Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)

As you’d expect from a Co‑operative, we always go the extra mile when it comes to giving a fair chance to all and sharing opportunity with everyone. We just think it’s the right thing to do. And that’s why we’re 100% focused on creating a diverse and inclusive environment where all our colleagues are supported to reach their full potential. This means promoting a working culture that engages the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, capabilities and ways of working of all our unique individuals. And building a sense of belonging in which people genuinely feel valued and respected.

Through our D&I Policy, our D&I Strategy and our strong colleague communication plan, we’re actively working towards achieving this. Our membership of external diversity advisory bodies (such as Inclusive Employers and Stonewall) and our enthusiastic colleague diversity networks, Elevate and Proud Together, also help to further develop our commitment to inclusion.

                                   

Our people are helping us to lead the D&I charge. This is what they have to say:

We’ve achieved a lot over the past couple of years...

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Agreed a 2016-2018 Bank-wide D&I Strategy
  • Encouraged colleagues to update their diversity demographic data in our HR system
  • Introduced diversity data capture throughout our recruitment processes
  • Refreshed our D&I mandatory training e-learning for colleagues
  • Launched Unconscious Bias e-learning to all colleagues 
  • Rolled-out Making the Difference work-outs to colleagues across the Bank, with a key focus on inclusion
  • Signed the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter with a clear commitment to increase the number of females in senior roles by 2020
  • Appointed an Executive gender sponsor
  • Refreshed our parental, maternity and adoption policy and toolkits to better support colleagues 
  • Continued to support our flourishing colleague network groups - Proud Together (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender LGBT) and Elevate (women’s career development)
  • Continued to be a Disability Confident employer (level 2)
  • Forged strong links with the Social Mobility Foundation
  • Established collaborative links with other Manchester employers through ‘Creating Inclusive Cultures’ network to help drive diversity and inclusion across our head office region 
  • Launched a number of ‘parental workshops’ for colleagues and line managers to improve colleague experience
  • Roll out ‘building confidence and business acumen’ sessions focused at females but open to all
  • Re-launch our recruitment policy and toolkit to attract more candidates from a diverse background
  • Roll-out a Well-being programme across the Bank

Women in Finance

We have continued to support and champion the Bank’s Women in Finance Charter commitment of 40% female occupancy in senior roles by 2020.

Research suggests low confidence and self–belief can negatively impact women succeeding in the workplace, so, Elevate have tailored their efforts to drive positive change. In addition to the above, our involvement in the Bank’s career confidence programme, International Women’s Day celebrations, mentoring scheme pilot and National Inclusion Week have all contributed towards the positive increase in female occupancy in senior roles from 32% to 34% since 2016.  

In December, they will be hosting Focus On sessions as an opportunity to share insight and ideas on how the Bank can continue to drive gender equality forward. Elevate pro-actively support members, to overcome any personal barriers preventing them from progressing in their careers.  

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