Bank of England: Gender equality is a top priority

Jessica Nangle

May 15, 2019

Joanna Place (pictured), deputy governor and chief operating officer at the Bank of England, gave a speech today about the strive for gender equality within the Bank.

Place, who was appointed to chief operating officer in 2017, noted how she recognises that it is “deeds and not words” which are the way forward to make vital progress within the institution.

Place said: “Promoting diversity and inclusion is a top strategic priority for the Bank’s executive team and Court of Directors.

“Our aim is that by 2020, female representation in our senior roles will be 35% and will be 50% below senior management. Our BAME targets (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) are to increase representation in senior management to 13% by 2022 and 20% below senior management by 2020.”

The speech was made at the ‘Women of the Square Mile’ event in Olympia, London which focuses on diversity and inclusion within financial services.

Place quotes figures that reveal the mean gender pay gap at the Bank as of 30 March 2019 was 20.2% whilst the median gender pay gap was 23%. Despite this being the lowest level since 2017, Place also emphasised her future objectives as the Bank’s ‘gender champion’.

Place added: “The main reason for our organisation-wide pay gap is an inbalance of male and female colleagues across the Bank, as currently there are fewer women in senior roles than men and there is also a higher proportion of women relative to men in lower scales.”

“Advancing gender equality is not just about the actions we take internally, it is also about taking action to promote the Bank as a role model to the wider world… we are committed to building on the initiatives to ensure that the Bank is recognised as an employer of choice and as a place which encourages engagement from different groups in society.”

Claire Jupp, director of people development at Brightstar, believes Place’s speech is a step in the right direction.

Jupp added: “This was a great speech by Joanna Place and it is reassuring that the Bank of England is taking such a structured approach to promoting diversity and inclusion.

“Developing an inclusive culture and using this culture to guide decisions can help organisations of all sizes to become more diverse and more successful as a result.

“Brightstar was an early adopter of the Women in Finance Charter and we have helped its growth to 330 signatory businesses representing 800,000 employees in just three years, but there is still plenty to do and this speech will help to keep the issue on the table.”

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