Diversity & inclusion

Supporting inclusion

Supporting inclusion

Around the world, we hold leaders accountable for building diverse teams and fostering an inclusive environment where employees are valued for who they are and what they offer.

We continue to focus on maintaining an inclusive environment that supports everything that makes our colleagues unique and provides resources to help them grow professionally and personally.

As part of our ongoing commitment to being a great place to work, we encourage our employees to have courageous conversations as a way to promote inclusion, understanding and positive action by creating awareness of different experiences and perspectives.

The topics of these conversations explore our differences in background, experience or viewpoints, such as class, age, gender, gender identification and expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and disability. We also organize courageous conversations in response to events that challenge our communities on issues related to diversity and inclusion, social justice, and race and equality.

To date, we have had over 60,000 participants in courageous conversations at the bank, including our Board of Directors, global senior leaders and local market presidents.

Learn more about these courageous conversations in the 2020 Human Capital Management Report.

We also invest in our employees and inclusive workplace through a variety of development and learning programs that help drive a culture of mutual respect, and promote teamwork and positive engagement at every level of our company.

  • Unconscious Bias — This training has been rolled out globally to more than 41,000 employees since 2013.
  • Diverse Leader Sponsorship Program – Targets top-performing diverse talent and assigns each participant a senior leader sponsor who helps accelerate her or his visibility, advocacy and development over the course of the 10 month program. Protégés and sponsors continue to meet after the program is over. We’ve found participants to be twice as likely to be promoted as a result of their participation in this program. Sponsors are just as diverse as their protégés, many being women, people of diverse races and ethnicities and LGBT leaders.
  • D&I Learning: As of June 2019, more than 125,000 employees have taken voluntary Diversity and Inclusion training, with over half a million program completions focused on driving our culture of diversity and inclusion.
  • We deliver a far-reaching range of programs designed to advance and develop careers at all levels. These include targeted career support for female employees and access to/sponsorship by senior executives. In 2016 and 2017, more than 170 of our mid-level women participated in Pathways to Progression – an EMEA-wide program which targets Vice President level women, as well as their managers and sponsors, to increase retention, engagement and accelerate the progression of these women. This is critical to increasing female representation at senior levels.
  • Our award-winning Returning Talent program reflects our innovative approach to recruitment, inviting women who have been out of work for more than a year, to explore the changing workplace, build professional connections and access executive coaching. Events are held annually in London, Chester and Dublin, and since the program’s launch in 2012, we have helped hundreds of participants regain their confidence and continue their careers.
  • In Asia Pacific we have various programs that enable women to do their best work and develop the skills they need to grow into their future roles. In 2017, this included our third Asia Pacific Women’s Conference, which engages women leaders across the firm, the regional Executive Committee and male influencers in discussions on priorities to advance women in the workplace. Within Global Banking and Markets, we also saw the launch of our Women’s Leadership Council which connects women to drive business, attract talent and inspire success. In Technology & Operations, we saw the successful continuation of our Return to Work program that recruits people who have taken a career break to look after children or parents.
  • Our Women’s Executive Development Program leverages the faculty of Columbia Business School to engage, develop, retain and support career advancement of high potential talent. The program has evolved since its creation in 2007 and now offers a robust 10-month experience including assessments, in-person and ongoing virtual development sessions, executive sponsorship and local market engagement opportunities to advance the careers of female participants.

We also have a number of enterprise partnerships that share our common goal of driving inclusion. Learn more about how the company and employees get involved, including supporting people with disabilities and the Love Has No Labels campaign.

Advancing women's leadership and economic empowerment

We have a long heritage of supporting women’s economic empowerment and leadership, both through external partnerships and within our own organization. As a part of this, we empower women to make meaningful contributions within our company and in our communities by focusing on being a great place to work for our female employees, making the financial lives of our female clients and customers better and advancing the economic empowerment of women in communities around the world. Recent recognition for this work includes being cited as a leader in the annual Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index and being honored as Euromoney’s 2017 World’s Best Bank for Corporate Social Responsibility and their 2016, 2018, and 2019 World’s Best Bank for Diversity.

We recognize that women play a significant role in advancing economic growth within their communities and in the global economy. Through a range of partnerships we connect women to the capital, resources, networks and mentoring needed to help them achieve success and our employees are actively engaged in this work:

  • As lead corporate supporter of Inspiring the Future, more than 1,000 of our employees have shared their time and professional insight with thousands of young people across the UK and Ireland.
  • The Global Ambassadors Program, a partnership with Vital Voices, we connect women entrepreneurs to senior women executives, including our bank team, for mentoring and skills-building that will help them advance their small businesses.
  • Annually, approximately 150 employees offer mentoring expertise to women entrepreneurs participating in the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Mentoring Women in Business Programme.
  • Through our partnerships with STEMettes and Code First: Girls, we host creative and interactive events in the UK and Ireland to encourage young women to consider a career in technology. In 2018, we announced our support of Code First: Girls’ 20:20 Campaign, an initiative which aims to train 20,000 women to code for free by the end of 2020.

Driving gender equality in financial services

  • In 2017, we signed the Women in Finance Charter, a UK government initiative aimed to improve gender diversity in UK financial services.
  • We have also heightened our efforts to recruit and develop exceptional female talent, and we offer industry-leading benefits and programs that help women to balance work and life.
  • We are fully committed to developing a more gender-balanced workforce in the UK, and we intend to accelerate our progress by: 
    • Working with schools and universities to encourage more young women to consider careers in both technology and financial services. 
    • Advancing female talent through programs that help women to progress into senior positions, ultimately yielding an increase in female representation at senior levels.
    • Offering benefits to increase the retention of our employees.
    • Continuing to critically assess our progress against internal and external targets.

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