During our Inclusion Week earlier this year, we asked colleagues to take part in a cognitive diversity survey for the first time to gain a better picture of how our people feel about inclusivity at the Bank. Research shows that to realise the benefits of cognitive diversity, people need to feel included and we want to understand the behaviours that contribute to or detract from this.
Just over half of all colleagues took the time to respond giving us a sample broadly representative of the Bank population. The Bank is among a small group of organisations to have run such a survey and published the results. We will be using the results to understand what we need to do to improve inclusion and to develop more targeted, effective and sustainable interventions.
The survey measures 12 different aspects of cognitive diversity, ranging from protected characteristics to socio-economic background and tenure, across seven inclusivity metrics. These metrics include interpersonal interactions, flexible working, communication with leaders and key decisions on recruitment and promotion.
Our results indicate colleagues are generally positive about inclusiveness at the Bank on every metric measured by the survey. We are also heartened by the few and limited differences in ratings of inclusion between minority and majority groups across various demographics including gender and socio-economic background. But, we know that there is more to do. We did find that BAME staff indicated lower ratings than white staff on every measure of inclusion and ratings were also generally lower for staff with a disability.
One key purpose of the survey was to identify areas that require further progress and, having shared these results with Court and senior management, we are taking steps to address those. We are augmenting our work to improve the effectiveness of meetings under Vision2020 by including specific reference to inclusion. We have very recently begun a pilot sponsorship programme focused on BAME and female colleagues to support progression into senior management and we will be considering other steps over the coming months.