Two of Britain’s biggest banks (Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland) have publicly declared ethnic diversity targets for senior management roles and the workforce as a whole.
Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) is targeting at least 8% of senior management roles and 10% of the total workforce to be represented by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees by 2020. Currently, BAME employees account for 5.6% of senior management roles and 8.3% of the total workforce within LBG.
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is targeting at least 14% of employees in leadership roles to be represented by BAME employees by 2025. Currently, BAME employees account for only 4% of RBS’s top three leadership layers and 8% of the top 4,000 roles.
The move comes as the Government launches a research committee into BAME participation and progression in the workplace, following the recommendations of two independent reports that focused on improving diversity in UK businesses. The Parker Review, published in October 2017, recommended that all FTSE 100 companies should have at least one director from an ethnic minority background by 2021. The McGregor-Smith Review, published in February 2017, found that the UK economy could benefit from a £24bn-a-year boost if BAME employees had the same opportunities as their white counterparts.
LBG and RBS may be the first major FTSE companies to publicly set ethnic diversity targets, but they are unlikely to be the last. Both Banks have declared the move as part of a wider strategy to have their senior management team accurately reflect the customer base they serve. Following these public (and voluntary) target announcements, we expect this to be a topic that many companies start considering in more depth, particularly those with a diverse client and/or customer base.