In 2013, collecting and analysing HR monitoring information revealed that the representation of female colleagues at senior management level was significantly out of step with their representation in our overall workforce.
We identified several undesirable impacts of this situation, most notably: reputational damage due to our inability to reflect our customer base at a senior level; potential criticism from current and future investors and; a lack of diverse perspectives in our senior-level decision making.
Our first step was to make a clear public commitment to address the issue. This drove a vast number of other activities including: executive accountability, policy change and specific recruitment and development initiatives, underpinned by on-going insight and data monitoring.
Positive outcomes included a clear uplift in the female representation at senior management from 27% in 2013 to 31% in 2015.
Issue to be resolved
In 2013 we presented analysis to the Board of Lloyds Banking Group on gender representation by job grade; this revealed that less than 27% of our senior management population were female – compared with c.60% of our overall workforce.
So in 2014, we made a bold public commitment to increase the representation of women across our senior management population to 40% by 2020, as part of our strategic business plan. We were the first organisation globally to set such a target and this has driven unprecedented focus within our business.
Our Board and Executive Committee (ExCo) now agree and lead our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) strategy.
A D&I Operational Committee, chaired by the Executive sponsor for Gender, meets monthly and consists of Managing Directors from each area of the business.
In 2015, we set a target for all of our external Recruitment Agencies in that suitably experienced and qualified women must now account for 33% of candidates shortlisted for roles at senior manager level and above.
We have taken on board new Recruitment Agencies that specialise in hiring and attracting women and agile talent.
We have revised the wording in all of our internal and external job adverts to ensure the language used is not off-putting to women, and all of our job ads include a positive D&I/agility statement.
This year we have launched a Returners programme targeted specifically at professional women and men who have been on a career break of at least 2 years.
Last year we launched a ‘Women in Leadership Programme’ for mid-level managers identified as talent to further strengthen the pipeline. 181 women have been through the programme in 2015.
Improving the Working Environment
We have been at the forefront of the pioneering Agile Future Forum – set up to look at ways in which UK organisations can become more agile, more flexible and better suited to the changing needs of both the workforce and of business in the 21st century. It comprises a group of 22 leading UK companies.
We have launched a high profile Group-wide agile working campaign to help all colleagues to work in a more agile way.
In 2015 we launched our Shared Parental Leave Policy, which offers enhanced pay to match our enhanced maternity provision.
We have seen a further uplift in the number of women at all senior levels and at the time of writing 31% of senior roles are now made up by women.
We have achieved an increase in female representation at Executive level from 18% to 19%, with 38% of all internal promotions into Executive roles being women (up from 27% in 2014).
At ExCo level, we have appointed an internal female candidate in 2015, a role which has responsibility for 25% of our staff. During 2015 we have also made an external appointment of two female candidates to undertake the role of HR Director, Operations – our first job-share partnership hired from the external market at Executive level.
Our Colleague Engagement Survey shows that our women are more engaged than men, but that levels of male and female engagement are increasing at the same rate – an improvement of 8 percentage points between 2014 and 2015 surveys.
We have been listed in the Times Top 50 employers for women for the past four years, and have been publically recognised for the work we do in this space.
We have made a public commitment to increase the representation of women in our senior management population over a period of years, and this metric forms part of the balanced scorecards of our CEO and of the members of our ExCo. This means that success in creating and sustaining a strong pipeline of female talent is directly linked to the performance outcomes of our most senior leaders.
In addition, each member of our ExCo has signed up to a number of specific gender signature commitments, which include ensuring all shortlists at senior management level must contain women, identify female talent at mid-management level within their business areas, and to mentor, sponsor or coach a colleague from an underrepresented group
Our 2016 Inclusion and Diversity strategy includes a firm commitment to continue existing activity and start a number of new initiatives that will specifically benefit women.