Lloyds Banking Group's Director of Diversity, Fiona Cannon on Gender equality
Diversity has always been an issue in the financial sector, with the gender pay gap still looming large in many areas.
With this in mind, Lloyds Banking Group has taken it upon themselves to attempt to remedy the problem, committing itself to ensuring 40% of its senior roles will be held by women by 2020.
Fiona Cannon OBE, Director of Inclusion & Diversity at Lloyds Banking Group, spoke to HR Grapevine about the institution’s initiatives and future plans.
How can HR do more to promote gender equality, especially in a male-dominated sector such as finance?
“Gender equality is a business issue and should not just be left to HR departments to institute. For any company that is committed to achieving true gender equality it is vital that all employees feel included and involved if real change is to happen. To enact change – and to pave the way for more women to progress – this needs to be a shared goal that runs throughout the entire organisation but driven from the very top.”
How does your Helping Britain Prosper plan impact on the future of gender equality?
“We were the first FTSE 100 company to set a goal of having 40% of senior roles held by women by 2020, in our Helping Britain Prosper Plan.
“Research has shown that at the current rate of change, it will take more than 70 years to achieve gender-balanced Boardrooms in the UK's largest 100 companies. At Lloyds Banking Group, we think that's too slow, which is why we not only set a target but devised a plan to make it happen. Being able to attract, develop, fully utilise and retain top female talent is highly important to us.”
When 40% is achieved, what is the next step?
“Gender diversity is a step forward; however, inclusion is where the true value is for us. Our goal is to create teams which benefit from different styles, ideas and ways of thinking, not simply a mix of people who are male and female.
“This all forms part of our overall goal to be the best bank for customers; building an inclusive bank that reflects the diversity of modern Britain. To respond to and embrace change we need to be innovative and agile as a business to help attract and create the very best talent that brings with it a rich diversity of ideas and skills.”
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