As a mutual and the largest building society in the world, with a relationship with more than 1 in 4 UK households and more than 15,000 employees, Nationwide is one of the UK’s most powerful financial services brands. Nationwide distinguish themselves by clear points of difference, particularly the benefits of mutuality to its members, brand reputation and acknowledged leadership in customer service satisfaction.
Nationwide pride themselves on having a fantastic culture and this can only be maintained by having a balanced workforce. Nationwide’s gender strategy is aimed at improving representation in their executive and non-executive workforce. This is being achieved through a more balanced talent and recruitment pipeline, flexible working to better meet career needs and mentoring of their diverse talent pool by the Board. Nationwide strongly support the recommendation of the Corporate Governance Code that all company boards should consider the benefits of diversity when making new appointments and aim to have a balance of skills, independence and knowledge to enable each director, and the Board as a whole, to discharge their duties and responsibilities effectively.
At Nationwide, the old adage ‘square peg, round hole’ is a help rather than a hindrance as it is widely accepted that diversity brings about fresh ideas and new ways of working. Keith Astill, HR Director at nationwide, said: “People who work for Nationwide are buying into a company that is fully inclusive and which recognises the positive difference a diverse workforce delivers.”
The issue of diversity and inclusion across Nationwide is part of a broad strategy pursued across the Group; it is about maximising customer and employee experience, growing talent from a range of diverse backgrounds, driving diversity in decision making across the organisation and contributing to communities through their Corporate Citizenship agenda, which demonstrates their social understanding and the importance of delivering meaningful activity in wider communities to underpin Nationwide’s day–to-day business activities.
Nationwide’s Executive Committee members drive diversity and inclusion within the business and each takes a personal role supporting the Diversity Strategy. Employee Network Groups give everyone the opportunity to be involved in the diversity strategy and Nationwide currently operate five Employee Networks – including Women’s In Nationwide (WiN), EMAH (Ethnic Minorities Aiming Higher) and the externally recognised LGBT network, SOLCATS. Each network group operates through a formal committee structure and focus on raising awareness, providing networking and professional development opportunities and partnering with external organisations through Nationwide’s Citizenship Programme.