Andrew Bester, Group Director and CEO, Commercial Banking
Andrew has been Lloyds Banking Group’s Executive Sponsor for Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) since 2014. He is also the Executive Sponsor for Gender and is heavily involved with supporting the Group’s award-winning women’s network, Breakthrough, which has over 14,000 members. In his day job, he is responsible for the commercial division of Lloyds Banking Group with over 6,000 permanent staff. In addition to this, Andrew chairs the I&D Operational Committee, which tracks monthly progress against the inclusion and diversity goals set out in the Group’s Helping Britain Prosper Plan.
The Group remains proud to have been the first FTSE 100 Company to make a public commitment on gender equality and to be on target to have 40% of its senior roles held by women by 2020.
Andrew is passionate about creating an inclusive environment for all colleagues, and has fronted a number of campaigns and initiatives across the organisation to ensure colleagues see inclusion and diversity as a business imperative, including writing to the organisation’s most senior leaders to ensure they are leading by example.
He has personally ensured more resource for the Group Inclusion & Diversity team to focus on initiatives that create an inclusive environment for all. Andrew also conducted focus groups with women and men at different grades to understand their issues and challenges, and has spoken publically both internally and externally about the role men have to play in advancing gender equality. Within his own business area, Andrew has amended the recruitment process so all senior role shortlists include a female candidate and has personally sponsored the waiver process for all external hires.
He also holds direct reports accountable for reviewing internal female talent, ensuring they receive sponsorship and developmental support. Andrew also mentors high potential women within the organisation and two external women as part of a Group-sponsored gender initiative.
In 2015 Lloyds Banking Group met all of its public goals on inclusion and diversity, resulting in an overall increase of women in senior roles to 31%, up from 28% two years ago, and increased engagement scores for ethnic minority, disabled and LGBT colleagues. In Andrew’s own business area, during 2015 the proportion of female external hires into senior management roles increased by 14% compared with 2014, and senior female promotions increased by 7%.
Following the introduction of shortlist monitoring for gender diversity, the proportion of all-male shortlists for senior roles has declined by 8% and the proportion of total female candidates appointed into senior positions rose by 4%. In 2015, the number of employees at Lloyds Banking Group who believed leaders were committed to inclusion and diversity rose by 8%, with female employees more likely to agree.