Women in Finance

Lisa Davis, Chief Human Resources Officer

As the Senior Executive responsible for gender diversity at the Skipton, I’m pleased to confirm that we’ve signed up to the Women in Finance Charter. At the heart of the Charter there’s a simple message that Skipton shares - that a balanced and inclusive workforce is good for business. We firmly believe that diversity of thought leads to improved innovation and better decisions, and we’ve agreed to the following pledges:

  • to have one member of our senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion.
  • to set an internal numerical objective for gender diversity at a senior management level and a year to aim for.
  • to publish progress annually against the objective(s).
  • to have an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against the internal objectives on gender diversity.

Skipton's Pledges

Achieving a diversity and balance of skills, independence and experience shall be the key determinant of any new appointment to your Board, Executive and Senior leadership teams where selection of the most suitable candidate will be paramount.

No candidate shall be discriminated against on grounds of gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age, social circumstances or any other factor.

Realising the benefits of gender diversity, the Society will endeavour, subject to the considerations above, to:

  • maintain at least 33% male and at least 33% female representation at board level
  • achieve and maintain a rolling average of at least 37% male and at least 37% female representation across the combined Executive and Senior leadership teams, by end of 2020.

Our Progress

Our focus on diversity and inclusion has remained a key strategic priority for us, and we will report progress against the Charter annually. Since becoming signatories, we have examined our recruitment processes to really gain a comprehensive understanding of the roots of under-representation in our senior positions.

When we signed up to the Charter in March 2019, women constituted 38.5% of the Board. As of August 2020, although this figure has reduced, we remain above target at 33.3%. At the start of 2019 we were in a period of transition in relation to our Board membership and at the point of reporting we had a slightly larger female Board membership. When the Board returned to the normal composition the gender diversity reduced to the 33.3% and it has remained static at this level now for over 18 months.

Our target for female representation in Executive and Senior Leadership teams is 37% by the end of 2020. In March 2019 36.0% of senior teams were women. We are currently at 35.4%. We are making strong progress against a range of metrics that contribute to its overall achievement of this target, although it has not been met yet. The last 18 months has seen a reduction in our overall senior leadership cohort, which has meant both that opportunities to drive this target were limited, but our focus on the coming 12 months will include new attraction strategies for potential female candidates. We now examine all our recruitment literature for gendered language, with a stronger emphasis on the flexibility that many roles at Skipton offer.

We continue to strengthen our approach to diversity and inclusion more broadly. We have introduced a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, strengthened our colleague diversity networks, and during the current Covid19 crisis we have reinforced our flexible and family friendly working practices to support all colleagues during this challenging time. Our response has incorporated the principles of inclusion into everything we do, and the transition to the ‘new normal’ during this period has been no different.

We have much better intelligence into the recruitment pipeline, which sets us on a strong foundation to achieve this target within the next 12 months.

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