what’s next

Encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion isn’t just about the law or the “business case”. Fundamentally, it’s the right thing to do. At the moment, over two thirds of our people tell us they feel they can be themselves at work – but we want everyone to feel able to do that, and to feel valued for who they are. Our employee networks have a vital part to play in helping us achieve that aim.

In bringing issues of equality, diversity and inclusion to the table, our executive sponsorship scheme for our employee networks has already made a tangible difference. And our reverse mentoring programme – where our executive team are mentored by other, less senior employees – will do even more to help our leaders understand different perspectives and make inclusive decisions.

We’re mid-way through our action plan, which sets out the progress we aim to make by 2019. I’m excited about building on the successes we’ve already made, and finding answers to the challenges we’ve identified here.

Juliana Francis, senior ombudsman and lead for equality, diversity and inclusion

over the next year, the things we’ll be working on include:

  • Continuing to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion are the foundation of all our policies, practices and decisions – both in relation to our people and to our service.
  • Working on our talent pipeline, to ensure we’re attracting, retaining and promoting people from the widest and most diverse talent pool.
  • Establishing our diversity reverse mentoring programme, where our executive team are mentored by our employees – helping them better understand different backgrounds and experiences.
  • Promoting inclusive leadership to support our managers to get the best out of all their people.
  • Continuing our unconscious bias training – helping to ensure fairness in our recruitment and selection decisions, as well as decision-making more broadly.
  • Reviewing the accessibility of our IT and our buildings.

Our HR team are working very closely with Juliana and our networks to make sure we’re hard-wiring equality, diversity and inclusion into all our processes relating to our people. It’s a much broader issue than protected characteristics. This is about making this a place where everyone feels valued and able to give their best. Our people, and those who use our service, deserve nothing less.

Sally Webster, director of HR and
organisation development

reaching people who need us

If we’re diverse and inclusive, we’ll better understand different perspectives – which is fundamental to our job resolving financial complaints. A key challenge for us – and one of our published commitments – is reaching everyone who might need us, whoever they are and whatever their background.

In our annual review, we give details about levels of awareness of our service among different groups of people, and how the people who use us compare with the UK as a whole. Our plans for encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion complement our focused outreach and engagement work – and will help us ensure we’re accessible to people across the UK.

Financial Ombudsman Service staff members sat at a table talking

what we’re proud of

We’re proud of how we’re doing – and we’re focused on making things better. Read about just some of the things we’ve achieved this year and why they matter.

Three Financial Ombudsman Service staff members talking

what we need to work on

We’ve made good progress – but we know there are things we need to work on. Read about our challenges and how we’re addressing them.

Three Financial Ombudsman Service staff members sitting and talking

reporting on gender

We want to lead the way in treating men and women fairly and equally. Find out about our commitments, how we’re doing and what we need to work on.