 hours to swim (depending on tides, conditions and her fitness!). She will abide 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.

She will be swimming on behalf of a small, local charity called Orfund. Hayley regularly gives motivational speeches sharing stories from the Arctic, Channel swimming and her business career.


Hayley lives in the New Forest with her husband, who is a writer, her two children and a large Labrador dog.

She has been married to Leigh for almost 20 years and they all love getting out into the Forest to enjoy the amazing countryside on their doorstep.

They regret buying pale coloured carpets!

Hayley Barnard - Family

Please get in touch

To receive a brochure for either Hayley’s Diversity and Inclusion Keynotes or Motivational Keynote speeches, please call Stef on +44 (0) 7925 432397 or send us a message.