We are well aware of just how damaging it can be for organisations to be made up solely of people from similar backgrounds who think in the same way: the dearth of diversity and inclusion in financial services contributed to the unchallenged, dangerous decision-making that helped drive the financial crisis of 2008.
After last year’s horrific murder of George Floyd, I had a series of wide-ranging and, quite frankly, humbling conversations with my minority ethnic colleagues at the Bank. I want to thank all of those who were so open and honest with me about their experiences. It was apparent that, despite the substantial efforts by the organisation over the past decade or so, we were making insufficient progress on diversity and inclusion, particularly in the area of ethnicity. And it is against that backdrop that I – alongside the other governors and court (our governing board) – commissioned a review into ethnic diversity and inclusion, which we have published today.
The review found that, despite our efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion at the Bank, there are still material disparities between the collective lived experiences, career opportunities and outcomes of minority ethnic colleagues and their white counterparts. The aim of the review is to help all of us, including me, get a better understanding of where we are today, and to understand what we need to do to meet our ambition of tomorrow. That ambition is to create a truly diverse and inclusive Bank where all colleagues – irrespective of any personal characteristic – can meet their full potential. It is no exaggeration to say that, as for all organisations, such an ambition is mission-critical.