Yorkshire Building Society joins network helping less advantaged progress

Yorkshire Building Society has joined a network of organisations aimed at making sure colleagues can progress in their financial services careers, regardless of their background.

The announcement comes ahead of Social Mobility Day, on 13 June, which aims to promote opportunities at work for all and show people from less advantaged backgrounds they can progress.

Yorkshire Building Society is one of more than 100 employers in the Progress Together network. It aims to create a financial services sector where people from all socio-economic backgrounds can fulfil their career potential.

Joining the scheme is part of the mutual’s continued commitment to an inclusive workplace. To understand its starting position, colleagues have been asked to share information on their socio-economic background, such as their parents’ occupation and the type of school they attended. The data will help the Society understand where improvements may be needed and set targets.

The Office for National Statistics says a key measure of socio-economic background is the job your parents had when you were 14.
Tina Hughes, Director of Marketing and Digital Channels at Yorkshire Building Society, said:

“At Yorkshire Building Society, we have colleagues with different beliefs, ages, cultures, outlooks and more – just like the communities we serve.

“Social mobility is a key part of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy, which sets out our vision to build a Society where everyone, regardless of background or identity, feels valued, empowered and supported.

“We’re proud of that and we’re working hard to create an environment that’s welcoming and inclusive, where everyone has the opportunity to develop and progress.

“We want everyone to have the chance to show their full potential – it’s about what they can bring to the business, not where they were brought up or the school they went to.

“We can always go further and do more, and that’s why we’ve joined Progress Together.”

Progress Together was launched as part of a government-commissioned taskforce. Its research on member financial services firms found, on average, half of employees were from a higher socio-economic background – with parents in jobs like teacher, solicitor or senior manager – compared with 37% in the UK workforce.

In addition, people from higher socio-economic backgrounds were much more likely to be in the most influential senior positions and they progressed into these roles much more quickly. Nearly nine in 10 senior leaders were from a higher socio-economic background and people from lower social economic backgrounds progress 25% slower than their peers, despite there being no link to performance.

Sophie Hulm, CEO of Progress Together, said: “As a member of Progress Together, Yorkshire Building Society has demonstrated commitment to improving socio-economic diversity at senior levels.

“By working together we are making changes in UK financial services, ensuring that employees from all backgrounds have the opportunity to reach their career potential. This benefits individuals, business and the wider economy.”