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Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is embedded in our values and an inherent part of our brand and culture.

D&I is about creating a workplace culture that helps every employee to contribute to their full potential. It is more than just policies, initiatives and processes: it is about how we work with each other every day.

  • Diversity means all the ways in which people differ, including both visible characteristics and underlying cultural differences
  • Inclusion is about helping each individual employee feel valued for what they bring to the organisation. This means providing a work climate that enables everyone to fulfil their potential and make a valuable contribution

Our commitment to D&I has provided us with a diverse workforce and a business and working environment that strongly cultivates creativity and innovation.

To continue to build upon this strength, we have a number of pioneering initiatives, such as our global mentoring and Women in Leadership programmes. Both of these also demonstrate our focus on the promotion of gender diversity:

  • Women in Leadership is aimed at middle managers and in 2010 included 100 key managers in eight markets such as Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea. The sessions covered key topics such as effective networking, creating strategic visibility, maximising strengths and shaping career goals
  • Our global mentoring programme has a particular focus on developing our most talented female employees in key markets, including employees on international assignments. It focuses on key diversity and inclusion-related themes such as work-life balance, cross-cultural working and career and life planning

Our inclusive working environment allows us to benefit from the diversity of our people, their strengths and differing perspectives. To ensure that all employees feel appreciated for who they are and what they bring to the organisation, we took a number of actions in 2010, including:

  • Developing guiding statements that articulate our approach to supporting candidates with disabilities. For example, the International Graduate Programme’s recruitment process now uses online technology that is compatible for the visually impaired
  • Launching our Parenting Resource Centre, an internal hub for mothers, fathers and partners that provides information, tips and interviews with managers on their experience of balancing family and work responsibilities. We also moved towards a more consistent offering of paternity and adoption leave in many of our key markets

Together, these initiatives resulted in a significant increase in the inclusiveness score in our employee engagement survey, to 4.28 from 4.13 in 2010.

Great place to work: Case study

Supporting disability in the workplace

We remain firm in our commitment to create a more inclusive working environment for our employees. This extends to one of the world’s largest minority groups – people with disabilities – who make up 10 per cent of the world’s population, or approximately 650 million people.

In recent years, we have included increasing numbers of employees with disabilities in our organisation, particularly employees with visual impairments. In our Consumer Banking business, we hired 60 visually impaired employees into our New Business Telesales teams across eight markets.

To deepen our understanding and assess the inclusiveness of our current approach to hiring and retaining employees with disabilities, we conducted a series of focus groups in Pakistan and Malaysia, where visually impaired telesales teams have been in place for longer than in other markets.

Feedback was sought from employees with visual impairments, their co-workers and team managers on issues such as manager support, learning and development and accessibility. This feedback will be used to ensure that we continue to be a great place to work for all employees.

One of our visually impaired employees said: “The thing I like most about my job is that customers don’t know that I can’t see. This allows me to get my job done without any sympathy or favours from anyone. I have never let my visual impairment stand in my way, but focused on further improving my strengths. I am proud to be part of the Standard Chartered family.”

Annual Report and Accounts 2010