Ethnicity

Our aim is to increase the ethnic diversity of our workforce and unlock the potential of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues.


Celebrating Black excellence

During Black History month, we’re sharing the inspirational stories of colleagues, past and present, who truly demonstrate Black excellence. 

Black History Month Glen shows colleagues his gold medal

Our commitments

In an increasingly multicultural society, we can only truly become Best Bank for Customers if our workforce reflects the ethnic diversity of the UK population.

In July 2020 we launched our 'Race Action' plan to drive cultural change, recruitment and progression across the Group.  

Complementing our broader 2018 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation targets of 10% overall and 8% at senior management levels, we aim to increase Black representation in senior roles to at least 3% by 2025, aligning with the overall UK labour market.

Zac Mian and Vim Maru

Our commitment to ethnic diversity is led from the top, with Executive Sponsors for Ethnicity Zak Mian and Vim Maru championing our programme and activities.


Our ethnicity strategy

We have a comprehensive ethnicity strategy to help us meet our goals, which focuses on the following three areas.

Building cultural awareness

For the past two years, all our colleagues have taken part in cultural capability training. Understanding and enquiring about each other's cultural identities is vital for us to build stronger working relationships and succeed as a modern organisation.

Additionally we have an established network, REACH (Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage), which connects, supports and develops colleagues from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background through regular events and mentoring workshops. The network has a growing advocate group, established in 2018, which works to improve cultural awareness and understanding across our whole workforce and highlights important cultural events in both religious and secular calendars.

Colleagues at a REACH network event

Our REACH members and advocates are passionate about inspiring students from under represented and disadvantaged backgrounds to explore opportunities in banking. One way in which this is achieved is through our RISE programme.

The REACH network has continued to grow, and now has over 4,000 members and 500 advocates. REACH was named Best Network at the inaugural Investing in Ethnicity Awards in 2018.

Career development

We believe in empowering and supporting all colleagues to achieve their potential. The scale and reach of the Group means there are many opportunities for learning and growth, including some bespoke career development, authentic leadership and sponsorship programmes for colleagues from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background.

Visible role models

A consistent theme in feedback from our Minority Ethnic colleagues is the need for visible, positive role models in the Group. In 2016 we launched our annual ‘Inspire’ list of 40 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic role models from across the organisation, and we’ve continued this, recently publishing our 2020 list. We have also run a series of ‘Footprints in the Snow’ sessions with senior Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic leaders to share their story and career journey with colleagues.


Ethnic minority role models 2018 logo

Recognition of our work

Our work to increase the ethnic diversity of our workforce and unlock the potential of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues was recognised in 2018 when we won the overall Outstanding Employer Award at the inaugural Investing in Ethnicity Awards. Last year, Fiona Cannon, Group Responsible Business, Sustainability & Inclusion Director won the Top Champion (Ally) Award at the 2019 Ethnicity Awards.