In an increasingly multicultural society, we can only truly become Best Bank for Customers if our workforce accurately reflects the ethnic diversity of the UK population. If the diversity of our colleagues reflects the diversity of our customers we can better understand their needs and build deeper relationships. Our aim is to increase the ethnic diversity of our workforce and unlock the potential of our ethnic minority colleagues.
In February 2018, we announced an extension to our Helping Britain Prosper Plan to include goals to increase the representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (B.A.M.E) colleagues. Our goals are to increase overall B.A.M.E. representation to 10% and to 8% at senior management levels by 2020.Our commitment to ethnic diversity is led from the top. Our Executive Sponsors for Ethnicity, Vim Maru and Zak Mian, champion our programme and activities.
We have a comprehensive Ethnicity Strategy to help us meet our goals, which focuses on attracting and retaining talented B.A.M.E. colleagues; building cultural awareness at all levels; and increasing visibility of authentic role models from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds.
In October 2018, we signed the UK Government’s Race at Work Charter and currently meet and exceed its principal requirements.
In November 2018, we won the overall Outstanding Employer Award at the inaugural Investing in Ethnicity Awards.
Visible role models
A consistent theme in feedback from our ethnic minority colleagues is the need for visible, positive role models in the Group. In 2016 we launched our annual ‘Inspire’ list – a list of 40 B.A.M.E. role models from across the organisation and have recently published our 2019 list. We also ran a series of ‘Footprints in the Snow’ sessions in 2018 with senior ethnic minority leaders to share their story and career journey with colleagues.
REACH Network (Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage)
The REACH network connects, supports and develops colleagues from an ethnic minority background. This network has continued to grow, and now has over 3,000 members. REACH held a number of events and mentoring workshops for colleagues in 2018.
One of the goals of the REACH network is to improve cultural awareness and understanding across our workforce. The network issues a monthly cultural awareness communication to members and supporters across the Group, highlighting festivals, celebrations and important cultural events in both religious and secular calendars.
In November 2018, REACH were named Best Network at the inaugural Investing in Ethnicity Awards.
Recognition of our work
Our work to increase the ethnic diversity of our workforce and unlock the potential of our ethnic minority colleagues was recognised in 2018 when we won the overall Outstanding Employer Award at the inaugural Investing in Ethnicity Awards.
In 2018, four of our colleagues were named in the 2018 FT Empower Ethnicity Role Models lists.