HSBC Bank PLC - champion of gender equality

Overview Headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. HSBC’s international network comprises around 10,000 offices in 82 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. The bank has more than 300,000 employees serving over 100 million customers globally.

 

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Motivation

In a world where homogeneity and standardisation dominate, HSBC builds its business in the belief that people from different cultures and different walks of life create value.  The bank believes that it is the combination of different people and the fusion of different ideas that provides the essential fuel for progress and success.  A commitment to diversity and, therefore, gender equality, helps HSBC to attract and retain talented staff.  A focus on diversity helps the bank to discover potential employees and untapped skills.  The bank wants the best people to help meet its business priorities and supports existing employees to realise and achieve their full potential. 

Success in action

The bank continues to be a top quartile performer in the Opportunity Now benchmark and is also recognised as one of 107 UK Exemplar Employers in the field of gender equality. 

HSBC’s award winning Childcare Scheme provides access to over 500 nurseries UK wide.  In addition, childcare assistance is now provided to parents with children up to the age of 16, with the introduction of a Childcare Voucher Scheme.  Employees can achieve huge savings on their childcare expenses from tax and National Insurance free benefits that are offered via a salary sacrifice scheme.  HSBC are proud to have received the 4Children Childcare Star Award and the Working Families Family Friendly Employer of the Year Award in 2005.  

 A Women’s Development Programme was introduced ten years ago to encourage more women to reach their full career potential, seek promotion and to participate in the leadership of the business.  The bank also offers a tailored development programme for women aspiring to reach senior management, providing an opportunity for them to enhance their own professional development. A mentoring scheme is available which is designed to provide an additional level of support to help employees make the most of their career.

The bank offers a range of family friendly policies to assist employees in balancing their work and home responsibilities. This includes family leave, which around 20% of employees use each year.  This is paid time off in emergencies to look after sick children, elderly, disabled or chronically sick relatives or other close dependants. The bank’s flexible working policy is open to all employees to request flexibility, not just those with statutory rights.  An on-line job share register is also available, which enables employees to form a professional job sharing partnership.

Impact

In particular, HSBC understands that helping employees with childcare is a proven way to attract and retain working parents.  The launch of the Childcare Scheme in 1989 has proved highly successful in supporting the business through the retention of skilled employees and assisting employees to combine their work and family responsibilities.  80% of women return to work after maternity leave.  The bank has increased representation of women at senior management level by 6%, between 2004 and 2006, and the bank will endeavour to continue this upwards trend.