We recently celebrated National Inclusion Week and for me, it was an opportunity to reflect on our progress. I was really pleased to see so many colleagues getting involved and contributing - it’s a sign to me, just how far PFG has come over the past few years.

Across PFG, colleagues came together in person and virtually to recognise the week, the progress the Group has made over the past 12 months, and discuss ideas as to what the future looks like for I&D at PFG.

Encouraging conversations

To kick-start conversations, colleagues were invited to lunch to discuss inclusion and diversity in the workplace, share stories of connection and ally-ship verbally, as well as on our intranet and via emails throughout the week. Plus, each of our sites had a Be Yourself inclusion board, where colleagues shared comments that will be used to inform future decisions and conversations.

Over 120 colleagues joined our “Time to Talk” discussion with senior sponsors sharing I&D business achievements and answering questions about how PFG is making I&D BAU. For example, colleagues discussed how topics such as gender split are simply becoming part of the everyday dialogue within teams and how recruitment processes are being refined to remove unconscious bias.

Sharing 2022 I&D achievements so far

Our colleagues and sponsors have really helped to put I&D on the map for PFG; and hearing colleague comments from this past week, only reassures me that our business is now travelling at pace on the right path. One colleague told us:

‘I'm so encouraged by this discussion and all these plans. Really, really positive to hear. Feels like there’s a genuine commitment to these initiatives from senior leadership and, as a long-serving colleague, it feels great to see that shift.’

In the last 9 months, teams have established multiple peer circles, providing a space for colleagues to support one another on a variety of topics; and held numerous BeWell webinars, supported by the Bank Workers charity. Renewed policies have been launched, providing additional guidance for managers and colleagues around Transgender, Non-Binary, and Menopause – backed up with colleague events to socialise, educate and share resources. Our teams have made progress in gathering Gender MI, celebrated key events in a variety of ways, and brought greater colleague awareness to LGBTQIA, gender, racial diversity and disability topics.

Additionally, I’m immensely proud to say that our work in the community continues to support people on a path to a better everyday life, to become more socially mobile, and is contributing to our I&D agenda in another way - I think that the breadth of our work in the community was celebrated earlier this year when the team won “Changing lives in the Community” award at the Card and Payment Awards.

And I also believe that we can continue to do more good in the community, making more people feel included, not only through this continued programme, but also through our Partnership with the Bradford City of Culture 2025.

A Fresh Focus

National Inclusion Week was a wonderful opportunity for us to not only introduce some of our newer colleagues to our I&D agenda but also some new sponsors: Fiona Anderson (Managing Director, Cards) for our Ethnicity Affinity Group, Carley Eaton (Group Audit Director) for Gender Balance and Joe Sweeney (Chief Conduct and Compliance Officer) and Sarah Fenwick (Head of Sales and Customer Retention) for our Social Mobility Affinity Group which was formed earlier this year.

As I will have mentioned previously, helping to put people on a path to a better everyday life is our Purpose as a business - an inclusive purpose if ever there was one.

Therefore, I would like to thank all our colleagues who are living this purpose, and who are bringing I&D to every table. This month the positive momentum continues as the Ethnicity Affinity Groups brings our focus to Black History Month, having arranged a webinar with Mavis Amankwah and a Time to talk on microaggression on October 19th.  

It’s because of this passion, that we as a business are moving forward, giving all colleagues the recognition they deserve, improving visibility, appreciating all our differences, and improving inclusion and diversity at PFG.

Thank you all.