A Commitment to Ethnic Diversity.

RBS’ strategy is to deliver a sustainable bank with a clear ambition: we want to be number one for customer service, trust and advocacy, in every one of our chosen business areas by 2020.  To achieve this we need to improve the bank’s performance for customers through our people, therefore a diverse talent pool is essential.  A critical component of this is ensuring greater pull through rates of BAME colleagues at the top levels of the bank and throughout our talent pipeline.

Following consultations with employees and our external Advisory Board on ethnicity, our plan to implement greater pull through rates is dependant on:

  • Increasing development opportunities targetted to BAME groups;
  • building greater awareness of career support and leadership prospects; and
  • drive more accountability within the business to recognise and challenge bias

 

Our plan is working for our colleagues the engagement of Black colleagues is now 2% higher and Asian colleagues 1% higher, than the general population in our annual Employee Opinion Survey.

Bank Ethnicity Targets

In 2016, the bank introduced an ethnicity target as part of common objectives to achieve 14% BAME on aggregate at CEO-4+ by 2025.  This was the first time we’ve introduced targets of this kind.  We want to have more leaders from ethnic minorities in senior roles and in order to achieve this we have created a bank-wide positive action plan led by Simon McNamara, Chief Administrative Officer, as Executive Sponsor.  This positive action approach, which focuses on the full employment lifecycle to ensure all our processes are de-biased, includes: development, networking, peer mentoring and support for ethnic minority employees at all levels of our organisation.   The plan encourages employees to be ‘Colour Brave’ and to openly discuss race and ethnicity.  In order to make a positive change in our workforce demographics, and achieve our target, the ethnicity plan facilitates the need to recognise and notice colour so that we can start challenging any inherent biases in our workplace practices.

 

Our Multicultural Network celebrates, supports and raises awareness of the variety of cultures within our organisation.  The network is open to all colleagues and continues to grow with around 2800 members signed up.

Successes and implementation of the bank plan

Since we started rolling out some of our positive action development opportunities in H2 2016, c. 166 employees have participated in our existing cross organisational mentoring circles, reciprocal mentoring framework, development workshops and Ethnicity conference.  Feedback suggests that employees not only value these opportunities, but we can see that there is some movement in careers.   Of those who responded, 7% have been promoted to a more senior role and 14% moved sideways into another role at the same level.  We have built in existing in-house provisions to our targeted development approach, including the roll out of Networking workshops and webinars.

 

Our Multicultural Network celebrates, supports and raises awareness of the variety of cultures within our organisation.  The network is open to all colleagues and continues to grow with around 2800 members signed up.