In just a short two years, the breath and extent of events they have co-ordinated and assisted with, both within HSBC Dublin, the wider HSBC Community and other industry colleagues, has certainly raised the profile of, and the importance of, a gender balanced workforce, both at a staffing and management level. They have certainly embedded the diversity agenda in Ireland, with a strong vision and framework for enabling diversity in this organisation.
The Balance Ireland Team has been nominated for this years Team Diversity Award.
Tell us about what your team is responsible for and any specific projects you are working on currently.
The Balance Committee comprises colleagues across all HSBC Ireland business lines in Ireland. Balance support the recruitment, development, advancement and engagement of a gender-balanced workforce. Balance is currently building stronger relations with other HSBC sites, particularly in developing countries. An example of this is the running of the “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things” event with our Colombo colleagues which highlights flexible working practices and the importance of a work-life balance.
How can we get the biggest shift towards diverse and inclusive workplaces?
Through engaging all in the workforce – recognising that Diversity and Inclusion is relevant to all members of an organisation, not just senior executives, or human resources, but each and every employee. Everyone stands to benefit from working with a diverse and inclusive workforce that has a balanced management team where they can recognise someone like themselves. The influx of new recruits into an organisation will feed the pipeline of leaders in the industry so that recent gains become a self-perpetuating norm. For example looking at promotions at all levels last year in Ireland in HSBC Securities Services at least 50% of those promoted in each level were women. This shows we are not only raising awareness of ability, but encouraging application for leadership positions in the organisation. Vigilance to the commitment is key and while we may have large events a few times a year, we also ensure that we are always talking about and acting in a manner that is representative of the message we aim to deliver.
How does it feel to be on the WIBF Awards for Achievement Shortlist?
As a relatively new team it feels fantastic not only to be able to see the impact of the work we have done, but also to see how we have been able to highlight the success of women in the HSBC Business in Ireland and encourage each other to strive in the bank-wide objective of having 30% of senior leadership positions occupied by women by 2020. We have also been able to leverage the global profile of our organisation to work with other sites to share our experiences of common issues and solutions regardless of location. As a team to make it to the shortlist has given us the confidence in our ability to effect change and to strive to do more, as we know we are on the right path and have the determination to see how we may positively shape the future for women and leaders. To be recognised by an organisation such as Women in Banking and Finance allows us to be able to gain additional attention and profile that may have been more difficult on our own as well as leverage the WIBF network to enable continued success and longevity.
If you could have one wish for the Banking & Finance industry what would it be?
To continue seeing strides being made in the quest to improve gender balance, we must ensure that we are developing the next generation of leaders in the industry to work together to achieve the best results. This includes not only gender diversity, but all areas of Diversity and Inclusion. In order to succeed in the future we need to understand the challenges today’s new joiners are facing in their careers and how to guide them through career development. As the new joiners of today are not doing what we might have done due to implementation of robots, or removal of paper in the office, the core challenges of gaining relevant experiences, education and mentoring remain. Part of our commitment as a Balance Team in Ireland is to engage at all levels of the workforce and bring them on the journey.