Gender diversity is still an ongoing workplace issue, even in 2022. Female employees are finding themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to opportunities and representation in senior management roles in comparison to their male counterpart. Companies are being pushed to raise awareness around the subject to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace.
One company that is taking great strides to completely diminish the gender bias in their workplace is Lloyds Banking Group, recognised as a Times Top 50 Employer for Women for their 10th consecutive year. Lloyds Banking Group is truly battling gender diversity within the workplace and are enabling women to have their say within the company.
Throughout this article, we take a deeper look into five ways Lloyds Banking Group are providing support to their female employees and what others can learn from their current achievements.
Lloyds Banking Group wanted to ensure women felt just as represented within the company as men do, through a combination of external and internal activity, they have seen a significant increase in female representation within senior roles. One way in which Lloyds has supported and provided opportunities for their female employees is through their Women in Leadership programme. Through this programme, around 45% of female employees have taken part and successfully achieved a promotion within two years of completion. Lloyds also found that 84% of their female line managers felt able to successfully achieve their career aspirations whilst working within the company.
A Women’s Health Concern report found that up to nearly a third of women will experience extreme menopausal symptoms that can heavily impact the quality of their work lifestyle. It was also reported that a large majority of women will struggle to deal with menopausal symptoms in the workplace due to feeling embarrassed to share their current menopausal status or simply not having the right access to support and advice.
Lloyds Banking Group accepted the challenge and opportunity to raise awareness surrounding menopause in the workplace and in 2021, they launched a new initiative to provide their employees with a tremendous amount of support regarding the issue. Included within the initiative is the intent to provide enhanced medical support and care, a menopause helpline, and an online hub, whilst also making changes to their Health and Wellbeing policy to represent the necessary needs. All these changes have provided employees with access to the support and advice they need in the workplace so they can continue to perform to the best of their abilities without feeling judged or being discriminated against.
With a priority to provide a safe and supportive environment for their employees, Lloyds created the Breakthrough Network, a female-only empowered employee network. With 15,000 members and 4,000 mentors, the Breakthrough Network is one of the largest female employee support networks in the UK and gives its members support with fulfilling their career goals whilst working with Lloyds Banking Group. Not only does this network allow female colleagues to connect and collaborate with one another but it is also a great way for each of them to strategically work and discuss career development with the knowledge that they are surrounded by fellow supportive female employees.
Women being paid significantly less than their male counterpart for completing the same job is unfortunately still a large issue within the workplace, however, Lloyds are on a mission to diminish the gender pay gap and give women the salary they deserve. According to Lloyds Banking Group’s Gender Pay Gap Report 2021, the company currently has a larger population of female colleagues in junior roles compared to more male colleagues in higher-paid senior roles. Lloyds state that improving their female representation within the company is one of the key goals to not only reduce the gender pay gap but to one day remove it completely, to create achievable salary fairness across all levels of employment.
In 2014, Lloyds Banking Group set themselves an ambitious goal and became the first FTSE 100 Organisation to make a public commitment to increase female representation within their senior leadership roles. The goal set in place was to have at least 40% of their senior management comprising of women, and in 2020 Lloyds saw that their female representation had increased from 28% to 37% within this time. Lloyds has accepted that even though the increase is a great stride towards closing the gender pay gap, they still have a lot of work to do to ensure all genders are equal.
Lloyds Banking Group understands how much action needs to be taken to achieve gender diversity within the workplace culture. A way in which they achieve an extreme amount of gender diversity is by setting themselves targets to see how far they are progressing. In 2011, a second gender diversity target was to have at least 33% women in the combined Executive Committee and 33% women on the board itself, this challenge was proposed by FTSE Women Leaders. Lloyds yet again recently met this target, proving how unstoppable they are when it comes to improving the female representation within their senior management roles.
With no signs of slowing down when it comes to achieving complete diversity within their company, Lloyds has continued to set new ambitious targets, not only regarding gender. Lloyds strives on reflecting the society they serve and showing that representation amongst all levels of employment. Therefore, Lloyds have created further targets to ensure that within the next five years, at least 50% of women and 13% of colleagues of Black, Asian and Minority heritage make up their senior leadership team.
As Lloyds continues to grow and achieve their gender diversity initiatives, there are several lessons other companies can learn and implement in their own workplace. From developing leadership programmes to simply understanding the needs of women in the workplace, any step forward is the right step in making progress towards removing gender bias and creating an equal, level playing field for all employees. Lloyds’ commitment to improving gender diversity is a refreshing, inspiring and forward-thinking approach that should be a starting point for many other companies worldwide.