Category: Industry News, Employer Focus, Lloyds Banking Group, Finance, diversity and equality
Against the background of the growing diversity of the Island’s population Lloyds Banking Group’s Isle of Man operation has formed a branch of its Group Ethnic Minority (GEM) network.
The aim of the network is to serve as a voice for the group’s ethnic minority colleagues, help shape recruitment processes and, at a community level, bring together co-workers to support local causes.
Its chairman is Jean-Paul Nguegang of Scottish Widows, part of the Lloyds Banking Group. Mr Nguegang, who works in the finance department, was born in the Republic of Cameroon and has lived in the Isle of Man for 14 years, having previously worked in the UK and Cyprus.
He said: ‘We have around 15 members and that number’s growing all the time. It’s been very well received and is gathering momentum, not least thanks to the support of our senior management, Lloyds Banking Group island director Peter Reid and Scottish Widows managing director Juan Clarke. Their commitment is really helping GEM flourish and deliver on diversity.’
Mr Reid said: ‘Seeing GEM establish itself in the Isle of Man over the past year and being involved in the activities and meetings has been a real highlight for me. It’s a credit to all the colleagues involved that they have achieved so much in the local community as well as supporting colleagues in a truly diverse and international workforce. As we grow our international business I look forward to the GEM network welcoming new colleagues and building on its success.’
Mr Clarke added: ‘Lloyds is committed to helping realise colleagues’ potential and removing barriers to their professional and personal development. There is also a clear economic argument for diversity and equality; helping our colleagues be the best they can be makes for a stronger business. Jean-Paul and his fellow GEM members have my full support. They are not only advancing the causes of diversity and equality but also, through their volunteer work, are great ambassadors for the Lloyds Banking Group.’
As well as focusing on diversity and inclusion GEM has an important role to play in supporting the business. Mr Nguegang explained: ‘As a business we aspire to be the best bank for customers and the best bank for colleagues. That means understanding the needs of our customers in an increasingly ethnically diverse society. It also means being recognised as an employer that is sensitive to and values talent regardless of ethnic background. And these are areas where GEM can make a very real difference, especially when you consider that around 11 per cent of the UK working population comes from ethnic minority communities.
‘GEM is at the forefront of diversity, be that gender or age equality, sexual orientation or disability, and the diversity of our customers must be reflected in our people.’
GEM is also galvanising colleagues to volunteer for a wide range of community projects as part of the group’s Day to Make a Difference programme. These include transforming the play area at St Thomas’s School by painting the sheds and boundary walls and, at Scoill yn Jubilee, clearing a section of overgrown ground in preparing for its use as a teaching garden and inputting data for the school’s library. Volunteers have also completed some external painting at Peel Clothworkers’ School, while the Henry Bloom Noble School’s Fairfield Road site benefited from two Days to Make a Difference volunteering projects at the end of last year.
GEM is also looking beyond the Lloyds Banking Group to work with charities and volunteer organisations on community schemes.
Not all GEM members are from ethnic minority groups. All do, however, share the same vision to increase cultural awareness, engage with the local community and help create a working environment that reflects the changing face of the UK and the Isle of Man.
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