Santander Bank have been awarded accolades naming them as leading lights in the struggle for workplace gender equality.
Santander and PwC have been named in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2015, published in partnership with Opportunity Now, the workplace gender campaign from Business in the Community, during Business in the Community's Responsible Business Week.
Santander is a major UK employer with more than 20,000 staff based across its London and an additional network of over 900 branches across the country.
Earlier this year, the Santander Breakthrough programme which supports ambitious SMEs with a range of specialist products and services, announced a dedicated programme of support for female entrepreneurs to help them scale their activity.
PwC has also won the Opportunity Now Transparency Award and is the first of its industry group to publish the findings of its gender pay gap analysis, as part of efforts to improve gender equality across its business, and one of only a handful of UK businesses that publicly report on their gender pay gap.
To increase the number of women entering professional services, PwC launched its shadow a female leader programme in 2013, to offer local university students the chance to shadow a female partner or director for a week at its Yorkshire offices. Since it launched, 15 students have gone through the programme in the region.
Ian Morrison, PwC's Yorkshire & North East regional leader, said: "These awards show our focus on valuing difference and creating an inclusive workplace that supports better gender balance is paying off.
"But there is still more we can do. Increasing the number of women in professional services isn't just right, it's a commercial imperative so we can attract the brightest and best from the widest pool of talent.
"A balanced work force also makes us a more effective business in order to best service our diverse range of clients. Initiatives such as shadow a female leader, our gender balance programme and Breakthrough scheme for female senior managers, are helping us to encourage more females into the profession."
Caroline Curtis, head of executive talent, succession and development at Santander UK, said: "We're delighted to be named as one of the UK's Top Employers for Women.
"Gender equality has long been a core value of our business and this award is a fantastic recognition of the hard work our employees across the country have put in to ensure this.
"Promoting equality is a business priority for the bank and we hope we can help inspire other employers to follow suit and drive change."
Kathryn Nawrockyi, director at Opportunity Now, Business in the Community, said: "Congratulations to Santander and PwC on being included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2015.
"They have recognised that putting inclusive behaviours at the core of what they do and making gender equality a business priority not only benefits the women they employ, but also the organisation as a whole and the clients, customers and communities they serve.
"Their dedication and commitment to driving change should educate and inspire other employers to make a difference, whatever their size or sector."
All organisations within the Top 50 have demonstrated that gender equality is a key part of their business strategy, with consistent commitment to progressing women in the workplace that covers their entire organisation, not just isolated areas.
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