As at 30 September 2021, 58.3% of our workforce is female. If we break this down by seniority, we have 37.9% representation in our top quartile, 53.7% representation in our second quartile, 71.7% representation in our third quartile, and 69.9% representation in our lowest quartile.
While we’ve made progress towards reaching gender balance across all levels of the bank, we know there’s still more work to be done. That’s why we’ve set ourselves a bold target to achieve 45% male and female representation at senior management level by the end of 2022, enabling us to achieve gender balance while also accounting for those who identify as non-binary. In order to do that, we need to focus on two main areas.
- More needs to be done to improve female representation at the highest levels of the bank
We’ve been successful in attracting women and now employ around 70% women in our lower quartiles. We aren’t however seeing the same levels of traction at senior levels. We need to ensure that we can attract, retain and develop female talent at all levels within the bank.
- Research from the Cabinet Office has found that fewer than one-in-five of all new mothers, and 29% of first-time mothers, return to full-time work in the first three years after maternity leave.
Our own research found that 71% of parents find it difficult to manage childcare in a 9-5 office-based environment. We are tackling this with A Life More Virgin to ensure the need for flexibility doesn’t holdback careers.
Our action plan
We want to address these drivers to create a bank that is more representative of the communities we serve.
We’ve introduced bold commitments for recruitment suppliers requiring them to include diverse candidates on all selection lists. We’re also challenging ourselves to do better by including a diversity questionnaire within the process to gain a better understanding of who we’re attracting and where we need to improve.
We launched our Springboard programme last year which is designed for female colleagues to provide tailored support and take control of their own career journey. We’ve also introduced our Welcome Back programme to support colleagues’ returning to work after a period out of business.
This year, we introduced the EveryWoman learning platform to empower women and provide them with unique learning and development content to support personal and career progression.
Our new approach to work – A Life More Virgin – is designed to help those with caring responsibilities better manage their work/life balance
We know that working a 9-5 working environment doesn’t always support parents juggle the competing demands of work and caring responsibilities. Our fully flexible future of work approach considers the individual needs of all colleagues, taking into account individual stage of lives and career, allowing them to adjust their working approaches around what’s important to them.
We’re taking specific actions to improve gender balance at the top of the bank
Our aim is to ensure gender balance in the top 3 layers of the organisation by the end of 2022 and we’ve linked this goal to executive pay.
Gender pay reporting
At Virgin Money men and women are paid equally for doing the same or similar jobs. The biggest driver in our gender pay gap is the size and structure of our workforce.
The majority of our colleagues are women. We’re working to create gender balance at senior levels in the organisation, and we know we’ve got more to do to help colleagues’ progress careers. We know that even with creating gender balance at senior levels, we will still have a gender pay gap. That is driven by a majority of our part-time customer service roles being held by women.
We’re committed to closing the gap and we’ve continued to gather insight and experience from our workforce to understand what the barriers are and how we can tackle them. As a result, we’ve introduced a number of initiatives, which you’ll be able to read more of in our Gender Pay report below. We can confirm that our published 2021 report is accurate and approved by our Interim CPO, Alison Kidd.
When we first started publishing our Gender Pay Gap report three years ago, we said at the time this was not the work of a moment. This remains true today. We remain committed to improving gender balance at senior levels of Virgin Money, supporting careers and decision making. We will continue to create opportunities to allow our colleagues to grow, develop and progress within the company, irrespective of gender identity, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability.