Women in Finance Charter
At OneSavings Bank we believe strongly in diversity and equality in our workforce. As such, in January 2017, we became a proud signatory of HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter; a voluntary commitment to work with the government to build towards gender equality at all levels of our organisation.
By becoming a signatory of the Charter, we have pledged to be one of the best businesses in the sector in terms of gender equality.
Why was the Charter introduced?
The Women in Finance Charter was introduced as part of the Government’s aspiration to improve gender equality in the UK economy. As both the highest paid sector in the country and the sector in which the pay gap is the most stark, the financial services industry received its own review into the representation of women in senior management roles.
What does the Charter require?
- Commits firms to supporting the progression of women into senior roles in the financial services sector by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level
- Recognises the diversity of the sector and that firms will have different start points – each firm should therefore set its own targets and implement the right strategy for their organisation
- Requires firms to publicly report on progress to deliver against these internal targets supporting the transparency and accountability needed to drive change.
What has OneSavings Bank pledged to achieve?
We are committed to increasing the representation of women undertaking senior positions within our organisation as we firmly believe that greater diversity strengthens the capabilities of our managers and positively impact our employees.
As such, Our target is that 30% of all Senior Management positions within the OneSavings Bank Group’s UK population will be undertaken by female employees by the end of 2020.
Alongside this target:
- Jason Elphick, Group Counsel and Company Secretary, has been nominated as the senior executive who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity
- We will publish progress annually against our target here on our website
- We will ensure the pay of our senior executive team is linked to delivery against our gender diversity target.
When OSB signed up to the Women in Finance Charter (WIFC) in January 2017, there were 16 female employees undertaking senior management positions out of a population of 67 (23.9%).
As at the end of August 2019, we have seen our female representation increase significantly to 31.9% (30 out of a senior management population of 94) and as such, we have made excellent progress towards the achievement of our published WIFC target of 30% by the end of 2020.
Our progress has been achieved as a result of a significantly increased level of focus on gender diversity and the provision of detailed management information and activity progress updates to the Executive Committee, the Nominations and Governance Committee and the OSB Board.
Whilst OSB has always and will continue to always make promotion or recruitment decisions based on performance, competence and expertise, we have made changes to our Recruitment and Selection procedures to ensure that for senior management positions a greater focus is placed on establishing gender diverse candidate lists.
In line with this, we have introduced a mandatory requirement that for all senior management vacancies, at least one credible female candidate must be subject to face to face interview before the recruitment process can proceed, with any exceptions to this requirement requiring Executive approval.
We firmly believe that these approaches have been fundamental in respect of the progress that has been achieved to date.
We have also been proactive in seeking to better support the longer term development and internal progression of our existing female employees through to senior management through our Women’s Networking Forum, with regular events being extremely well attended and valued by a membership which is now approaching 60 people.
Our heightened focus on supporting progression is validated by the number of female employees being internally promoted into senior management roles. During 2019 we have seen 9 such promotions, 55% (5) of whom have been women, which for context, aligns closely with the broader make-up of our UK workforce which is 57.98% female.
We believe that we are on the right track and that our approaches are both appropriate and proportionate.
We have a key desire to ensure that male and female employees are treated fairly and equally and will ensure that gender diversity and the activities that support our Charter commitment receive continuous ongoing focus.