Creating the best workplace for women
We’ve been recognised as a Times Top 50 Employer for Women for the tenth consecutive year.
As one of the UK’s biggest employers, I think this is something we should be expected to achieve, rather than something we need to celebrate. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been a lot of hard work and progress made in relation to gender inclusion over the past decade.
This news had made me pause and take stock. What have we learnt? What can we be proud of? What is there still to do?
Like everything else, what we do and how we do it has been massively challenged and shifted by the coronavirus pandemic. External research shows that the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women in work and leaving work.
As lockdowns begin to ease again, what lessons can we take forward as Britain’s recovery begins?
Ways of working that work for everyone
Working in a flexible and agile way is something we’ve been focused on within the Group for a number of years and pre-pandemic 35% of us already worked in a flexible way.
We know that it’s important for colleagues to be able to thrive in work while being able to do everything they want to do in their personal life.
So when the pandemic meant that 50,000 of our colleagues had to work from home, we were fortunate that we had the policies, processes and, most importantly, culture already in place to help with this transition.
We also knew that many of our colleagues would have to juggle more outside of work, while dealing with the emotional stress and worry of the pandemic. We ensured all our messaging from across the Group was clear: if you need to take time away from work, do it, let us know and we’ll do our best to support you.
I’m pleased to say that, 91% of our people told us that they feel positive about managing their work and personal commitments, feeling supported and connected to each other was key to this. For parents, 94% have said they are able to be flexible/agile in the way they work to meet their personal/family needs.
As Britain’s focus now looks to recovery, we want to make sure that this remains part of our DNA.
Around 95% of new job vacancies are now advertised as agile, compared to a national average of 12%.
Setting gender diversity targets
The single, most transformative action we took was to set a target.
Targets signal intent and commitment and provide a focus. When we set ourselves the ambitious goal of increasing the number of women in senior management positions to 40% by 2020, we were the first FTSE100 company to do so.
At the time, we didn’t have all the answers to how this would be met but it helped signal to our colleagues, leaders and the outside world that this was something we were taking seriously.
Recently, we met the target of the Hampton-Alexander Review with 33% women in the combined Executive Committee and direct report population, and 33% women on the Board.
Although we still have some work do before we meet this target (37% of women are currently in senior management), we have made great strides.
This year, we’ve set new aspirations for a leadership team that reflects the society we serve, with 50% of women and 13% of colleagues of Black, Asian and Minority heritage (including 3% Black specifically) in senior roles in the next five years.
Developing clear paths to leadership
Female representation in senior roles has increased through a mixture of external and internal activity.
One of the programmes I’m most proud of is our Women in Leadership programme, which has led to 45% of colleagues who’ve taken part achieving a promotion within two years. When the pandemic hit, the delivery of this programme was at risk but the team worked tirelessly to adapt all the sessions to be delivered virtually.
84% of female line managers said they feel able to achieve their career aspirations at Lloyds Banking Group.