Women in Finance Charter

Yorkshire Building Society is a signatory to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter

What is it?

The Women in Finance Charter is a pledge for gender balance across financial services from HM Treasury. It is a commitment to work together, across our industry and with Government, to build a more balanced and fair financial services industry.

Organisations who have signed the Charter have made a clear commitment to improve diversity, ensure that women are able to progress into senior levels, set targets to support this work and regularly report on their progress. 

We believe that by valuing diversity of people, thought and outlook, we can make better decisions across our organisation for the benefit our members.

 

What are we doing about it?

We do a huge amount of work to ensure we improve the diversity of our teams, and we remain committed to our plans to increase our diversity credentials. It remains at the heart of our business strategy, which is where it should be. We know there is much more to do, and we will continue to make progress and report on it in a clear and transparent way.

2020 update

We have focused on the following areas over the course of 2020.

  • Launching ‘Inclusion Dashboards’ for all directorates to highlight real-time diversity data and drive behavioural change.
  • Establishing a Diversity Committee with clear governance to hold the business and its senior leaders to account.
  • Starting a UK-wide advocacy programme for female colleagues.
  • Creating strengths-based recruitment with balanced shortlisting - focusing on the hiring stage and ensuring inclusive decision-making throughout.

We continue our work towards the ‘Leaders in Diversity’ accreditation working with the National Centre for Diversity.

Through our work, we are accredited as Investors in Diversity, and have been recognised as a UK Top 50 Inclusive Company. We were placed at number 35 in the 2020/21 list which is up from number 47 in 2019/2020.

By continuing to back this Charter, we're making a public commitment to help improve diversity in financial services.

In the next year we will continue to increase our efforts to embed an inclusive culture and ensure that our senior leadership becomes more diverse as a result.

Covid-19

This year has been extraordinary for many reasons, not least the impact of the pandemic across the UK. Despite this we continue to make headway and improve our record when it comes to diversity and inclusion. 

We believe that we are still on track to achieve a balanced senior leadership team as per our commitment under the Charter. We also acknowledge we have more to do.

Since the start of the pandemic we’ve seen 3733 (and counting) days of dependants/carers leave used across the society

78.7% of those days (or 2938) have been used by women with caring responsibilities. These are typically colleagues spread across our branch network and contact centres. This compared with 21.3% (or 795 days) taken by men.

Uncapped Paid Leave:

Since the start of the pandemic we’ve seen 19427 (and counting) days of Covid-19 related absence (including all those self-isolating, shielding, and remaining at home to care for an extremely vulnerable individual). Every single one of these days has been paid for using company sick pay, so no colleague has gone without their regular wage.

81.8% of those days (or 15763) have been used by women typically in roles spread across the branch network and contact centre teams, compared with 18.9% (or 3664 days) taken by men.

Senior Leadership
Where were we in 2019? 39% women, 61% men
Where are we now? 44% women, 56% men
Target 50% women, 50% men
With a minimum of 40% of either gender

Female colleagues in customer facing roles make up 46% of the total population. We are looking at ways we can encourage more males to apply to work in these roles to create a more balanced workforce throughout the business.

For more information about the Women in Finance Charter visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/women-in-finance-charter

Diversity at YBS

It is about much more than targets and we’re not limiting our work to gender diversity. We’re doing a lot of work to build a more diverse business, ensuring that people who are making decisions about the future of our Society bring a wide range of experience and understanding to their roles.

This has included:

  • Working with Grant Thornton on the Bradford for Everyone initiative, to promote diversity and equity across the home city of our head office.
  • Running our Decency & Fairness Conference in November 2019 to promote diversity across the business community.
  • Launching successful #prideinoursociety campaigns – supporting and connecting with the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Providing support to our Senior Leadership Team in inclusion practices, as we work with the National Centre for Diversity to secure Leaders in Diversity accreditation.
  • Beginning work on a new women’s advocacy programme, a central part of our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy.
  • Celebrating International Women’s Day by hosting an event for colleagues to hear an inspirational talk from Kate Bellingham, on being a female leader in the traditionally male-dominated STEM sector.

We think that this work will help us develop fantastic future leaders within our organisation, and make Yorkshire Building Society an even more welcoming, diverse and exciting place to work. With a diverse leadership guiding our people and society, we are confident we’ll deliver the best possible outcomes for our members and customers.