Reflecting diversity, choosing inclusion - speech by Mark Carney

Given at the Bank of England
Published on 09 February 2017

In this speech, the Governor talks about what it means to be diverse and inclusive, why it’s important to the Bank and how we are making our workplace more diverse and inclusive.  

He talks about two types of diversity: who we are (identity diversity, such as gender or ethnicity) and how we think (cognitive). He also describes what we mean by inclusion - making sure everyone can take part, is able to speak up and have their voice heard. 

He describes why we need to take diversity seriously. The more ideas we can share, the better we will be at making decisions. If we reflect the diversity of the country, we are also more likely to be trusted and will be better at speaking in a way that everyone understands. 

The Governor also shares some of the things we are doing to improve our diversity and inclusion, including recruiting from a wide range of disciplines, offering more part time work and giving people opportunities to learn new skills.  We have also given colleagues a place to voice different opinions, such as our staff blog – Bank Underground and through our flagship seminar series which invites people from different backgrounds, such as sport and the arts, to give talks on their experiences (link). Finally, the Governor explains how we are ensuring our communications reach a wider variety of people, and how we are using different channels, such as KnowledgeBank, to help people better understand our role and what we do. 

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Diversity and inclusion at the Bank of England

How do we define diversity and inclusion at the Bank?

  • Diversity is important at the Bank of England for at least three reasons. The first is that we're a public institution and we should reflect the diversity of the people that we serve.

    The second thing is actually doing that, being familiar makes people trust the institution more. It also makes us understand the people we are serving, being better able to communicate with them and thereby being more effective. 

    And thirdly and perhaps most importantly, it helps us make better decisions. I know this from economic research, we also know it I think we all know it from personal experience. We saw the opposite in the run-up to the financial crisis, where there was a monoculture in the private sector and to some extent in regulators, people from very similar backgrounds and academic disciplines, thinking the same thing and being precisely and collectively wrong in the run-up. 

    What we've been doing at this institution, from before I came here and accelerated and trying to accelerate over the last few years is to make the Bank a more diverse institution but also a more inclusive institution. And what we're doing at the Bank is trying to make sure we reflect the people we serve, a more diverse organisation both in terms of identity and the way people think, but to create an inclusive work environment, an environment that is open communications, that encourages debate, that supports our people so that we can get the maximum benefit from that diversity. So that by reflecting diversity, choosing inclusion we can best serve the people of the United Kingdom.

Inclusion fortnight

The Governor’s speech today marks the close of Inclusion Fortnight. We have held a series of events and activities over the last two weeks to launch our inclusion strategy and to get our colleagues thinking about the importance of inclusion at the Bank. Inclusion is a key part of the Bank’s wider commitment to corporate social responsibility, and fits into the Diverse and talented pillar of our strategic plan.

Over 20 events were held throughout the fortnight with over 1600 people taking part. These events included talks from speakers such as Professor Kevin Fenton and Dr Wanda Wallace; seminars on personal resilience and mindfulness; and panel events on the role of inclusion and why an inclusive culture matters.

Several of the events were supported and hosted by our various employee networks who work to raise awareness of issues important to staff and offer support. In 2016 we highlighted the aims and key achievements of these networks on our social media channels and website, to coincide with flagship days of awareness within society such as International Women’s Day, World Mental Health Day and the Pride celebrations. You can see some of these highlights in the twitter collection.

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