Our purpose is to make people happier about money. In order to do that, we need to see and feel the world as our customers do. This means having a truly diverse workforce that reflects the communities we serve.
That is why we're focused on sponsoring diverse talent at every level and achieving a fully diverse leadership population (gender, ethnicity, disability, LGBT+) by 2030. But where we can, we want to go further faster.
Inclusion & diversity means more to us than just chasing a target. Our people are at the heart of the inclusive culture we’re striving to create, which is why we focus on the individual first and ensure our targets are a longer-term commitment.
Disability and long term health conditionsOur inclusion pledge
At Virgin Money we want everyone to be at their best and all of us to feel a sense of belonging.
“All” - It’s a pretty small word with a pretty big meaning.
So when we say all at Virgin Money, who do we mean?
Women, men, cis, trans and non-binary.
Straight, lesbian, bisexual, gay, asexual.
We’re citizens of the UK and elsewhere
White and black and Asian.
Atheists to Zoroastrians and everything in-between.
We’re blind, hearing impaired and neurodiverse.
Cancer survivors or partners of a cancer warrior.
We experience stress, anxiety, depression,
short-term illness and long-term health conditions.
We’re children and grand-children, and we have children and grand-children.
We’re single, married, in civil partnerships. We’re widows, we’re separated.
We’re carers for the people we love.
We’re military leavers and military partners.
We live alone, with partners, with friends, with our extended family.
We’re urban. We’re rural.
If you’re none of the above, one of the above or lots of the above, we mean you too.
So, how can we make sure that everyone feels they belong?
By standing up instead of standing back.
By living and breathing our values.
By starting a dialogue, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, not worrying about getting it wrong.
By celebrating all of our differences, not just accepting them.
By being agents for positive change.
Enabling financial inclusion is what we do.
It’s how we’re making you happier about money.
Building an inclusive culture
We’ve worked hard to build an inclusive culture where all colleagues can be comfortable, confident and live their best lives. Our inclusion pledge captures our inclusion expectations for colleagues and shows the richness of who we are.
This is supported by our code of conduct “doing the red thing” and our e-learning for our whole workforce to enable colleagues to be themselves in the workplace and encourage others to do the same.
That is why we've built solid foundations:
- We have a truly inclusive approach to pay
We succeed as a team and our pay reflects that, for our colleagues in our team bonus plan we said goodbye to bell curves and ranking team members against each other, we pay bonuses based on our collective efforts.
- We challenge our leadership on inclusion at every turn
300 senior leaders completed our Inclusion Works programme designed to help them to understand biases, build psychological safety and role-model everyday acts of inclusion. This programme continues across the business.
- We’ve made inclusion fundamental to who we are
We’ve built inclusion into our expectations of people by weaving this into our values, purpose and great leadership framework and work closely with our colleague network groups to educate the workforce on the wider diversity and inclusion agenda.
Board diversity & inclusion policy
This Board Diversity and Inclusion Policy (Policy) sets out the approach to diversity and inclusion in the composition of the boards of Virgin Money UK PLC and Clydesdale Bank PLC (Board) and covers at a high level the approach to diversity at all levels within Virgin Money which is governed by Virgin Money’s Group Inclusion Policy. This Policy applies from 1 October 2022.
As a Board, we are proud that inclusion is at the heart of Virgin Money’s culture driven by our Purpose ‘Making you happier about money’. We are continually striving to build a workforce that represents the communities we serve, helping us to better understand our stakeholders’ needs, make more rounded decisions, build stronger relationships, and tap into new ideas and innovation. As part of our inclusion strategy, we want to build a truly inclusive culture, where every colleague and customer feels they belong. This is why we’re focused on sponsoring diverse talent at every level and achieving a fully diverse leadership population (gender, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ+) by 2030. Reflecting Virgin Money’s broader diversity ambition, the Board is committed to ensuring that its own membership reflects diversity in the broadest sense. Recruitment of Board members considers differences in knowledge, skills and experience and also in age, gender, ethnicity, disability, educational, professional and socio-economic background and other distinctions between Directors such as cognitive and personal strengths. These differences are considered in determining the optimum composition of the Board.
- The Governance and Nomination Committee (Committee) regularly reviews and assesses Board composition on behalf of the Board and leads the Board member selection and appointment process, recommending to the Board the appointment of new Directors.
- All Board appointments and succession plans are made based on merit against objective criteria, in the context of the skills, experience, independence and knowledge which the Board as a whole requires to be effective.
- In reviewing Board composition and in identifying suitable candidates for appointment to the Board, the Committee will also carefully consider the benefits of diversity amongst Board members including age, gender, ethnicity, disability, educational, professional and socio-economic background and other distinctions between Directors such as cognitive and personal strengths.
- The Committee will require that HR and / or any third-party search firm (as applicable) identifies and presents candidates meeting the objective criteria it sets in addition to the broader diversity and inclusion characteristics outlined above.
- The Policy, its objectives and targets, will be reviewed at least annually by the Committee and presented to the Board for approval.
- The Policy will align where relevant to Virgin Money’s Group Inclusion Policy applying to all colleagues and all other relevant policies and principles.
- Progress on achieving the Policy targets and how the Policy objectives have been implemented will be reported in the Virgin Money UK PLC Annual Report and Accounts.
The Board aspires:
- to have a membership comprising at least 40% women Directors by the end of 2023;
- to have at least one of the senior Board positions (Chair, Senior Independent Director, Chief Executive Officer or Chief Financial Officer) held by a woman; and
- to have at least one member of the Board who is from a minority ethnic background1.
Additionally, the Board aspires that the membership of each of its Audit, Governance and Nomination, Remuneration and Risk Committees comprises at least 40% women by the end of 2023 with one Committee member in each case being from a minority ethnic background.
In setting the above targets it is acknowledged that in periods of Board change there may be times when these targets are not met.
Effective Date: This Policy is effective from 1 October 2022
Approved by the Board of Directors of Virgin Money UK PLC
28 September 2022
Note 1 – defined by reference to categories recommended by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) excluding those listed by the ONS as coming from a White ethnic background - Ethnic group, national identity and religion - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)
Our commitments to inclusion
We are committed to delivering our inclusion strategy to make us a more inclusive business with a supportive culture and positive working environment. As part of our commitment, we are working with external partners who provide us with advice and support in the following areas.
Providing practical advice, products and services to ensuring equality and inclusion in the workplace.
Women in Finance
We are also proud to have signed up to the Women in Finance Charter as a key part of our inclusion strategy, which reflects our commitment to build strong female representation at all levels within our organisation.
Sexual Orientation & Gender Diversity
Supporting organisations and individuals by equipping them with the tools and confidence to connect with, influence and enable the challenge of inappropriate behaviour towards LGBT people.
Our Inclusion Steering Group Members
Chief Digital and Innovation Officer
“I am delighted to be the sponsor of Aspire. I started in Banking as a trainee bank officer in 1984 and have received lots of support and opportunity during my career. Developing our skills and experience helps deliver our ambition of becoming a true national competitor. People have different needs as they move through their career and being part of the Aspire network can help colleagues reach their full potential.”
General Counsel and Purpose Officer
Continuing our focus on supporting inclusion across our organisation, I am delighted to be the Sponsor for disability, enablement and health, working closely with our Enable Colleague Network Group, focusing on understanding more about the disability and health issues experienced by colleagues and customers, and driving initiatives to help make Virgin Money an inclusive bank for all.
Enable provides support and advice for colleagues and their families contending with, or affected by, a range of disabilities or ill health. Our ultimate goal is to make our organisation one where doing business is easy and straightforward for everyone.
Interim Chief People Officer
Military Service touches a surprisingly large number of people – one in five families, including mine - across the United Kingdom. I am therefore incredibly proud to sponsor our Vets@Virgin colleague network. As a Gold Member of the Government’s Employer Recognition scheme, we aim to provide support and awareness to Armed Forces veterans as they return to civilian life as well as supporting the families of those who have served or are currently serving. Through our work with forces friendly businesses, charities, rehabilitation centres and homeless sanctuaries, we aspire to be an employer of choice and inspire others to encourage, support and champion our network and get involved to make a difference in the lives of those who sacrifice so much.
Chief Customer Experience Officer
As the proud sponsor of our Vibrant (LGBT) Colleague Network Group, I am a firm believer that everyone should have the same opportunities, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, faith or disability. With the Vibrant Network, I help to drive sponsorship and support projects and initiatives across the organisation and be an ambassador for the Bank, helping to build our reputation and learn from the outside.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.
The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. As Gold Award holders we are recognised for the increasing levels of support we provide to the Armed Forces community we employ and for delivering over and above our commitments to the award.