Our approach to building a diverse and inclusive culture

Currently, women make up 39% of our senior leadership team, and 5% of our leaders are Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME).

Our gender pay gap data shows there is an under-representation of women in more senior technical and managerial roles and an over-representation of women in administrative roles, so we need to take action to redress the balance.

What are we doing?

Our action plans are focused on helping us to achieve diversity and, through inclusive leadership, creating an inclusive culture to realise the benefits of this diversity. Our approach calls upon everyone in the organisation to value people with different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences in their daily activities, in particular leaders who influence colleagues’ access to work opportunities.

The range of actions below illustrates the strategic emphasis we are placing on diversity and inclusion, and how we are ensuring it receives the attention and priority that it deserves:

  • Inclusive Culture engagement sessions – designed to strengthen understanding around why diversity and inclusion is so important to us, and belief in the importance of positive action and inclusive leadership. Participants will make commitments that involve taking positive action through their people management decisions. All managers attended a workshop by March 2018.
  • Senior Leadership role modelling – our senior leaders have been asked to focus on changing their approach to decision-making across the full range of people management practices. All senior leaders have a shared objective around the promotion of diversity and inclusion. They are expected to deliver Inclusive Culture engagement training sessions to their line managers. They are also committed to delivering change across the full range of people management practices, with a particular focus on recruitment and work allocation – making a conscious effort to allocate work fairly, and keeping track of work assignments.
  • Hiring - agencies with a reputation for diversity – we highlight to both hiring managers and agencies that diversity should be an explicit part of the job scoping conversation, and that there is an expectation to produce balanced shortlists (gender, ethnicity and diversity of social background) to give us the best candidates. We now hire recruitment agencies with a reputation for diversity and demand diverse shortlists.
  • Divisional plans – our Divisions are engaged in local initiatives to build an inclusive culture. Each Division now has its own diversity and inclusion working group and local action plan.
  • Mentoring –a number of mentoring schemes have been established, supported by our network groups. These include an internal mentoring scheme for women, a parenting buddy scheme and Race for Opportunity Cross Mentoring Circles. Over 30 of our senior leaders have participated in a BAME reverse mentoring scheme.
  • Network groups – our diversity commitment doesn’t just come from the top – it is shaped by our people and active network groups, which make the organisation more dynamic and effective. These networks cover the full range of diversity considerations, including disability, LGBT+, gender, ethnicity, nationality, faith and carers.

Our role as regulator

Our Mission commits us to giving more protection to consumers who are likely to have lower levels of financial capability. It provides us with the framework to use when making decisions and judgements in our work.

We also consider the accessibility of our systems and services and the impact of our policies and processes on different groups of the UK population. Our recent work on the effect of an ageing population on financial services has brought a sharper focus to thinking on the needs of older consumers.

Our Financial Lives survey has provided us with a vast amount of new data on the attitudes and concerns of consumers in all age groups. This provides valuable insights and underpins our consumer protection work.

We are exploring how we can support firms to address the challenges of building a diverse workforce, as this aligns closely to good conduct.

Close links with the wider community and the consumers we protect are vital to helping us become a better regulator. With our move to Stratford we have developed a new engagement programme which will help us engage with and listen to the local community.