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Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are important elements of our people strategy. We believe the diversity of our directors, managers and employees should reflect the diversity in the world around us.

We want everyone to feel welcome at Paragon and share their talents, helping us to broaden our perspective, understand our customers better and build a stronger business.

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Equal opportunities

Equal opportunities

We believe all employees should be able to work in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and bullying, and that employees along with job applicants, customers, retailers, business introducers and suppliers should be treated fairly. We invest in management training to ensure managers are equipped to support fair working practices and educate all employees to ensure the policy is fully embedded.

Women in finance

Women in Finance and diversity targets

In January 2017, we set ambitious targets to build a more diverse organisation as part of our commitment to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance initiative. These targets, which extend beyond gender diversity, were all met ahead of the January 2022 deadline and new targets will be set during the next 12 months.

Leadership focus

Organisations that are more diverse and more inclusive are more successful. They are better places for people to work and they foster a greater sense of engagement and belonging.

Richard Rowntree
Managing Director – Mortgages

Paragon’s Managing Director of Mortgages, Richard Rowntree, is the senior executive responsible for equality, diversity and inclusion across the Group, including progress against the Women in Finance Charter.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Network

Made up of employees from across the Group, our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Network was launched in 2020 to support and encourage a diverse range of talent. It provides a place where employees can share their challenges, experiences and ideas to build an equal, diverse and inclusive workforce.

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Inclusivity at Paragon

Inclusive workplace training

In 2021, we launched inclusive workplace training courses for all employees, and all leaders and managers have been invited to an inclusive leadership training course as part of our leadership development curriculum.

Talent development

Talent development

EDI Network members are now involved in the selection process for all of our talent development programmes so that they can challenge if they see evidence of unconscious bias in our selection decisions.

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Diversity survey

Each year, we ask all employees to take part in an anonymous survey to capture diversity measures including age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and disability. This helps us evaluate how diverse we are and gives employees the opportunity to feedback suggestions for improvement. In 2020, over 70% of employees took part in Paragon’s fourth annual diversity survey.

Celebrating diversity

The EDI Network leads focus events throughout the year to celebrate diversity at Paragon and encourage employees to share their views on how to create a more inclusive workplace.

30 Percent Club

International Women’s Day

Working together to forge a gender equal world and celebrate women’s achievements.

The Womens Association

Pride at Paragon

June is Pride month, dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. We joined in with a range of different activities.

Black History Month

Black History Month

Throughout October, we celebrated Black History Month, showcasing the work of artist Olivia Glasgow.

Gender Pay Gap Report

This report measures the difference in average pay between males and females at Paragon.

It compares all employees, regardless of role or seniority. It doesn’t indicate that men and women in similar positions are paid different amounts, but it does highlight that men generally hold higher paid roles, encouraging us to take action to address this where we can.

Read full report

External partnerships

30 Percent Club

The 30% Club
cross-company mentoring programme

Paragon is part of an external mentoring programme, led by the 30% Club and delivered by Women Ahead, aimed at supporting females looking to develop their careers and increasing gender diversity at senior levels.

The Womens Association

The Women’s Association

Paragon has joined with The Women’s Association to participate in its latest campaign, #ForTheWoman, which spotlights women across different career levels, organisations, and sectors to increase the visibility of women in the workplace.

Race At Work Charter

We have signed up to Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter designed to remove the barriers that ethnic minority groups face in recruitment and progression. We have committed to and are demonstrating the five Race at Work Charter principles:


appoint an Executive Sponsor for race


capture ethnicity data and publicise progress


commit at board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying


supporting equality in the workplace is the responsibility of all leaders and managers


take action that supports ethnic minority career progression

Disability Confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. This means we can demonstrate that we have taken action and made commitments to support disabled people at work.

We provide paid employment to disabled people and we are committed to:


inclusive and accessible recruitment


communicating vacancies


offering an interview to disabled people


providing reasonable adjustments


supporting existing employees

Executive Challenge

Chief Executive Nigel Terrington took part in The Women’s Association’s first Executive Challenge to help inspire future generations of females. Watch as he sits down for a virtual chat with 16 year old Naeemah to share some insights into the life of a CEO.