What's next with our Race Action Plan? Q&A with Roland Guy
"The announcement of the Race Action Plan was a massive statement of intent that as an organisation we stand against racism and are taking steps to drive meaningful, long-term change."
Tell us about your role and what you hope to achieve?
My role is to lead the delivery of our Race Action Plan and coordinate activity across multiple workstreams to help create a more inclusive environment and enable colleagues from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background to grow and flourish within Lloyds Banking Group.
Black colleagues aren’t broken. Our capability isn’t in question. What we need to fix is the environment. The Ethnicity Pay Gap Report highlights how our Black colleagues experience the biggest pay and bonus gap by some distance and remain underrepresented at senior levels. That needs to change and so we’re looking to make improvements which specifically support and address the challenges faced by our Black colleagues.
What progress has been made since the Race Action Plan was launched in July?
The announcement of the Race Action Plan was a massive statement of intent that as an organisation we stand against racism and are taking steps to drive meaningful, long-term change.
Since we launched the plan, we’ve held more virtual focus groups with our Black colleagues to help fully understand their experiences within Lloyds Banking Group. In parallel, over the summer, we held a series of sessions led by some amazing influential thinkers to help our senior leaders feel more comfortable in having positive conversations about race with their Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues.
To help inform our plans, we’ve established a new Race Advisory Panel made up of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues from across the Group. The Panel, along with our ethnicity network, will play a critical role in helping us to shape the initiatives we need to deliver sustainable change.
Race Advisory Panel members. See page 20 of our Ethnicity Pay Gap Report to view in full.
The Race Advisory Panel – made up of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues from across the Group – will play a critical role in helping us to shape the initiatives we need to deliver sustainable change.
We’re reviewing our key people processes to understand to what extent our existing key processes may favour some groups of people more than others. We’re also increasing the focus we have on addressing inappropriate behaviour and taking action to address it. And we’ve begun the roll out of our wider Race Education Programme which will be delivered to every colleague within the Group. It started with Specialist People Teams in October 2020, and will ramp up to include the Line Manager population in Q1 2021.
From a progression point of view, we’ve also launched our new Talent Identification Programme for our Black senior managers. I’m really excited about this as an opportunity to identify our next senior leaders.
Finally, we have a really important role to play externally, understanding the needs our customers and the business community, supporting Black entrepreneurs, helping their businesses to be a success. In 2021 we’ll be ramping up our activity in this space.
How is Lloyds addressing under-representation within its senior management?
We have roughly 40 Black colleagues in senior management roles out of a senior management population of roughly 7,000 colleagues. To help address this, our new public goal, complementing our broader 2018 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic goal, will help us to specifically increase Black representation in senior roles from 0.6% at senior grades to at least 3% by 2025, to align with the overall UK labour market.
As part of this we must continue to focus on ensuring shortlists for all senior management vacancies include Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates, which must also include a resetting of expectations with our recruitment suppliers. We have introduced a diverse shortlist and waiver process for senior appointments to ensure this happens.
It’ll be a fantastic to start to see new Black senior executives hired, empowered and operating successfully within our organisation. But recruitment is of course just one element to addressing the under-representation we have. As I mentioned earlier, we also have to fix the environment from a progression and culture perspective too, so that both our existing and new Black colleagues have the same chance to thrive here as everyone else.
What are your key priorities for 2021?
My key priorities are:
- Continuing to create an environment of trust for our Black colleagues, a safe space where they can raise concerns, develop and progress.
- Continuing to deliver our Race Education Programme, to Line Managers and colleagues.
- Implementing the recommendations from the review of our key processes.
- Understanding our customers and clients, as well as continuing to support Black entrepreneurs.
- Hiring new Black talent into senior positions.
What do you consider to be the biggest challenges and opportunities for the Group?
Since the death of George Floyd, there has been heightened emotion and awareness of Black lives, but my fear is that this is seen as a ‘Twitter moment’ in 2020 and this will fizzle out in 2021. The biggest challenge is continuing these changes. We need to continue the narrative in a constructive way and become the type of company where all our colleagues are actively challenging racism by speaking up and acting when something doesn’t seem right. Only by bringing our colleagues with us will we create positive and long-lasting change.
This is just the beginning, and we have lots to do! There will be lots more to come for the wider organisation in terms of how we continue to set the tone, keep the conversation going and get more comfortable talking about race.
Throughout 2021 we will be speaking to some of our Race Advisory Panel members to find out what promopted them to get involved and what it means to them, alongside regular updates on our Race Action Plan progress.
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