Diversity and inclusion – why it matters to us

Understand how we value differences in our people and use these to make us a stronger and more effective regulator. 

Our Mission sets our goal to serve the UK public interest through better regulation. As the regulator of the financial services industry, the decisions we make directly impact the lives of millions of people who use those services every day. Diversity of thought enables us to be more innovative in our thinking. So we will perform better when we employ the very best diverse talent and expertise and develop an inclusive culture in which the range of voices and views can be heard.

The value of diversity and inclusion can be seen in the decisions that businesses make so it’s vital in terms of how we regulate the conduct of the industry. We realise we have a responsibility to lead by example within the financial services sector, highlighting diversity and inclusion as an integral element of good conduct. We want to work closely with firms across the sector, both to share our insights and to learn from what others are doing.

Our figures show we have work to do and we are taking bold steps to place diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work. We are committed to sharing our experiences and learning from others.

Our aim is to create a diverse and inclusive workplace that is free from discrimination and bias so that we can better deliver our role as regulator. We want our employees to trust that their differences are respected and valued so they can genuinely be themselves at work. 

We are covered by the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) of the Equality Act 2010 and track our progress each year through our Annual Diversity Report 2018/19. This report highlights the progress we are making and where we are going next.

Women in Finance targets update 

As part of our focus on both gender and financial services industry leadership roles, in June 2016, we signed the Women in Finance Charter, which seeks to increase the representation of women in the financial services sector, particularly at senior levels.  

We also set targets for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) for the FCA’s senior level as although we are an ethnically diverse organisation, there is a smaller proportion of BAME people at higher job grades.

We committed to achieving the following targets which were designed to be a stretch:

• 45% of the FCA’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to identify as female by 2020, and 50% by 2025. As of 30 September 2019, 41% of the SLT identifies as female.

• 8% of the FCA’s SLT to identify as BAME by 2020, and 13% by 2025. As of 30 September 2019, 9% of the SLT identifies as BAME.

As a result, whilst we are pleased that we are on track to meet our 2020 BAME target, we are not on track to meet our 2020 gender target.

Reaching our interim gender target was always going to be challenging.  Whilst we are taking positive action, we do not have a high turnover or large number of new posts at SLT level so have not yet been able to achieve enough positive changes to reach the 45% gender target. 

We will continue with our positive action programme and the range of actions as part of our strategy and hope to see the level of female hires and promotions increase.

Demonstrating our continued commitment to best practice in this area, in February 2019 we became signatories to the Race at Work Charter, this year we published our ethnicity pay gap and in April 2019 we were delighted to be listed in the Times Top 50 Best Employers for Women. 



Other activity 

To help us achieve our other aims:

  • we consider a full range of issues when thinking about how to create a diverse mix of people, including: LGBT+, social mobility, faith, disability, and caring responsibilities
  • our Executive Diversity Committee takes strategic decisions on issues affecting equality, diversity and inclusion at the FCA, and has senior executive level responsibility for taking forward our plans and activities
  • all our senior leaders and managers have an objective to promote diversity and inclusion

Our strategy to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace has four elements:

  • Making diversity integral to attracting, recruiting and developing our people at all levels of the organisation
  • An inclusive approach to make the most of our diverse talents
  • Applying a diverse viewpoint when considering how to protect consumers from harm
  • Engaging with the financial sector to share our approach and to learn from others

We are one of the top 100 organisations in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and are a Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion. We are also members of StandOUT, the Financial Public Sector LGBT+ Network (including the Bank of England, Financial Ombudsman Service, Financial Services Compensation Scheme, Money Advice Service and the Pensions Regulator).


Stonewall top 100 employer

We have also achieved success with our carers and social mobility agenda.  We received Carers Positive accreditation level 1 in our Edinburgh office, in recognition of the FCA’s policies and support for employees with caring responsibilities. We were also placed at 23 in the Social Mobility Index top 50 in 2019. 

Read more about our strategy and approach to building a diverse and inclusive culture.

Page updates

06/08/2020: Link changed