Does the Bank of England do enough in terms of diversity and inclusion?

Bank of England

Does the Bank of England do enough in terms of diversity and inclusion?

A committee made up of from members of parliament have criticised the Bank of England and the slow growth in minority representation, stating that there is little evidence that the ‘gap’ is closing.

 

Recently the Bank of England has faced criticism with a report being published by the Public Accounts Committee which highlights the failing to deliver on its diversity and inclusion targets. This is due to a high turnover of BAME employees and low level representation of minority groups at senior management level.

 

In the publication it scrutinised the diversity targets that the bank set in order to increase the number of female employees to 50% and also increase the number of females in senior management positions to 35% by the start of 2020.

 

Additionally, the Bank of England set further targets for themselves of increasing the number of BAME staff members to 20% by 2020, and 13% in senior management roles by 2022. However, the PAC warned the bank that it had ‘some way to go’ in order to meet the targets within the allotted time frame. The PAC also insisted that there was little evidence that the bank was closing the gap quick enough.

 

Even though the report discovered that 32% of senior management roles were filled by women in January 2019, compared to the 17% in 2013, the proportion of women staff members in the last four years had not changed and stayed rather consistent, between 44% and 45% since 2015. Additionally, the annual report published by the Bank of England highlighted the fact that only 43% of new starters in 2018 were female.

 

However, the most troubling findings by the PAC were the figures highlighting the number of BAME employees within the bank. The results showed that the number of BAME employees had increased but by only 3% in three years, with no increase between 2017 and 2018. As a result of this only 5% of senior management roles were filled by BAME employees.
The committee further expressed concern at the fact that almost 25% of staff who left their roles from the bank were part of the BAME community. This suggested that the bank had in depth problems with the retention of those people from minority groups. “With 23 per cent of staff leaving the Bank from this group … the overall proportion of BAME staff within the Bank is unlikely to improve,” the report warned, questioning what steps the bank had taken to evaluate the effectiveness of its interventions.

 

Following the findings from the report, the Bank of England responded to the PAC stating that it had released a staff survey and that it had returned positive responses surrounding questions about inclusion, respect for individuals and whether employees believe that the bank takes inclusion and diversity seriously. The bank further added that it had looked in detail at the number of BAME and female employees, and suggested that a review of the recruitment process was needed in order for the bank to meets its inclusion and diversity targets. The bank also stated that they would be looking into the retention of BAME and female employees.

 

The PAC has stated that they believe the best way forward for the bank would be to create a report providing additional steps that the Bank of England will take in order to meet its diversity targets within the allotted time frame (June 2019).

 

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