BoE sets new diversity targets after falling woefully short on inclusivity

·3 min read
Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey
Andrew Bailey, the Bank of England governor, said: 'Making the Bank a genuinely inclusive workplace is integral to getting the day job right.' Photo: Stefan Rousseau/AFP via Getty Images

A new review looking into diversity and inclusion efforts at the Bank of England (BoE) has found that, despite the bank’s efforts, there were still material disparities between the collective lived experiences, career opportunities and outcomes of minority ethnic and white colleagues.

Looking at employee life cycle outcomes (e.g. early career schemes and graduate programmes), lived experiences, and frameworks and business resources, the bank said it had witnessed "slower-than-expected progress" in its efforts to diversity its workforce. 

The review was launched in response to feedback from the Bank’s Ethnic Minorities Network and in recognition that the bank had not yet made sufficient progress on the ethnic diversity and inclusion.

It had two overarching aims: to ensure the bank is on the right path, with momentum towards attracting and retaining an ethnically diverse workforce at all levels; and for the Bank to be a BAME employer of choice.

“Making the Bank a genuinely inclusive workplace is integral to getting the day job right," said governor Andrew Bailey.

The bank said the decision to conduct the review was prompted by an awareness on the part of the Bank that it was "not moving far or fast enough on diversity and inclusion". 

However, it was crystallised by events of last summer. The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 stimulated discussions on race and ethnicity, causing individuals and institutions to reflect in a deeper way than before. 

The governor and court wanted to identify and better understand where the bank was falling short of its objectives and to design more effective actions in response. 

“I have consulted widely in my role as review chair over the past nine months. And I am left with an optimism that the great people across the Bank share court’s vision of a fully diverse and inclusive Bank that they are proud to work for," said Diana Noble, non-executive director of court and chair of the review.

"And that they will want to play their own part in ensuring the recommendations from the review are implemented and in time become just the way the Bank thinks and acts.”

The bank's new targets are set for the end of February 2028 (with a review in 2025) and state that it wants:

  • 18-20% of senior managers to be black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME)

  • 40-44% of senior managers to be female

  • 20% of new appointments at executive director and director level to be BAME

  • Gender parity on new appointments at executive director and director level

  • 10% of graduate intake to be black (including mixed)

  • 5% of managers and above to be black (including mixed)

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"We need people to bring their different experiences to the table, and to represent fully the people of this country. To reflect this, we have made achieving a fully diverse and inclusive Bank one of our seven strategic priorities," said Bailey. 

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