Supporting the Women in Finance Charter
Steven Pickering, Chief Risk Officer, The Co-operative Bank
"We’re committed to supporting a fair and ethical workplace for all of our colleagues, including reducing our gender pay gap. Like many banks, our gender profile means that we have a pay gap which reflects the number of men in senior roles compared to the number of women. Through our five point action plan, we aim to achieve a material increase in the number of women in senior roles, which, in turn, will help reduce our gender pay gap. I am pleased at the progress we have made, but there is still much more to do."
About the Charter
The Women in Finance Charter commits financial services firms to supporting the progression of women into senior management by focussing on developing existing colleagues with the potential to progress, setting public targets for improving gender diversity in senior management roles; and requiring firms to publicly report on progress to deliver against these internal targets to support the transparency and accountability needed to drive change.
The Charter was developed following a joint report, Empowering Productivity: Harnessing the Talents of Women in Financial Services, by HM Treasury and Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money, on increasing opportunities for women in the financial services sector to improve gender equality.
Further information about the Charter can be found at Gov.uk.
Our commitment to gender diversity
The history of The Co-operative Bank demonstrates its strong roots supporting gender equality. The bank was formed to support the co-operative movement and reflect the values and ethics of that cause, the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society welcomed women to join, 80 years before women were given the right to vote in parliamentary elections.
Our commitments to the HMT WIF Charter
In 2016 we were one of the first companies to sign up to the Women in Finance Charter. The Charter helps improve opportunities and progression for women, and ensures that talent rises to the top in the finance sector regardless of gender. Our target is to achieve 40% representation of women in senior management roles by 2020 – a 25% increase on our 2016 benchmark of 32%. This is already changing the way we work and we are seeing progress towards our target: by October 2017, this figure had risen to 34%. We have put clear measures in place to help us deliver our 2020 target and will also seek to exceed it, if possible, beyond 2020.
Our five point plan to support our Charter target commitments:
1. Listening to our colleagues and improving our policies
2. Supporting colleagues through flexible working and professional development
3. Ensuring equal pay between male and female colleagues
4. Delivering tailored plans to promote gender diversity across The Co-operative Bank
5. Supporting female progression into senior roles – through our commitment to the Women in Finance Charter
Our gender pay gap
Following the introduction of new legislation, all organisations with over 250 employees will publish their gender pay gap information on an annual basis. As a bank committed to communicating in an open and transparent way, we are publishing our data earlier than the April 2018 deadline.
Our gender pay and bonus gap figures reflect the gender profile of our work force. In April 2017, 58% of colleagues measured for gender pay gap reporting were women. We have greater numbers of women in more junior roles that have lower salaries, but fewer women than men in senior management roles with higher salaries, as well as more women working part-time.
We understand this gender profile is typical of many financial services companies across the UK, however we are committed to addressing this through our commitment to the Women in Finance Charter.
Please read our gender pay gap information along with our latest Women in Finance update in the attached report: