The BARR Difference: Why Investment in Our People Helps Create a More Secure World

May 27, 2022 |

According to a study by VMLYR, workplace belonging leads to a 56% increase in job performance. With Mental Health Awareness Month in May, this statistic remains an important topic when thinking about workplace culture and productivity. 

At BARR Advisory, we believe people and security go hand-in-hand, which is why we prioritize company culture, inclusivity, and mental health awareness in order to work toward our shared goal of creating a more secure world. 

Avi Benshoshan, senior consultant and co-leader of BARR’s Mental Health Resource Group (MHRG) said, “From the client service perspective, audits are stressful, and when associates tend closely to their mental health, we can offer calmness and ease throughout the engagement process.”

While there are many cybersecurity paths to take, at BARR, we know happy associates mean better security. That’s why we always take a human-first approach in providing the best services to our clients.

Let’s take a deeper look into our culture and why it might be time to put BARR into your company’s pocket. 

The BARR Culture 

With a 96% retention rate and 5-star rating on Glassdoor, it’s no surprise that BARR’s People & Culture team works hard to create a culture of positivity. 

While fully remote, BARR associates are consistently given opportunities to connect, creating a tight-knit team of hard-working individuals. From quick communication through Slack messaging, to virtual happy hours, to knowledgeBARR learning sessions, and even travel stipends to meet-up in person, associates naturally learn about one another, which leads to stronger relationships and collaboration. 

“At BARR, we often work in teams,” said Benshoshan. “Sharing about our lives—our own mental health challenges and accomplishments—deepens trust within our teams, which then allows us to work more effectively together.”

Another part of our commitment to our culture is providing top-notch benefits to our associates. 

When working at BARR, a few perks include:

  • 100% remote work
  • Competitive salaries
  • Free health coverage
  • Unlimited PTO 
  • 401K plan
  • Professional development and training 

BARR’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging 

BARR’s commitment to inclusivity is not only a core value, but a way of thinking. We are committed to celebrating all races, genders, ages, religions, identities, capabilities, education levels, and life experiences, and we believe that diverse perspectives cultivate innovative ideas. 

Megan Sajewski, senior associate and creator of BARR’s MHRG said, “At BARR, mental health is a key ingredient for inclusivity. Emphasizing diversity as well as each of the BARR’s core values in daily life can bring about a greater sense of mental balance.”

It’s true. While BARR strives for inclusivity, we live it through the diversity of our associates. For example, women typically represent 20% of the cybersecurity workforce, however, BARR is made up of 57% women. 

Additionally, BARR recently formed a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee where associates have the opportunity to share stories, resources, and support one another within our organization and beyond. 

Mental Health Awareness at BARR

While Mental Health Awareness Month is almost behind us, here are some ways in which BARR recognizes the importance of mental health in May and throughout the year.  

Mental Health Resource Group

BARR recently created the associate-led Mental Health Resource Group. Through the MHRG, associates can connect to share their stories, helpful resources, and overall mental health support from peers. 

“The MHRG offers a space for honesty and vulnerability at the intersection of our work and personal lives,” said Sajewkski. “We really want people to feel like they aren’t alone in their mental health journeys. The moments of bonding that happen when we share our stories are not only gratifying but they also strengthen our work culture.”

The MHRG leads initiatives like monthly virtual meet-ups and a weekly meditation session that associates can log into no matter where they live. Additionally, each month, associates can choose to pair with a mental health buddy who provides encouragement and support. 

“I think our mental health group is innovative and fun. We’ve introduced a variety of activities, techniques, and tips that are beneficial for both our workplace productivity and overall well being. It’s just the best!” said Ian McGee, senior consultant and co-leader of the Mental Health Awareness Group.  

Be Well Program

BARR’s Be Well program highlights initiatives and champions team members around the idea of health and wellness. Associates interact weekly through our Be Well Wednesday messaging, where every Wednesday, a new message thread is shared with tips on topics like hydration, sleep, mindfulness, nutrition, fitness, and of course, mental health. 

Through the Be Well Program, associates have even gathered for virtual yoga and breathwork sessions. 

McGee added, “BARR employs a surprising number of consultants that are also yoga instructors, meditation enthusiasts, and overall active people. So our wealth of internal wellness talent really enables us to do some impactful exercises together.” 

Mental Health Challenge

This year, BARR took our commitment to mental health awareness a step further. The BARR Belong Foundation paired with BARR’s Be Well program and MHRG to start a new initiative called 25 Miles for Mental Health Challenge. During the month of May, associates were challenged to log 25 miles of movement through walking, running, biking, roller skating, or whatever got them on the go.  

With a few days still left to participate, BARR has already logged nearly 1,000 miles collectively, all while amplifying the message of “Together for Mental Health.” 

Interested in learning more about BARR’s culture and cybersecurity services? Contact us today.


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