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11th July 2016
The Co-operative Bank today (Monday, 11th July, 2016) announced it is one of the first financial institutions to sign up to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter.
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.
As the only UK bank with values and ethics written into the articles of association of the business, The Co-operative Bank's Ethical Policy* continues to set out the bank's commitment to operating as an ethical workplace. Within the business there is a dedicated women’s career network; Elevate, championed by the senior leadership team of the business and driven by passionate employees.
As part of the Bank’s annual audit of its Ethical Policy, its Values & Ethics report, showed that in 2015, 61 per cent of the bank’s total employees were female and around 404 managers (52 per cent) were women**. Today, the Executive Management Team is 27 per cent female and two (18 per cent) of the Co-operative Bank’s Board members are female. Heather Lauder, the bank’s Distribution Director, is the most recent addition to the executive team having been promoted this year.
Laura Carstensen, chair of The Co-operative Bank's Values & Ethics Committee, said: "As a bank defined by its distinctive values and ethics, grounded in its co-operative heritage, The Co-operative Bank is delighted to be one of the first signatories of the Women in Finance Charter. We are committed to further improving gender diversity at all levels of our organisation, from our high street branches to the board room. The Charter will help ensure that our entire industry plays its part, improving opportunities and progression for talented women and ensuring that talent rises to the top in the finance sector regardless of gender."
Following the launch, the first group of signatories will publish their plans for improving gender diversity in September 2016. The Bank will now develop specific plans to create a bespoke programme of activity in order to deliver on the commitment to improve gender diversity across the business.
Notes to editors:
About The Co-operative Bank
The Co-operative Bank plc provides a full range of banking products and services to around five million retail and SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) customers. The Bank is committed to values and ethics in line with the principles of the co-operative movement.
The Co-operative Bank is the only high street bank with a customer-led ethical policy which gives customers a say in how their money is used. Launched in 1992, the Policy has been updated on five occasions, with new commitments added in January 2015 to cover how the Bank operates its business, products and services, workplace and culture, relationships with suppliers and other stakeholders and campaigning.