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 OSB 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 first 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%).
Following the combination with CCFS, and the associated doubling of our employee base, our WIFC target of 30% by the end of 2020 now represents a single, group-wide target.
As at the end of August 2020, our group wide female representation in senior positions stands at 29.5% (44 females out of 144 senior positions) and as such, represents strong progress towards the achievement of our published target. In addition, we’re proud to have strong female representation at Board level, which at 50% female (4 of 8) positions the Group strongly within the FTSE 250 in terms of Board gender diversity.
Progress has been achieved as a result of a significantly increased level of focus on gender diversity, the provision of detailed monthly management information and regular activity progress updates to the Group Executive Committee, the Group Nominations and Governance Committee and the OSB Board.
Whilst the Group has and will continue to always make promotion or recruitment decisions based on performance, competence and expertise, we have made changes to our Group Recruitment and Selection procedures to ensure that when undertaking internal or external recruitment for senior management positions, a high level of focus is placed on establishing gender diverse candidate lists.
In line with this, there is a mandatory requirement that for all senior management vacancies group wide, 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 have been proactive in seeking to better support the longer term development and internal progression of our existing female employees through to senior management through OSB’s Women’s Networking Forum, with regular events being extremely well attended. We have however recently expanded the breadth and depth of our approach by instead establishing a group-wide, Diversity and Inclusion Group, who will remain focussed on gender, but will also be considering matters relating to the entire diversity spectrum.
As a Group, we continue to believe that we are on the right track and that our approaches to date have been both appropriate and proportionate.
As we are approaching the end of 2020, we are in the process of considering a revised target, which will certainly exceed 30%. Aligned to this, will we also be giving due consideration to any additional actions and revised approaches which may be required moving forwards in order to assist us in achieving the new target that we publish.