Pride in banking and finance

26 June, 2020Nadim Choudhury

You may have noticed that the LIBF branding changed in June to represent the rainbow flag. We have done this to show our support for Pride month.

As it draws to a close, Nadim Choudhury – our Head of Careers and Employability – takes a look at the work being done in financial services to recruit, retain and support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) professionals.

Rainbow flag

Did you know?

  • 18% of LGBT employees have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues in the last year because they're LGBT.
  • 18% of those looking for work encountered discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity while trying to get a job in the last year.
  • 12% of black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT employees have lost a job in the last year because of being LGBT, compared to four per cent of white LGBT staff.

These are just some of the stark statistics from recent research carried out by Stonewall that highlight the high level of discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace. Stonewall is a professional lobbying group that works to promote LGBT equality and to support and empower LGBT people to be their authentic selves.

The London Institute of Banking and Finance is proud to be part of a sector that’s actively working to ensure everybody can feel accepted and comfortable at work.

In July 2019, the Bank of England launched the Out and Proud Charter to support LGBT professionals, comprising five principles:

  • committing to the highest level of support for LGBT colleagues
  • empowering and regularly consulting and employee network for LGBT colleagues and their allies
  • committing to enforcing a zero-tolerance approach to LGBT harassment and bullying
  • promoting awareness in the workplace
  • capturing data to monitor and publish progress.

But bringing about change requires more than commitment – it requires hard work from financial companies themselves.

Stonewall Top 100

The Stonewall Top 100 Employers List recognises efforts by organisations to create inclusive workplaces. Employers must demonstrate good practice in ten areas including senior leadership, procurement and engaging with LGBT+ communities.

The 2020 list was announced back in January. It was good to see the financial services sector so well represented – especially as this year had the highest number of entrants on record, at 503.

Of these, eight are from our sector including:

  • Barclays, who has sponsored Pride in London for several years
  • Citi Group which was also confirmed as a Top Trans Inclusive Employer.
  • Bank of America
  • Macquarie
  • Aviva
  • Moody's
  • KPMG and
  • Aon.

And two of our regulators – the Financial Services Ombudsman and Financial Conduct Authority – appeared in the Stonewall Top 100 as well.

When the list was announced, Caroline Wayman – the Financial Ombudsman Service's Chief Executive – acknowledged that being included in the list was "the product of lots of hard work".

Working hard

For many LGBT+ individuals in the sector, that hard work goes back a long way.

The Interbank LGBT Forum was founded in 2002 – originally focusing on the investment banking sector. It is now a forum for LGBT employees across financial services, enabling them to network and share best practice on recruitment and professional development.

Members include employers who've made a real commitment and are putting the work in. Companies like Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and Citigroup to name a few.

The message is clear. The financial services sector is working hard to become more diverse and inclusive and is welcoming colleagues from LGBT communities.

Banking is changing – and no matter who you are – you can be part of that change.

Related content

If you identify as LGBT and are concerned about your future career, you can be confident that the banking and financial services sector is a welcoming place for you. Studying on our degree programmes will equip you with all the skills you need to prosper in our industry.

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