NS&I became signatories to HM Treasury's Women in Finance Charter on 22 March 2017, joining over 120 other organisations at the time. This was a proud day for us all at NS&I as it made clear our commitment to gender equality, and to diversity and inclusion as a whole.
For me, wherever organisations are on their journey, it is inspiring that some of the biggest financial bodies in the UK, employing over 800,000 people are publicly committed to improving their gender balance and building diverse and vibrant cultures where talent is nurtured.
Personally, I am proud to work at an Executive Agency of HM Treasury, whose initiative this is, and I am proud that we made a public commitment early on. But I am also very proud indeed that since becoming signatories, NS&I has also made diversity – including maintaining the Women in Finance gender balance at senior management target - part of our top performance metrics.
Over many years in which I have taken a personal and a professional interest in diversity and inclusion I have heard numerous champions say that the only way to generate real change is to put diversity at the top table and make it a performance issue.
So, to see our relatively small business take that step shows our integrity, our willingness to take accountability and to be transparent too.
It's more than just about meeting targets
At NS&I we have met the Women in Finance gender balance target since 2017 – but this hasn’t made us complacent.
We know that having powerful role models in all areas of the business is important, we know we also need to tackle the gender pay gap and we also know that despite being a flexible and inclusive employer we cannot ‘stand still’ and expect that our culture will remain diverse and inclusive – it takes effort.
This is why we have an action plan which is owned by diversity allies across NS&I and why we have actively gathered better insight and data from staff so we can do more for them and to attract diverse talent too.
NS&I’s business strategy - Inspire & Invest - challenges us to be inspiring and empowering, as well as to keep ‘doing the right’ thing, by both our staff and stakeholders, and our customers.
I think our commitment to the Women in Finance initiative and the way we have put diversity at the heart of our culture and performance reflects our commitment to both. Our culture as an employer, and the scope of what we can do for customers will get better and better as we become more diverse at all levels and in all ways.