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 prepare their female talent for leadership positions. These are:
- Having one member of our senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion.
- Setting internal targets for gender diversity in our senior management.
- Publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on our website.
- 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
By signing up to this Charter we are pledging to be one of the leading businesses in the financial services sector. Over 200 firms have signed the Charter and more than 650,000 employees in the UK are covered by its plan to tackle gender inequality in financial services. We reported our progress as at July 2021 as part of our commitment to the Charter, as detailed:
Commitment in September 2018
That, by 2021, 50% of our senior management – our Executive Committee – would be female (within a 10% tolerance).
That we would set internal targets for gender diversity in our wider senior management population. Our aspiration was to achieve 40% women at Director level and above.
That we would appoint one member of our senior executive team to be responsible and accountable for gender diversity, and inclusion. 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.
Progress at July 2021
In July (2021), 60% of our Executive Committee members were female. This has increased by 16% since the last report.
Because we consider this a priority for the business, we have made this the responsibility of our Chief Executive Officer, Catherine Lewis La Torre
We have set the following target: By 2021, 40% of our wider Senior Management Team (Bands 2-4, not just our Executive Committee) will be female. Current progress sees 37% (+1.3%) of female representation across our wider senior management team.
We aim to achieve this target through recruitment, development and internal promotion.
All recruitment processes at director and managing director level will include a gender-diverse shortlist and interviewer panel.
We have a diversity objective included in the performance appraisal process for our senior executive team.
We are delighted to have achieved our headline target under the charter and continue to make great progress against our other commitments.
We are continuing with our plans to improve all types of diversity in our organisation and maintaining a diverse work environment.
To support our commitment to the Charter, these are our key achievements so far
- Supporting female career development by launching our mentoring programme for senior leaders
- Reviewing our approach to inclusive recruitment by making sure shortlists and interviews for senior colleagues are diverse
- Delivering mandatory hiring manager training on recruitment and flexible working
- Making sure working practices aren’t a barrier to progression by continuing to review our approach to flexible working
- Updating our careers web page to better reflect the Bank’s policies on flexible working
Other Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives
Race at Work Charter
We signed the Race at Work Charter in March 2021. The Charter is composed of seven calls to action for leaders and organisations across all sectors. Signing up means taking practical steps to ensure workplaces are tackling barriers that Ethnic Minority employees face in the workplace.
Disability Confident Employer
We also increased our Disability Confident Employer accreditation in 2021. The three-tier Disability Confident scheme, led by the Department for Work and Pensions, supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace. We previously held the first level of the scheme, Disability Committed, and now hold the second level, Disability Confident Employer.
Armed Forces Covenant
We are members of the Armed Forces Covenant. By signing up to the scheme, we promise to ensure that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
We are also members of Inclusive Employers. A leading membership organisation for employers who are committed to prioritising inclusion and creating truly inclusive workplaces.