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Promoting diversity in the banking and finance sectors: how to drive inclusion in recruitment

by jcp

By Faith on behalf of EW Group

EW Group, the full-service diversity and inclusion consultancy, is calling for businesses and organisations in the banking and finance sectors to ensuring diversity is considered in their recruitment.

Recent data from a Financial Conduct Authority report shows that the proportion of women working in authorised positions in the UK banking sector rose from 9% in 2001 to 20% at the end of 2020. For CEOs, the proportion of women rose from 1.7% in 2001 to 9.7% by the end of 2020.

And research demonstrates that more diverse teams are generally more profitable2.

To help firms in the sectors make their own contribution to creating new opportunities and helping to evolve the sector’s diversity picture, EW Group Diversity and Inclusion Consultant Tiwonge Chipeta shares five ways that businesses can promote inclusion in their recruitment process.

  1. Set goals and establish metrics 

“One of the first things any diverse recruiter needs to establish is what success looks like for you. Are you aiming for gender diversity in management? Or looking to recruit more Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates throughout your organisation? Whatever your goals, they need to be realistic, long-term, and built around your company values.”

  1. Start fresh with equal opportunities 

“When it comes to diversity recruiting, it’s best to take a step back, and look at your process as a whole. There are a huge number of potential options for improving diversity recruiting, including accepting ‘blind CVs’. These applications, stripped of personal identification and status indicators, allow you to take a much more unbiased, and critical approach to reviewing candidates.”

  1. Make interviews accessible 

“Interviews can be a real pitfall for diversity – for example, for those with mobility difficulties, an in-person interview might not be feasible, making remote interviews preferable. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only way interviews can prove inaccessible. Can all of your candidates afford high-quality Wi-Fi? Or even a laptop with a camera? If not, could you conduct the interview over the phone? Keeping interviews accessible means looking at your process from your ideal candidate’s perspective.”

  1. Consider your interview panel 

“Consider ensuring a diverse panel of interviewers, incorporating people not just from across your organisation, but from varied backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. Even more importantly, building a standardised interview process, with set questions, a clear scoring system, and assigned roles for each interviewer can help prevent unconscious bias from choosing your candidate for you.”

  1. Listen, hear, network 

“Encouraging minority employees to voice their concerns, or even better, instituting an anonymous suggestions box, means that you can find out easily what matters most to your minority colleagues, and what you could be doing better. Similarly, networking events dedicated to and run by minority colleagues can provide a great space for discussion, as well as encouraging diverse candidates to apply to an organisation that both respects and reflects them.”

Chipeta added: “Although it may sound a little daunting, at its heart diversity recruiting really couldn’t be simpler; all it means is the creation of an organisation that values diversity, not just of people, but of beliefs, faiths, opinions, and perspectives.

“Many people think of diversity as being something ‘done or told to’ them, rather than what it really is – a fantastic opportunity to improve office efficiency, secure the best candidates, and achieve a more profitable and sustainable organisation overall.”