Women in Finance: Diversity & Inclusion
In 2019, as part of the Societe Generale group, we signed up to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter. We’re proud to be one of over 250 firms that have voluntarily committed to work together to build a more equitable and fair industry in terms of gender balance. We’ve worked hard to ensure success in delivering, not just the Charter’s targets, but taking them a step further to embrace the spirit of them into our everyday actions across the bank.
A key target was to see the representation of women in senior roles increase to 25% by 2022 across our UK platform (SG London Branch, SG International Limited and Kleinwort Hambros). We’re proud to say we achieved this target and so we have extended our ambition to take this further; we know greater diversity contributes to a positive culture, which is why we’re updating our target to achieve 30% of women in senior roles by 2025.
HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter
HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter is a UK Government sponsored initiative which reflects the aspiration to see gender balance at all levels across the financial services sector.
The Charter commits companies to support the progression of women into senior roles in the financial services sector.
The Charter is comprised of four pledges. Our targets mapped to each are:
- To have a senior executive take responsibility and accountability for gender diversity and inclusion.
- Our UK Executive Committee endorsed the signature of the Charter, with Christophe Lattuada, Chief Executive Officer, SG London Branch and Chief Country Officer, UK, being the lead sponsor.
- To set an internal target for gender diversity across senior management.
- Our target is to increase the number of women in senior roles across our UK platform (SG London Branch, SG International Limited and Kleinwort Hambros) to reach a minimum of 30% by 2025.
- To publish our progress annually against these targets on our website, linking directly to the HM Treasury website.
- Since signing, we are now publishing our targets and reporting on our progress annually to support the transparency and accountability needed to drive change.
- To link our senior executive team’s reward with delivery against our gender diversity targets.
- Each UK Executive Committee member has a diversity and inclusion objective linked to how the Business Unit(s) or Service Unit(s) under their scope of accountability contribute to the overall UK result. Each year, their appraisals include a specific and measurable performance assessment linked to the creation and implementation of specific divisional annual diversity and inclusion plans.
Diversity and Inclusion: Our Approach
Our approach to diversity and inclusion is to value differences. It’s about being an inclusive company where our people from all groups and backgrounds are treated fairly and have access to equal opportunities. As such it remains a significant area of focus for us across all our people touchpoints, from talent attraction, development and engagement through to retention. Indeed, one of our core values is Innovation, and as such we understand diversity of thought plays a significant part in enabling us to deliver creative, best in class solutions for our clients.
Inclusion is embedded in our organisational culture under our Life@Work framework, which pulls together various initiatives and practices and underpins our culture and working environment to support everyone to be their best selves in the workplace.
Our employee networks include Pride & Allies, Family, BAME, Gender and TheWay, which is specifically for employees at the start of their career. Co-Chaired by senior leaders the networks provide a safe platform to bring together common interest groups with a desire to share their experiences and bring fresh ideas to ensure we continue to actively promote and develop our broader diversity and inclusion agenda.
Our strategy for all our networks revolves around three key pillars: 1) Networking & Influencing 2) Driving Cultural Change 3) Promoting broader collaboration and connection
Our networks ensure our employees have a broader voice and engage in a company-wide conversation.
Building a Female Talent Pipeline
We understand the importance of building a junior talent pipeline of women who we can develop and grow to become tomorrow’s leaders. It’s why each year we hold Women in Finance Open Days, where we invite University students to join us for workshops and talks. This initiative has been extremely successful for all involved resulting in a number of hires being made. We’ve also launched an innovative apprenticeship programme, which attracts diverse talent from a broad range of universities and degree disciplines and offers a professional qualification fully-funded by the Apprenticeship Levy. We also sponsor events to support young women to broaden their digital understanding and technology skills through our Coding for Women initiative.
Women in Leadership programme
We have programmes and initiatives specifically designed to encourage the development of high-potential female talent to support them in reaching their career ambitions by transitioning into more senior roles across our business.
Women Returners programme
We have opened up key roles for women who have taken a career break. The programme offers coaching support to set them up for success by helping them transition back into the workplace. We plan to increase breadth of this programme.
Mentoring & Sponsorship
Key decisions linked to promotions and career development opportunities are taken with gender diversity front of mind. Our senior leaders are proactively encouraged to champion the development of our female talent. Further, our mentoring programme ensures senior leaders can share their expertise and experience with aspiring talent who want to develop their knowledge and network.
A Focus on Work/life Balance
We offer all our staff access to a mental health and wellbeing platform which provides a wealth of content, videos and online tutorials. We also offer paid family leave (maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave) above statutory entitlement; tuition reimbursement; emergency family care support, and wherever practicable, flexible working arrangements to help employees balance their work and personal lives.