Belonging is important. Whether it’s feeling at home at uni, out with friends, or at work, it really matters. And, when it comes to the graduate job hunt, it’s even more important. After all, it’s going to be the company you kick off your career with.
Recent surveys have shown that more than 90 percent of graduates think that diversity and inclusion is vital when making decisions about where to work. But, it’s also crucial to find a company that isn’t just paying lip-service or ticking boxes.
“As a UK bank with strong connections to markets around the world, we understand the benefits that diversity brings to our customers, our business and our people.”
says Coral Taylor, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at HSBC UK. “We work hard to foster an environment where people can speak up to remove barriers to success, and collaborate to put the best ideas into practice.”
“Different ideas and perspectives help us to innovate, manage risk, and grow our business in a sustainable way. From our ‘We are not an island’ advertising to our bank service for people who are homeless, we are constantly looking to innovate in this space,” she tells Debut Careers.
But, just what have HSBC been doing to back up their claims? We took a look through just a few projects.
2,000 UK Employees Using Their Workplace Adjustment Scheme
This dedicated scheme is something Coral feels is particularly of note, with more than 2,000 employees making use of it to get access free assistive technology or equipment to help them do their jobs. “Whilst predominantly in place to support people with disabilities, the service is there for anyone who needs additional support,” she tells Debut Careers.
Employees are able to request anything from simple wrist rests to adjustable desks and read write technology. “The service is quick and discreet, and we have put in place steps to make sure that accessing this is both easy and private,” she adds.
Improving access to basic banking services for vulnerable people
HSBC UK’s No Fixed Address Service is now offered at more than 100 branches helping people experiencing homelessness or housing issues to better access basic banking services.
“No one in today’s society should be without a bank account, but if you don’t have a fixed address it can be very difficult to get one. HSBC is changing this and with every branch that offers the service we have the opportunity to make a difference to more people’s lives,” says Maxine Pritchard, Head of Financial Inclusion and Vulnerability at HSBC UK.
Working with Shelter UK and other UK charities, in just over one year they’ve helped more than 700 people open a bank account – an important building block for financial independence and breaking the cycle of homelessness.
One Of The First Signatures To The Women In Finance Charter
The Women In Finance Charter, put together by the treasury, asks financial service businesses to commit to four key pledges. Not only was HSBC one of the first banks to sign the charter in 2016, they have met all of the pledges.
This means they have at least one member of the senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender, diversity and inclusion. They also set internal targets for gender diversity in senior management, publish annual reports on these targets and the pay of the senior executive team is directly linked to the delivery of these targets.
A network of 18,000 colleagues championing inclusion and diversity
Another key example how HSBC is embedding inclusion and diversity are their employee networks, also known as employee resource groups. “In the UK we have 18,000 members in 17 groups,” Coral tells Debut Careers. These groups span various different areas representing ability, ethnicity, faith, gender, parents and carers, sexual orientation and ex-military.
“These groups provide support and events for colleagues and act as a two-way channel of communication with senior leaders, making sure that diverse voices are represented in business decisions,” she expands. Coral points to three recent examples of this in action, including a 24 hours of Pride Global Celebration introduced as COVID-19 stopped marches worldwide.
She also points to a series of ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ conversations in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, and collaborative discussions on flexible working for parents and carers during the various coronavirus lockdowns.
Monitoring And Tracking Diversity And Inclusion At All Levels
“Diversity at HSBC is about understanding differences in people,” explains Graduate Recruiter Josephine Frangiskou. “This includes demographics like age and gender, as well as any difference which makes individuals unique, like work styles, experience and perspectives.”
“Inclusion refers to behaviors which embrace diversity by valuing, respecting and supporting everyone. It’s about removing barriers and adapting the environment to ensure everyone is socially accepted, treated equally and able to fulfil their potential.”
As part of the banks commitments to improve opportunities for Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees and boost the diversity of its senior leadership, they also share data on the ethnic representation of its employees across the UK. They also commit to tracking their progress on LGBT+ against the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.
“We understand the benefits that diversity brings to our customers, our business and our people,” concludes Coral. “People from many different backgrounds contribute to HSBC’s success. We’re working hard to make sure that our culture is inclusive and that all our people can reach their full potential.”
People from many different backgrounds contribute to HSBC’s success, and being inclusive is an expression of our values to be dependable, open and connected.
Our actions are focused on making HSBC UK a place where people are valued, respected and supported to fulfil their potential. We work hard to foster an environment where people can speak up to remove barriers to success, and collaborate to put the best ideas into practice.
This piece was developed in conjunction with HSBC UK. You can see more about the various graduate schemes they offer, as well as details and tips on how to apply, on their website