A blueprint for gender equality
"This International Women’s Day, Fiona Cannon reflects on the first report from the FTSE Women Leaders Review, plus the Group’s journey to gender balance."
"At the time of writing, women make up
of our leadership population."
The fact that we have been recognised as a Times Top Employer for Women for the last ten years, and have featured in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the last four years, shows that we are heading in the right direction.
More importantly, though, our colleagues are recognising the progress we’ve made too. Almost 90% told us their manager actively values different views and opinions, and the same number said the Group is an inclusive place to work where diverse perspectives are valued.
Our gender equality blueprint
We’ve already taken steps to make Lloyds Banking Group the best place for women to work, including more agile working, menopause support and improved pathways to leadership.
"We're setting our own target of
women in senior roles by 2025."
We appreciate and understand the need for a healthy family and work life balance. So much so that we have been listed by Working Families as a Top 10 Employer six times since 2015.
Before the covid pandemic, 35% of our colleagues had an existing agile working arrangement and in 2020, over 50,000 worked from home. We’re now embedding new hybrid ways of working across our business, giving around 50,000 colleagues the opportunity to benefit from a balance between home and office in addition to other flexible options, such as job sharing. We’re continuing to listen to our colleagues as we embrace these new ways of working.
Our Returners programme – now in its sixth year – targets professional women and men returning from a career break of at least two years, and enables them to resume their career at the level they operated at prior to their career break. We have a strong uptake from women on this scheme, which has resulted in professional opportunities for 122 talented individuals since its launch.
At the time of writing, more than half of our colleagues are women, of which around 55% are over 40. It follows that they should be able talk about menopause and seek support when they need it, without feeling uncomfortable.
With this in mind, in 2021 we launched a new initiative to provide more menopause support to our colleagues.
The scheme, which also includes extra support to help managers speak confidently with their teams, includes greater medical support and care, a dedicated menopause helpline, online hub, plus changes to the Group’s Health and Wellbeing programme.
Support through our women's network
Our women’s network, Breakthrough, has 15,000 members and 4,000 mentors. Breakthrough regularly runs events to support colleagues in fulfilling their career potential. Last year Breakthrough ran dedicated months of activity focused around Confidence and Mentoring, touching on topics such as imposter syndrome, and how menopause can impact on career confidence, as well as a 12-week personal development programme for colleagues to follow.
More than 1,700 colleagues took part in the programme which equated to six hours’ personal development over the 12 weeks. The network also holds regular sessions showcasing senior female leaders across the Group, which helps colleagues at all grades across the Group learn the various routes that leaders have taken to get into leadership roles.
Put simply, there is no shortage of talented women; we need to ensure the opportunities are there for them to succeed.
And a gender inclusive senior leadership board offers benefits such as different perspectives which, in turn, create innovation, new opportunities and in many cases a boost in productivity.
With this in mind, we’ll continue taking the steps outlined above to increase both gender diversity, and also inclusivity across the organisation more generally. Notwithstanding the progress we’ve made so far, there’s plenty more we need to do to reach a gender equal workplace.
Going forward, then, we will continue to embed inclusion into our business strategy and strive to make Lloyds Banking Group the best place to work for women.