The Royal Bank of Scotland - champion of gender equality

The RBS Group is a large international banking and financial services company. Headquartered in Edinburgh, the Group operates in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia, serving over 30 million customers. The Group provides a wide range of products and services to personal, commercial and large corporate and institutional customers through its two principal subsidiaries, The Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, as well as through a number of other well-known brands including, Citizens, Charter One, Ulster Bank, Coutts, Direct Line and Churchill. The UK Government has a total shareholding in RBS Group of 39.7 billion shares, 70.3% of the total outstanding shares on issue or an economic interest of 84%.

RBS logo

Motivation
 
At RBS, we value the diversity of our employees and are committed to creating a working environment that is inclusive to all.  In order to attract and retain talent and enable employees to reach their full potential we need to embrace people’s differences, whether they are related to physical characteristics, such as gender, race, age or disability, or related to their personality, opinions, preferences and beliefs.
 
‘Your Feedback’, our annual confidential Group-wide employee opinion survey, is a key indicator of the thoughts and opinions of our employees. We use the information generated by the survey to highlight areas where we need to invest more time and energy in order to create a positive workforce. We also use this survey to benchmark the Group against the industry standard. We continue to achieve a strong response rate with 87% of employees taking part in the survey in 2009, significantly higher than the average industry response rate.
 
Success in Action
In addition to financial reward, we offer an excellent employee benefit programme, called ‘Your Choice’, which can be tailored to suit the individual needs and requirements of our employees.  It provides a wide selection of exclusive lifestyle offers, development and learning programmes, and services and support tools designed to help employees manage and balance their own work-life priorities.
 
In order to help promote gender equality internally, our Focused Women Network (FWN) aims to inspire, lead, coach, motivate and create opportunities to fulfil employees’ potential. FWN organises events such as networking conferences and personal development sessions. The network is currently UK based.
 
The RBS Group has received a number of awards related to diversity, including:
  • Gold Standard Award from Opportunity Now (2008-2009),
  • Gold Standard Award from Employers’ Forum on Disability (2008)
  • Gold Standard Award in the Race for Opportunity benchmarking and first place ranking within the Financial Services sector (2009)
  • Shortlisted in three award categories for the Women in Banking & Finance Awards for Achievement (2009)
  • Placed in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers Workplace Equality Index for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people (2009)
  • Placed in The Times Top 50 Where Women Want to Work (2010)
  • Placed in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers Workplace Equality Index for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people (2010)
 
Looking Forward
We have constructed Diversity Leadership Forums across all parts the Group.  These are aimed at supporting and promoting the Group’s diversity and inclusion agenda through action plans specific to a particular area of the business. Clear and regular diversity and inclusion performance reporting has been established up to and including Executive level.
Improved awareness and understanding of the Diversity & Inclusion agenda for the Group is being driven via a clear communication strategy. Clear and objective identification of talent through a portfolio of robust and broad talent identification tools all supportive of the Diversity & Inclusion agenda. We are currently developing specific training to eliminate unconscious biases as well as positive action and mentoring programmes to be established to further assist with the development of a more representative workforce.
The continuing development of mutually-beneficial partnerships with Diversity & Inclusion network groups globally including Opportunity Now, Race for Opportunity among others in the Diversity field