As an employer, we value diversity, encourage inclusion and support staff wellbeing.
Diversity and inclusion go together
We’re trying to create a workforce that reflects the diversity of the society we serve. And we think diversity and inclusion go hand-in-hand. So we’re also developing an inclusive workplace culture that allows people to be themselves at work and achieve their potential.
Our Governor Mark Carney explained our approach in a speech called ‘Reflecting diversity, choosing Inclusion’ in February 2017. He outlined our progress so far in a letter to the Treasury Select Committee in February 2018.
We’re building a diverse workforce
We’re building a diverse workforce because we believe it will allow us to build trust with the people we serve and help us make better decisions. In 2014, we set ourselves targets to increase gender and BAME (Black, Asian, minority ethnic) diversity. We revised these targets in 2017. We want:
- 50% of our employees below senior management, and 35% of our senior managers, to be female by 2020
- 20% of our employees below senior management to be BAME by 2020, and 13% of our senior managers to be BAME by 2022.
We publish all our diversity targets and our progress on pages 46 to 49 in our annual report.
We signed (and helped to launch) the Women in Finance Charter in 2016. It commits us to setting targets, linking executive director pay to gender progression, and giving responsibility for gender diversity to a senior executive. This person is Joanna Place, our Chief Operating Officer who set out our progress in a speech in March 2018.
Our Career Returners Programme supports employees who’ve taken a career break, including many women and people from ethnic minorities.
In 2018, our work experience programme involved 81 students who do not have any personal connection to the Bank of England.We recruit these students through programmes such as Speakers for Schools S4S:NextGen and Mayor’s Fund for London. Find out more about our work experience programme on p52-53 in our annual report.
Diversity isn’t just about characteristics such as gender and ethnicity. It’s also about the way people think. We value and encourage this cognitive diversity too. We ran our first ‘Inclusion and Cognitive Diversity survey’ in April 2018 and published an an overview of the results in July 2018.
And inclusive workplaces
We want everyone who works for us to feel that they can be themselves at work. We encourage a workplace culture that makes that happen. For example, we support many staff networks (shown below). Our newest network, Bank Employees That Serve, is for staff who serve or have served in the forces and services.
We’re making adjustments and introducing initiatives to help improve people’s experiences at work.
For example, we’ve installed a lift at our Threadneedle Street building entrance, held British Sign Language training, and invited in external speakers to talk about disability issues.
As signatories of The Valuable500 initiative, we aim to demonstrate that we are committed to further improving accessibility in the workplace and building an inclusive culture which supports disabled staff. Being a signatory means that disability and long term conditions are high up on our leadership agenda. In joining, we have committed to establish a ‘one-stop’ approach to reasonable adjustments. This will ensure that everyone who needs it can obtain specialist equipment in a simple and effective way.
The wellbeing of our staff is important to us
We provide a wide range of services, benefits and initiatives to support staff with their mental, physical and social wellbeing under our ‘think well, live well, be well’ programme. This includes:
- flexible working
- a network of wellbeing champions
- seminars to help support wellbeing and good work-life balance
- practical advice and support through our employee assistance programme
- in-house counsellors
- discounted gym memberships.
We encourage staff to be open about mental health
We work with charities and our staff networks to challenge mental health stigma. For example, we’ve created a video called This is Me which features our staff talking about their mental health experiences. And we offer training for our line-managers.
Our Mental Health Network organises initiatives to raise awareness such as Green Ribbon Day and turning our Threadneedle Street building green.
Our Governor wrote about our approach in an article for The Express recently. We also featured in a case study by City Mental Health Alliance and a case study by the World Economic Forum. In 2016, we were shortlisted for a Wellbeing at Work Award by Business in the Community. In 2018, we appeared in a top 20 of the highest-rated companies for work-life balance in the UK.