We recognise that being diverse and inclusive helps deliver better outcomes for our members, as well as positioning us strongly as an employer of choice – able to attract, retain and provide opportunities for a team of exceptionally talented colleagues.
We’re very proud to have secured a coveted 3* award in the Best Companies survey in 2022 – and we’re committed to building on that success.
Richard Fearon, Chief Executive, said: “Our people make Leeds Building Society a special place to work and they deserve the best possible experience with us. Our ambition is to ensure all colleagues feel valued and included for who they are and the unique perspectives they bring.
“To that end, we’ve worked with stakeholders throughout the business to identify key action areas to mobilise, implement and embed our diversity and inclusion strategy, as well as meaningful metrics to measure our progress.
“We’re investing heavily in our capability and capacity to support this strategically important agenda, as well as making investments in our benefits to support our colleagues – such as enhancing payments available for new parents. We recognise that there’s still more to do beyond our current position and are committed to continually review our strategy and aims.”
Our Board Diversity Policy Statement
Leeds Building Society strongly believes in the value of a diverse and inclusive Board and colleague population more broadly. We believe the diversity of skills, experience, backgrounds, opinions and other differences including gender and race strengthens the capability of the Board and, therefore, the effectiveness of its independence, judgement and decision making.
All Board appointments are based on merit against objective criteria which reflect the skills and experience of the Board as a whole and take into account the benefits of diversity. We only engage executive search firms which have signed up to the voluntary Code of Conduct for gender diversity and best practice and external advertising is considered as part of the attraction methods utilised. We provide enhanced disclosure on the Board appointment process.
The Nominations Committee reviews and assesses Board composition on behalf of the Board on an annual basis and recommends the appointment of Directors. The Committee also oversees the conduct of the annual review of Board effectiveness, which considers Board composition and the diversity of contribution.
We’ve been signatories to the Women in Finance Charter since 2016. We currently have 27% female representation on the Board and we’re making purposeful progress towards our target of 33%, in line with the Hampton Alexander Review. We’ve also made a commitment to the Government’s Race at Work Charter and have reached our current target to have one ethnic minority Board member (9%), in line with the Parker Review.
Our aim is that Leeds Building Society is an organisation that anticipates and delivers great services to our current and future members and, in service to this, where all colleagues feel valued and included for who they are and the unique perspectives they bring. We’re proud that 93% of our colleagues told us they “work in an environment where everyone can feel included, respected and accepted for who they are”. We achieve this by actively embracing diversity characteristics beyond gender and ethnicity. We’ve established an LGBTQ+ network, we’re working towards achieving Disability Confident level 3 accreditation, and we’ve committed to the Social Mobility Pledge, supporting work experience and financial education over the last year.
In January 2022, the Board discussed our diversity and inclusion strategy. We used experienced external consultants to challenge our thinking and engaged with colleagues throughout the Society to help inform us. Beyond the diversity targets for the Board and aligned to our strategy, we’ll use targets, where appropriate, to support our broader approach to diversity and inclusion. By the end of 2025, we aim to achieve:
- Leadership team: gender - 35% (currently 32%); ethnicity – 7% (currently 3.8%)
- All colleagues: ethnicity – 12% (currently 9.3%)
Our progress will be led by Andrew Greenwood, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, who is our accountable executive for diversity. The Nominations Committee will report annually in the corporate governance section of the Leeds Building Society Report and Accounts on the agreed objectives and the progress made.