The Royal Bank of Scotland has shaken up its diversity strategy in a bid to attract more women into top posts.
In evidence presented to the Treasury Select Committee’s ‘Women in the City’ inquiry, the bank revealed that women account for 57% of its employees and make up 71% of the clerical population.
However, they are still under-represented at senior management and executive levels, with only 13% of the 240 executive positions at the bank being filled by women.
John Last, RBS HR director, group policy and employment, told Personnel Today that progress had been made to recruit women at junior management levels and steps were now being taken to ensure this happened at senior level.
Under the latest plans divisions, such as retail, insurance and manufacturing, will no longer have individual responsibility for managing diversity. Instead, a central approach would be taken, he said.
The executive committee has drawn up a positive action strategy with diversity goals, which business divisions will be expected to implement.
Last said: “We will be undertaking equal pay audits across the board, looking at diversity statistics in terms of where movements are and where the pinch-points are, and what we can do to address the subconscious blocks to diversity in terms of mirror recruitment – where people tend to recruit individuals that mirror their own background.
“In terms of executive roles we will have at least one female on the shortlist for those jobs. That will get us into the marketplace to see what talent is out there. As a large organisation you can get insular and recruit people you have worked with in the past.”
Only two weeks ago Penny Hughes, former president of Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland, was appointed as a new non-executive director and a member of the bank’s remuneration committee with effect from January 2010.
The Treasury Select Committee’s inquiry is taking evidence on the role of women in the City, developing themes which have emerged in the course of its banking crisis inquiry.
Topics include the proportion of women occupying senior positions in major financial institutions and the extent to which a “glass ceiling” preventing promotion or perpetuating pay inequalities might exist.