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Women in finance


A diverse workforce

Women in Finance charterPeople are at the heart of everything we do and we understand the significance and value of building strong and diverse teams, with leaders from all backgrounds. Gender diversity is an important element of our people strategy and we’re proud to have signed the Women in Finance Charter in 2016.

The Women in Finance Charter, which is sponsored by HM Treasury, is an initiative amongst financial services companies in the UK, aimed at promoting equality of opportunity in the workplace.

Paragon’s Chief Financial Officer, Richard Woodman, is the senior executive responsible for gender diversity and progress against the Charter requirements is monitored by the executive management.

Our gender split and future diversity targets

In January 2017, we published the first set of internal targets under the Charter. Our targets include a target of 35% female representation in senior management roles by January 2022, increasing from 26% at the time the targets were set. We are delighted to confirm we have achieved our minimum target by 30 September 2019 with an overall female representation of 35.9%.

Senior management is defined as being members of the Group Board, Group Executive Committee and their direct reports.

As diversity is an important element of our overall people strategy, the following additional targets have been set for us to achieve by January 2022:

  • 50% / 50% gender diversity split
  • 10% of managers are from an ethnic minority background
  • 50% of individuals receiving management career development / leadership training are female
  • 10% of the workforce are on flexible working
  • 50% of flexible working is available on a part time basis

We’re making good progress towards our Women in Finance targets and our latest report on progress is available here.

Our activity to support our gender split and future targets

To reach our identified targets we have:

  • Reviewed our recruitment and selection practices and now instruct search firms to provide improved gender diversity amongst candidates
  • Continued to increase our focus on providing female career development and leadership training
  • Continued a programme to identify female leaders and potential leaders amongst the workforces, providing those individuals with more mentoring opportunities
  • Continued our participation in the Women Ahead cross-company mentoring programme
  • Delivered training on unconscious bias
  • Implemented an online recruitment system to provide anonymised cvs at the first selection stage
  • Conducted our third diversity survey amongst our employees

Diversity survey

In June 2019, Paragon conducted its third diversity survey to obtain anonymous feedback from employees on their age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and disability. We received a positive response rate of 67% (2017: 72%) and as expected, the survey illustrated our workforce is diverse. The results were reviewed at executive level and a number of actions were agreed in line with our commitment to the Women in Finance Charter, including implementation of an online recruitment system to facilitate the anonymisation of cvs at first selection stage, continuing to provide flexible working opportunities and mentoring support for individuals, reviewing and implementing an increase in maternity pay provision from the statutory amount to 18 weeks full pay from 1 April 2020; backdated to 6 April 2019 to capture all maternity returners in the current tax year.

Paragon Banking Group PLC.  Registered in England number 2336032.  Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands  B91 3QJ.