LLOYDS BANKING Group has launched a plan to increase the number of black staff in senior management roles from 0.6 per cent to at least 3 per cent by 2025.
The bank’s efforts to reach this target will mean hiring at least 168 more black people in senior positions over the next five years, according to The Guardian.
As part of its work to ensure more black people are employed at senior level, recruitment shortlists for roles at executive leader level will be required to feature a black, Asian or minority ethnic candidate.
Lloyds will also publishing its ethnicity pay gap report this year. While gender pay gap reporting is mandatory in England, Wales and Scotland for employers with at least 250 employees, ethnicity pay gap reporting is not.
Each pledge is part of the bank’s seven-point Race Action plan, which is focused on culture, recruitment and progression.
António Horta-Osório, group chief executive, Lloyds Banking Group, said the action plan was at the heart of the group’s purpose.
“We aim to create a fully inclusive environment that is representative of modern-day Britain and where everyone can reach their potential.”
He added: “A more inclusive society is a more prosperous society, and a diverse business is a better business.”
Lloyds Banking Group was the first FTSE 100 company to publicly commit to increasing ethnic diversity across its workforce. Today 10.3 per cent of staff and 7.3 per cent of senior staff identify as black, Asian or minority ethnic.
However, black employees remain significantly underrepresented, the organisation has admitted. Black staff make up 1.5 per cent of Lloyds’ total workforce.
The high street lender’s announcement of steps to improve the representation of black employees comes as global events and conversations about racial inequality have highlighted the complicity of organisations and individuals in upholding the status quo.
Prompted by the current climate, Lloyds said it spent weeks listening to black staff members share their experiences and views on how progress can be made. The conversations “brought home that we have not made enough progress for our Black colleagues,” the bank said.
“It is clear that achieving an inclusive environment for everyone is our priority, but right now we have very specific challenges that we have to address urgently for our Black colleagues,” Horta-Osório said. “Feedback has provided a clear way forward and as a start, we have established an immediate action plan which focuses on culture, recruitment and progression.”
With regards to the progression of black employees, Lloyds will seek to nurture them through specific development and sponsorship initiatives.
External experts will devise a “race education programme” and work on addressing and eliminating issues of bias within the bank.
Horta-Osório said: “This is just the beginning. The commitments we are making will not fix the issues overnight, and targets and measures will only take us so far, but we have to challenge ourselves to do better and I am fully committed that we will do so.”