World’s Best Bank for Diversity and Inclusion 2020: Santander
The breadth and ambition of Santander’s diversity and inclusion programmes set it apart from its peers globally.
Implementing a comprehensive diversity and inclusion (D&I) agenda in one developed market can be challenging. Rolling it out across a global network covering countries with divergent histories, cultures and levels of economic development is on another scale of difficulty.
This perhaps explains why most large banking groups publish numbers on gender and racial diversity for employees in their home markets but lump the rest of their workforce together under a ‘global’ tag.
A notable exception to the rule is Santander. The Spanish group, which has operations in 10 markets across Europe and Latin America, is happy to provide a level of granularity on diversity that other banks shy away from.
It has also shown an admirable appetite for setting ambitious targets on D&I. Last year saw the announcement of a commitment to boost the proportion of women in senior leadership positions from 20% at the end of 2018 to 30% by 2025.
The target, which has been tied to executive remuneration, applies to each of Santander’s country operations as well as to the group as a whole.
This means shortfalls in markets such as Mexico, where women account for just 14% of senior leadership positions, will not be obscured by outperformance in the UK, for example, which passed the 30% target last year and is aiming for gender parity by the end of 2021.