Barbara is a senior civil servant with Scottish Government and is currently responsible for Communications, Ministerial Support and Facilities. Previously she was Director of People in Scottish Government, following a number of roles with the Scottish Prison Service. She is the SG Executive Team ally for LGBTI staff.

She is a chartered accountant and has worked in both the private and public sector. 

Barbara is the Treasurer for a charity organising an annual lunch raising funds for Scottish charities. She was awarded a CBE in the 2018 Birthday Honours List.