At Lloyds Banking Group, inclusion and diversity are central to our business success

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By Shane Dickinson

At Lloyds Banking Group, inclusion and diversity are central to our business success.

We have a diverse culture with a scale that creates a vast range of roles and opportunities, far wider than banking, with a wealth of options for continual personal growth in an organisation that reflects 21st century Britain in the diversity of talent, skills and thinking of our team.

Ours is an agile culture with an open and agile working environment that encourages people to build the career that they want, whatever their ambitions.

At Lloyds Banking Group, inclusion and diversity are central to our business success

We estimate that there are some 2,500+ lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) colleagues within the Group.

We’ve made public commitments to increasing the engagement scores of our LGBT colleagues to 70 percent by 2020, in our Helping Britain Prosper Plan. This will be measured via our Colleague Survey.

If we are to become the best bank for customers then we must ensure that this vision is inclusive of the LGBT community. As an organisation, we’ve made great strides forward, and are acknowledged as a leading edge employer when it comes to LGBT equality.

Lloyds Banking Group was recognised as the winner of three categories at the highly prestigious annual Euromoney Awards for Excellence event held in London.

And for the first time, the Group has been given the awards for Best Bank in Western Europe and the World’s Best Bank for Diversity and Inclusion. For the fifth year running, the Group was also presented with the Best Bank in the UK.

Our commitment to our LGBT agenda is led from the top. Our Executive Sponsor for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Karin Cook, champions our LGBT programme and activities.

Recognition of our work

We are proud to have created an inclusive and open working environment for our LGBT colleagues, evidenced by our continued strong performances in external benchmarks.

Lloyds Banking Group was named number one in the 2017 Stonewall Top 100 employers list, which celebrates the pioneering efforts of leading organisations to create inclusive workplaces.

The achievement is the culmination of a journey that has seen the Group placed third in 2015, second in 2016 and first in 2017, recognising the progress made and our continued commitment to LGBT inclusion.

Several of our LGBT role models have been recognised externally with awards, and our Rainbow Network was named Network of the Year at the 2016 British LGBT Awards.

Career development

We have continued to run our LGBT leadership programme throughout 2016. Over 200 colleagues have completed the programme so far, with some describing the experience as life changing.

Support for transgender colleagues

We are committed to providing a safe and supportive working environment for all colleagues and the way in which they wish to express their gender identity.

We have a specialist support team who have received specific training and are experts in the field of transgender and transitioning at work. In 2016, we were the first UK-owned company to extend our Private Medical Benefit to include gender dysphoria.

We also include multiple gender options in our colleague survey to include colleagues who identify as gender non-binary.

Rainbow network

Our LGBT colleague network, Rainbow, plays a pivotal role in our approach, and with over 5000 members and supporters, is one of the largest networks of its kind in the UK. Rainbow is committed to connecting, developing and supporting our LGBT colleagues across the Group.

Rainbow was named network of the year at the 2016 British LGBT Awards. Rainbow has an active Twitter following @LBGRainbow.

Supporting the LGBT community

The Stonewall Young Campaigners Programme gives young people aged 16-21 the skills, confidence and support they need to lead change in their local communities by running their own anti-homophobia campaigns.

Over the past four years, our support has helped more than 200 young people become Youth Volunteers, and develop the skills and confidence to deliver these campaigns in their local schools, colleges and communities.

How we work to improve LGBT colleague’s experiences

Both our colleagues and our leaders are committed to making Lloyds Banking Group an environment where LGBT colleagues can thrive, some of the actions we’ve taken are:

– In May 2016, the Group extended its private healthcare provision to include treatment and support for Gender Dysphoria. We worked closely with our private healthcare provider BUPA to become the first UK-owned company to make the policy addition.

– Transgender colleagues that associate with gender dysphoria now have access to the appropriate level of care, treatment and support depending on their individual needs and preferences as part of the Group’s private healthcare scheme, ranging from counselling to full gender reassignment surgery. This has been described as “life changing” by colleagues and “life-saving” by trans* charities.

– Our 2016 Lloyds Bank campaign ‘for your next step’ featured a same-sex marriage proposal. This was reported in the LGBT and mainstream press and has received positive feedback from both colleagues and the wider LGBT community.

– We’ve made a public commitment in our Helping Britain Prosper plan to consistently increase the engagement levels of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) colleagues. Colleague engagement for LGBT colleagues increased in 2016, though we recognise there is more to do.

– Our Rainbow Network is vibrant, has an active social media following @LBGRainbow, supports our strategy and has 5,000 members and supporters. Rainbow focuses on professional development, and promoting visible role models and allies, and was named Network of the Year at the 2016 British LGBT Awards.

– We launched a Transgender Awareness ‘idesk’ in 2016 for all colleagues. This interactive tool is designed to give colleagues across the whole Group a basic understanding of trans* related topics, showcase best practice and highlight where we sometimes go wrong.

– The Group supported nine 2016 Pride events with participation in each of the parades (1,000 colleagues coming together to show support for the LGBT community), and we once again branded our Halifax, Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland ATMs as ‘GAYTMs’ with rainbow colours to show our solidarity with colleagues and customers.

– We supported Bisexual Awareness Day and Transgender Day of Visibility, with events, social media campaigns, and by flying the bisexual flag and transgender flag at 35 of our key sites.

All of this work helped us achieve the Stonewall Top Employer award and our Group Chief Executive, António Horta-Osório said: “We are honoured to be recognised by Stonewall as the leading employer for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Lloyds Banking Group is committed to supporting diversity in its workforce so that we can harness all of the qualities and talents of our colleagues to achieve our aim of helping Britain prosper.

We recognise, of course, that there is always more to do. We will continue to improve our LGBT colleague experience, work hard to ensure that all of our customers’ needs are met with understanding, dignity and respect, regardless of who they are or how they identify.

We’re already starting to think about how we build on the successes we’ve achieved and what more we can do to make Lloyds Banking Group a place where inclusion is just part of who we are.