PBUK Balance have been shortlisted for the 2020 WIBF Team Diversity Award.
What is the role of PBUK Balance?
PBUK Balance is a branch of Global Balance which is an integral member of HSBC’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and is aligned with HSBC’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) charter. PBUK Balance focuses on gender diversity. Our Mission is to support the recruitment, development and engagement of a gender-balanced workforce. The team achieves their mission through four pillars; career development & mentoring, networking, culture & awareness and work life balance.
What achievement of the team are you most proud of?
There are three to highlight. Firstly, the success of our career development & mentoring pillar. The introduction of an annual mentoring programme since 2013 has helped employees find mentoring relationships, with a special focus on providing female mentorship. Since its inception, c.700 employees have been matched through the programme. Secondly, the team is proud of its programme for those returning to work. In 2019, we introduced a bespoke quarterly townhall delivered by the PBUK CEO for those on long term leave (mainly maternity leave) and a return to work buddy and network scheme. Lastly, our internal strategy to promote gender balance has enabled the implementation of a external female client focused strategy. These achievements have contributed to an increased profile through an upsurge in internal event attendance (30% increase) and commitment demonstrated in senior level engagement.
The team promotes good work life balance, what has this involved?
As well as hosting events and running a successful mentoring programme, PBUK Balance also lobbies to influence policy change.
PBUK Balance organises events for inspiration, one example of this is a co-hosted an event with E&Y focusing on alternative paths to success. We aim to role model and share stories of those with good work life balance and have recently shared some videos to highlight this.
PBUK Balance also offers and drives the Return to Work Buddy Scheme assisting, (amongst others), women returning from maternity leave in reintegrating into their roles and office environment.
What do you think are the main strengths of the team?
Our drive, commitment and passion to influence and improve gender diversity within PBUK. The team is led and managed by volunteers who are passionate to drive change alongside their day to day responsibilities. Through our events and activities, the team has improved and promoted PBUK’s reputation as an inclusive business. The team has utilised our internal strategy to promote gender balance, whilst also implementing an external client-focused strategy. PBUK Balance has influenced, shaped and led the implementation of the PBUK female client strategy, with a key achievement being successfully delivering a bespoke training course on emotional intelligence which was rolled out to our front office teams in 2019. It has also brought to life a partnership with Allbright and WealthiHer.
Have you been able to continue any of your programmes throughout the lockdown?
In these uncertain times, it is our communities and our networks that have kept us going. They remind us that we are not alone. For many of us, COVID-19 has changed our ways of working, and potentially our thinking. PBUK Balance has remained ‘business as usual’. We continue with our mentoring programme which is due to launch its 7th year this summer, we continue to send out monthly ‘One Minute With’ profiles which demystify senior leaders within Private Bank by asking them more personable questions, and we continue with our ‘Return to Work Buddy Scheme’; our newest returnee paired with a buddy after returning from maternity leave 6 weeks into lockdown.
And what are your aims for the future?
PBUK Balance remains committed to making a difference. Whilst we have seen senior engagement on the gender diversity agenda and noticed an uptick in senior female progression with a continued Year on Year increase in the proportion of leadership positions held by women. There is more we need to do to harness the power of gender diversity by creating an inclusive workplace and being truly balanced. We know this brings crucial benefits to the business, it leads to greater profitability, greater engagement as well as increased innovation. The team will continue building on the good momentum achieved thus far and strive for a 50/50 representation. Our goal is to reach a point where teams such as PBUK Balance are not needed.