HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter

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What is Octopus doing?

Octopus signed the Women in Finance Charter in September 2021. Sponsored by HM Treasury, the Women in Finance Charter is a pledge for gender balance across financial services.

The Charter asks financial services firms to commit to four industry actions to prepare their female talent for leadership positions:

  • Having one member of our senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender, diversity and inclusion
  • Setting internal targets for gender diversity in our senior management
  • Publishing progress against these targets each year in reports on our website
  • Having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity

One year on – our achievements up to September 2022

When we signed up to the Charter in 2021, we had 40% female representation. As of September 2022 we have 45% female representation. We believe we are on track to meet our Charter target of 50% of senior management by our deadline of 2025, as 41% of our senior managers are currently female.

Throughout the year we have focused on recruitment and progression to support our progress in representation of women in senior roles.

All of our job descriptions now go through a gender decoder before advertisement, our recruiting managers have undertaken unconscious bias training and 99% of our interview panels are diverse, all of which has reduced the potential for bias to impact our recruitment process.

From a career development perspective, our succession planning activity ensures all of our people are considered for their potential to progress into senior roles, and women and people of colour who have been identified as successors for critical and senior roles have been offered coaching to support their career development. We also continue to publicise our enhanced Shared Parental Leave offering, which supports women and families in balancing career and family.

Commitments in September 2021

  • As of September 2021 our current gender split in senior roles is 63% male and 37% female. We are committed to a 50/50 gender split in our senior roles by May 2025.
  • That we would appoint one member of our senior executive team to be responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion.
  • We will publish progress against our targets each year on our website.
  • That we intended to link the pay of the senior executive team to delivery against our internal targets on gender diversity.

How will we achieve our commitments?

We hope to make great progress against our commitments and are confident that our focus on the following initiatives will support us in achieving them:

  • We have partnered with Work180 to help us source senior female candidates for vacancies within our business.
  • We have reviewed our approach to inclusive recruitment and incorporated gender decoding software, gender balanced shortlists and interview panels.
  • We are introducing hiring manager training on recruitment and unconscious bias.
  • We have recently enhanced our Shared Parental Leave policy to enable either parent (regardless of gender) to take up to 6 months off work (fully paid) during the first 12 months of the birth or adoption of their child. We believe that it’s important that all parents, regardless of gender, can take time off to spend with their new-born.
  • We also believe that our flexible working policies enable parents to return to the workplace at a pace that suits them in line with business requirements.
  • We continue to work hard to ensure our working practices aren’t a barrier to hiring and are flexible in our approach to working from home when needed.
  • We track diversity and use it to inform our efforts across all diversity and inclusion activity.