Lloyds Banking Group has spoken publicly about its desire to have 50% of senior roles filled by women by 2025. Additionally, the company has a target of having Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic colleagues in 13% of senior roles by 2025.
Naturally, UNLEASH was keen to understand how Lloyds is approaching these targets.
To get this insight we sat down with Gareth Dickey, lead product owner at Lloyds, to discuss the success of existing D,E&I programs and how the company plans to continue to progress in this area.
Speaking about Lloyds’ D,E&I outlook, and why it is important, Dickey says that: “There is a vast, untapped market of skilled resources who may not have had the chance to shine, due to their circumstances or socio-economic backgrounds.”
“In order for individual businesses, or the sector as a whole, to succeed, I believe that the workforce needs to be representative of the population. The viewpoints of all are immeasurably valuable in the business.”
Diversity programs in the pandemic
Let’s reflect on the impact COVID had on diversity at Lloyds, particularly, as there were reports by the likes of McKinsey that the pandemic was felt most by minorities in the workplace.
Dickey says: “The pandemic had an impact on every aspect of everyone’s working and personal lives. Luckily, our area of Lloyds was used to remote working, and we were able to adapt quite easily to the change in work styles.”
There we some changes though, “from a diversity and inclusion perspective, our Bold Network relaunched during the pandemic to highlight the experiences of our black and minority ethnic colleagues for the whole organization”.
The Bold Network works with external companies that hosted workshops on racism and microaggressions in the workplace. The ultimate intention is to rid the workplace of unconscious biases.
Additionally, “through the pandemic, we launched our very first virtual race education training program“.
Lloyds and NextGen
D,E&I progress within Lloyds has continued, and it recently announced that it was partnering with ServiceNow to further help the employer achieve its diversity, equity, and inclusion (D,E&I) goals.
Specifically, Lloyd’s is leveraging ServiceNow’s NextGen product, which helps to address potential diverse talent shortages. It does this by offering long-term career paths to typically marginalized groups.
For Lloyds, the NextGen program allows it to tap into a pool of people with “a passion to succeed, and a want to reskill is vitally important in the recruitment of talent”, according to Dickey, the lead product owner of ServiceNow center of excellence and innovation.
Diving into how this works at Lloyds, Dickey notes that the bank “currently has three colleagues on placement during which each will work on a bespoke project on the ServiceNow platform to solve real business issues”.
Dickey adds: “At the end of the program, they will present their work back with the hopes of an opportunity to secure permanent employment within Lloyds.”
By the end of this 16-week program, candidates are certified with a suite of new skills that can help them land a new role in the digital economy.
Multiple projects for one goal
Lloyds isn’t stopping to pat itself on the back for its D,E&I initiatives, instead, the company is looking to drive further progress.
Dickey explains that tech is a huge focus for diversity efforts: “Lloyds runs a number of tech-focused programs designed to support our diverse colleagues in developing and nurturing their technical expertise, whilst providing them with a new route to entry.
He adds that the bank “has extremely diverse apprenticeship programs designed to support colleagues to develop specific skills for the future, for roles such as business analysts, software engineers, product owners, quality engineers, and business managers”.
Going forward, “a reskilling program is due to be launched for colleagues whose roles are at risk, who are looking to upskill, or looking to reskill into technical roles to support them in becoming SMEs (subject matter experts) over time”.
Dickey comments that ‘Coach 2 Code’ is an example of this where people attend a 6-month tech-focused program that “provides foundation technical knowledge for internal colleagues”.
Lloyds also has an initiative called Code Clan, “which is a 10-week training program with a 3-month incubation period, where colleagues learn on the job and build their technical expertise in real-life scenarios”. It also works with Code4000 to train prisoners in coding.
Citing an example of why these programs are so important, Dickey notes: “The way in which people from different backgrounds may interpret or perceive something like the log-on screen for a secure website may be very different, and having those voices in the room when UX [user experience] decisions are being made can only help better products and services offered to customers.”
On that note, he comments: “As for meaningful actions that businesses can take, I think exploring all of the fantastic programs in the UK that are training people from diverse backgrounds or those that want to reskill later in life will help us all enhance our workforces.”
With all of these initiatives in mind, Dickey says: “I am excited about our company values and strategy.
“We are putting people first to go further for our customers, embracing our differences to value everyone, trusting each other to achieve more together, and being bold and taking action.”
He adds that “all of this supports our goal in [the] Helping Britain Prosper [initiative]”.
“Our values will empower us all to make decisions to the betterment of the organization and work hard to ensure that we have a diverse, enthusiastic, and driven workforce, with the tools and skills available to succeed in the future,” concludes Dickey.
It looks like Lloyds has plenty on the horizon, and these programs can be a template for how D,E&I is addressed in other sectors.
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