Careers that make a difference to the UK economy

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a huge passion of mine. In Stronger Together, we’ve created a D&I group that represents a diverse workforce.

Gareth Price
Director of Customer Experience

An inclusive organisation

The UK benefits from the diversity of the businesses we support. We’re committed to doing everything we can to help those businesses prosper and grow.

And we share the same ambitions for our people. They’re our greatest asset, which is why we’re committed to creating a workplace where inclusivity is a culture, diversity is championed, and all colleagues have the opportunity to be their true selves at work.

We’re an equal opportunities employer and we’re committed to recruiting, developing and retaining people who have the skills and experience we need to meet our strategic objectives.

We do this through a range of policies and programmes designed to support a diverse community in which talent is recognised and nurtured, and colleagues feel empowered to proactively guide their own development.

We continually review these policies and programmes and strengthen them further wherever we can.

We formed our employee resource group, Stronger Together, to keep inclusion and diversity at the forefront of our agenda.

Sponsored by our Executive Committee, and made up of around 50 colleagues from across the organisation, Stronger Together is an open forum run by colleagues, for colleagues. It provides a safe and supportive environment for us to discuss issues specifically relating to inclusion and diversity in the Bank.

Consisting of a core group and an extended network, Stronger Together supports the Bank’s wider inclusion and diversity strategy by making sure any activity has visibility and impact.

Stronger Together will also focus on its own activities to promote and encourage an ongoing conversation on inclusion within the organisation.

Inclusion is one of the Bank’s top priorities.

We’re committed to providing a website that the widest possible audience of people can access, regardless of their ability or the technology available to them.

We’re continuously improving our website to make it more accessible and usable, in line with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Inclusivity isn’t something we push only inside the Bank. Indeed, it’s part of our strategic objectives in making finance markets work better for all smaller businesses in the UK.

Here are just some of the pieces of research we have done into diversity and representation within finance:

Alone, together: entrepreneurship and diversity in the UK

VC and Female Founders

Race at Work Charter logo

British Business Bank signed the Race at Work Charter in March 2021. Building on the work of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review, the Race at Work Charter is a public commitment to improving the experiences of Black, Asian and ethnic-minority employees in the workplace. It sets out five actions for signatories to take:

  1. Appointing an executive sponsor for race
  2. Capturing data and publicising progress
  3. Ensuring zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  4. Making equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  5. Taking action that supports ethnic-minority career progression

Women in Finance Charter logo

In September 2018, the British Business Bank signed the Women in Finance Charter, and committed to publishing a yearly update on the progress we’ve made in fulfilling our commitments under the charter.

Commitment in September 2018Progress at July 2021
That, by 2021, 50% of our senior management – our Executive Committee – would be female (within a 10% tolerance).In July (2021), 60% of our Executive Committee members were female. This has increased by 16% since the last report.
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 have made this the responsibility of our Chief Executive Officer, Catherine Lewis La Torre.
That we would set internal targets for gender diversity in our senior management.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.
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.

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