NatWest has set an aim to have three per cent black employees in its UK senior roles by 2025.
This was in response to the recent Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd and builds on the bank’s existing goal of having at least 14 per cent black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees in its UK senior roles in five years.
NatWest said there was a higher under representation of black staff relative to the working population and its new target aimed to deal with this imbalance.
A colleague-led taskforce, set up by CEO Alison Rose, was established following the protests over the summer to address the under representation of BAME staff and “tackle the barriers” faced by these communities.
The taskforce has also launched a report on racial equality for its customers and workforce which includes its commitments and targets to set a standard for how the bank engages with the BAME community.
The Banking on Racial Equality report included an employee survey and found that while 79 per cent of its workforce believed the bank offered its employees the same opportunities to progress, when broken down by race 50 per cent of its Asian employees and 28 per cent of black colleagues agreed.
The report also detailed a number of actions the bank planned to take such as interview training with a focus on diversity and a potential financial product to targeted to the needs of BAME communities.
Rose said: “At NatWest Group our purpose is to champion potential, helping people, families and businesses to thrive. It is a clear call to action for us all to break down barriers that hold people back, including those challenges that persist for people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. I believe we have a substantial role to play in tackling these inequalities.
“I am fully committed to building a culture at NatWest Group that will embrace diversity and inclusivity to allow our colleagues and customers to thrive.”
“At our best, we are an open, inclusive, progressive organisation, but until that is everyone’s experience, every time, we have more to do,” she added.
The taskforce co-leads, Samuel Okafor, Shamraz Begum and Yinka Fadina, said: “We were delighted to be asked by NatWest Group to lead this work so that we can help the bank better understand the challenges our Black, Asian and ethnic minority customers, colleagues and communities face.
“Our lived experiences, like for many others, have always been a part of us. We know what it’s like to be disadvantaged, to grow up experiencing poverty, to have parents who have migrated to the UK and had to endure years of racism.”
They added: “This impact is felt economically, emotionally and mentally by minorities every day. That is why the work of this taskforce matters so much and allows us to put our purpose into action.”
Shekina is a reporter at Mortgage Solutions. She has over two years experience in the B2B publishing market, with previous industries including the pet, funeral, hospitality, retail and jewellery trades.
Follow her on Twitter at @ShekinaMS