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.
We’ve also made public commitments to increasing the engagement scores of our ethnic minority colleagues to 70% by 2020, in our Helping Britain Prosper Plan. This will be measured via our Colleague Survey.
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.
To help us achieve our goal of better representing the customers and communities we serve, we are focusing on unlocking colleague potential with a career development programme for ethnic minorities, a programme of visible role models, and a focus on increasing cultural awareness to help all colleagues interact more effectively, regardless of ethnic background.
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. We also ran a series of ‘Footprints in the Snow’ sessions in 2017 with senior ethnic minority leaders to share their story and career journey with colleagues.
We have been the proud sponsor of the Powerlist publication for the past five years, which profiles Britain’s 100 most influential black men and women. The high-profile publication features leaders in their field across business, the arts, media, science and engineering.
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 2017.
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.
Black History Month October 2018
This year is a milestone in UK Black history as it marks the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the ship MV Empire Windrush, which brought 492 passengers from Caribbean countries to the UK to help re-build post-war Britain.
We are marking the occasion by holding a Cultural Awareness Month themed ‘A Mile in My Shoes’ which aims to get colleagues talking about culture so they can experience ‘walking in the shoes of others’ and learn more about cultural diversity and Black history.
During October we're encouraging colleagues to get involved in a range of activities - including sharing their stories via online vlogs, adding their cultural milestones to our Group Cultural timeline, attending a Cultural Cafe event or visiting our pop-up Black History museum at our key head office sites.