Addressing the gaps

How are we addressing our gender and ethnicity pay gap?

One of the British Business Bank’s strategic objectives is unlocking potential by ensuring entrepreneurs can access the finance they need regardless of where and who they are.

To do so we are accelerating our diversity, equity and inclusion journey to make sure our organisation reflects the diversity of the population we are trying to reach, meet market standards we set for our delivery partners and to continue to create an environment where diverse talent can thrive. In 2023, we actioned the first year of our diversity, equity and inclusion three-year roadmap, which in addition to our strategy and policy are aligned with our organisational ambition. We defined a clear aspiration and are identifying metrics to track progress including on gender and ethnic diversity.

We are committed to recruiting, developing, and retaining individuals with the skills and experience required to enable the Bank to meet its strategic objectives. Our range of people policies and programmes are designed to support a diverse community where talent is recognised and nurtured, and colleagues feel empowered to be proactive in their own development. We continually review these policies and programmes alongside employee groups with a view to further strengthening them where we can and ensuring equal access. We foster a culture of inclusion and sense of open dialogue and encourage colleagues to bring their full selves to work.

Stronger Together

Central to our strategy is our employee resource group called Stronger Together. The group is sponsored by our Executive Committee and is a diverse group of colleagues from across the organisation.

Stronger Together is an open forum run by colleagues, for colleagues, to provide a safe and supportive environment in which to discuss issues specifically relating to inclusion and diversity in the Bank.

Our inclusion mission statement, which was created with Stronger Together, supports our inclusion activities:

We are committed to creating a culture where each and every colleague can be truly collaborative and creative. As individuals, and collectively as an organisation, we benefit from ensuring the bank is inclusive, everyone has a voice, and we all have the opportunity to be our true selves at work.

We celebrate diversity and inclusion, engage with colleagues across the organisation and shape the DEI strategy at the Bank.

The UK benefits from the diversity of the businesses we support and empower. We are committed to doing everything we can to help them prosper and grow.

At the British Business Bank, we share the same ambitions for our people. We are proud to create an organisation where everyone is stronger together.

Diversity data and our people processes

It is our ongoing commitment to continuously monitor and safeguard the integrity and fairness of our policies, processes, and structures to ensure equal opportunities for all:

We test our annual pay progression and promotions for any differences between men and women.
We test our bonus awards for any gender differences in the percentages of bonus pay-outs relative to their bonus opportunities.
We have an internal job evaluation system which considers the scope and the breadth of each role irrespective of the jobholder. This means that our internal Bands are not decided based on the person doing the job (in which case the system could be susceptible to biases) but based on the content of the job.
We test our yearly talent and performance management processes for representation against the wider organisational population.
We collect data to analyse our attraction and recruitment processes.

Women in Finance Charter

In March 2018, the Bank signed up to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter which commits firms to supporting the progression of women into senior roles in the financial services sector by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level.

The Charter was established in 2016, following a government review in 2015 which found that women made up only 14% of executive committees in the financial services sector. The Charter asks financial services firms to commit to four industry actions to foster gender balance in senior managerial roles. These are:

  1. Having one member of our senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion.
  2. Setting internal targets for gender diversity in our senior management.
  3. Publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on our website.
  4. Having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.

Our commitment to the Charter

Over 400 firms, covering more than 1 million employees, have voluntarily signed the Charter, and are covered by its aspiration to tackle gender inequality in financial services. Since pledging to the Charter in 2018, the Bank has grown significantly to almost 600 colleagues. Through our signatory to the Charter, we are pledging to be one of the leading businesses in the financial services sector.

Our commitment in September 2022 was:

That by end-September 2025, we will maintain at least 50% female representation within our Executive Committee, including attendees (within a 10% tolerance)
That by end-September 2025, we aim to achieve 40% female representation amongst our senior leadership team and feeder pipelines (Managing Directors and Directors)
That we would appoint one member of our senior executive team to be responsible and accountable for our commitments to the Women in Finance Charter. Because we consider this a priority for the business, we made this the responsibility of our Chief Executive Officer.
That we intended to link the pay of the senior executive team to delivery against our internal targets on gender diversity. We have a diversity objective included in the performance appraisal process for our senior executive team

As part of our commitment to the Charter, we reported our progress against our targets as at July 2023 as follows:

46% of our Executive Committee members were women.
We achieved our target of 41% women within our wider senior leadership team and feeder pipelines.

We recognise that the gender balance on our Executive Committee is a backward step from the 58% representation we reported in 2022. We are putting in place deliberate actions to address this and make further progress against our targets.

Throughout 2023, there were significant changes to the Executive Committee and at the time of our Charter submission, the Bank was awaiting the onboarding of three new female colleagues to our Executive Committee, all of whom joined by the end of 2023.

Our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy is reflective of our ambition to be an inclusive employer of choice. We have increased the use of diverse job boards and have introduced an Inclusion Index into our engagement survey, launched a mentoring and development programme through Women in Banking and Finance, and facilitated sessions on Inclusive Leadership and Allyship for our senior leaders. We will review our progress and expand our range of initiatives to address gaps and respond to colleague feedback.

A specific area of focus is talent acquisition at middle and junior levels, and we will take conscious steps to attract female candidates and build a diverse pipeline.

We continue to strive towards our targets and despite setbacks in the 2023 submission we still believe that our recent actions and evolving commitments will enable us to meet our charter targets by our deadline of 30 September 2025.

Other diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives

We are proud to partner with the following organisations: