Building an inclusive bank

By understanding the needs of our colleagues we attract even more great people to work here.

We hire the best people for the position on offer. Regardless of gender, race, culture, creed or physical abilities. And we always will.

Scroll down to learn more about our approach to inclusion.

Disability smart

To build an inclusive bank, we’re positively addressing the needs of disabled colleagues and candidates. Our goal is to be recognised externally as a disability smart organisation through our actions, internal initiatives and external partnerships.

Here are some of the ways how we’re helping those with disability build a great career with us:

Disability Confident

We’re rated as a leader in this UK government scheme for helping disabled people into employment

Website accessibility

Through accessible technology, everyone can use our websites

Proactive support

We consider the needs of those with a disability in every decision we make

Business Disability Forum

With a Gold rating, we’re in the top 1% of UK organisations for disability performance

Women sat on laptop in social area

Enable Network

With 1000 members, our disability network Enable actively promotes awareness of disability and its impact. Enable plays a big part in our work to create a better bank for colleagues, customers, and the communities we serve.

We're working together to help develop a truly inclusive culture within RBS, one that ensures people with all abilities, and those who care for others, are recognised and valued for their talents.

Enable regularly provides advice and guidance to help inform decision-making at every level of the business. The network delivers informative and educational seminars, conferences and events in partnership with our other employee-led networks and external organisations. Enable proudly keeps disability performance high on our agenda.

Andrea in a branch with her guide dog

Meet Andrea…

Andrea from our Natwest branch in Cardiff has achieved her ambition of filing a customer-facing role, despite being completely blind

Andrea's story...

Andrea from our NatWest branch in Cardiff is completely blind. With a few adjustments by our on-boarding team, and her help establishing what assistance she needed, she’s achieved her ambition of filling a customer-facing role.

In branch she has Paige, her support worker, who helps to alert Andrea to the fact that a customer has just walked in. Once she knows they’re there, Andrea brings all of her outstanding customer service expertise to bear.

She also has tools to help her, like JAWS, a screen reader which has a Braille display, allowing her to read everything on the screen using her fingers.

Andrea commented:

I’m quite aware that I’m one of the first few totally blind people to work in a customer facing role for the bank, and after the support I’ve received, I would advise anyone in a similar position to jump at the opportunity to do the kind of job they want to do and not let their condition hold them back!

Ethnically diverse

It’s important that the diversity of our team reflects the diversity of our customers. It helps us to have greater empathy with them and a deeper understanding of their needs. That’s why we’ve set ourselves the goal of identifying, developing and appointing at least 14% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders by 2025.

Here’s some of the ways we’re working to be ethnically diverse.

Race at Work Charter

We’re founding signatories of the UK government’s Race at Work Charter to tackle ethnic disparity in the workplace

Recognised for diversity

We’ve been recognised by Business in the Community and Investing in Ethnicity for our efforts to improve our diversity

Mentoring and development

We’ve built external partnerships to help with mentoring, future leader and senior leader development

Diverse shortlists and panel

We’ve put in place measures to encourage non-white and female representation at interview

Group of colleagues sat outside

RBS Multicultural Network

With around 2800 members, the Multicultural Network exists to celebrate and support the variety of cultures within our organisation, and in the community. It celebrates all cultures and raises awareness of potential barriers to progress for BAME colleagues, and works collaboratively to find better ways to serve our diverse customer base.

The Multicultural Network works hard to ensure greater awareness of BAME issues every day, to improve awareness, educate, and bring people closer together in the workplace. We encourage everyone here to be colour brave, not colour blind. This means that we recognise the different views and perspectives our BAME colleagues can bring, and celebrate the diversity of thought that different backgrounds can create.

The network is open to all colleagues, and proactively supports the recruiting, developing and retaining of talented people from all backgrounds. It also represents all cultures through celebrations, and raises awareness to help combat any potential barriers.

Kam

Hear from Kam

Kam has been with us for over 10 years, and is currently a Quality Assurance Manager. Her risk-focused role helps make sure we are listening and responding to customer concerns and complaints. Kam is an active member of the Sikh community.

She’s pleased with the increasing focus on diversity at the bank, and comments:

I’ve seen a huge push regarding diversity and inclusion. It’s great to have such a wide range of people with different backgrounds and mind-sets working together. All these differences make us stronger as a team and encourage us to think outside the box and move out of our comfort zones. It’s important that we continue to learn from each other. We’re encouraged to work together as one big team, support each other and see the bigger picture, and we now have the resources which make that collaboration so much easier.

Inclusive culture

We’re determined to create a sustainable, inclusive culture by 2020 through an increasingly intersectional approach. We’ve a wide-ranging approach to achieving this goal, with a number of initiatives in place for families, carers, colleagues returning to work and those joining us after life in the military.

Here’s some of the ways we’re creating an inclusive culture:

Unconscious bias training

More than 80% of our colleagues have had training to understand unconscious bias and to guard against it

Flexible working

To improve work-life balance, we’re increasingly offering flexible working arrangements wherever we can

Comeback Programme

Supporting people that have been out of the world of work for at least two years to take up a role with us

Recognised for inclusivity

We’re Carer Positive accredited, a Top 10 employer for Working Families, and we’re signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant

Two colleagues sat across from eachother

RBS Families & Carers and Armed Forces Network

With around 1100 members, The Families and Carers Network promotes a supportive work environment to enable parents and carers to achieve a great work-life balance. Regular seminars and webinars discuss matters relating to both parenting and caring responsibilities. Monthly coffee meetings allow members to network with people in similar situations, to share and learn from their experiences.

Our Armed Forces Network has around 400 members providing support to veterans, family members, reservists and employees. It’s part of our drive to become the number one military bank for customers and colleagues. The Network has been influential in developing the Armed Forces Covenant, and provided guidance to the Armed Forces Strategic Steering Group to ensure that the Covenant remains a living document.

Hwee

Meet Hwee…

Hwee is one of our Business Managers, and joined us via a returnship after 14 years away from the world of work. Prior to her career break she was a product manager for global transactions products for an American bank. With flexible working not an option at the time, when she wanted to start a family she had to put her career on hold.

Hwee's story...

Due to some health issues with her son her maternity leave became an extended break until he reached secondary school age. It was then that she started to look for opportunities to return to the world of work, and discovered our Comeback Programme.

Hwee comments:

For many people who haven’t yet returned to work after a career break, I think it’s due to a lack of the right opportunities. The Comeback Programme provides that opportunity. Competition for places in the programme is stiff, so be prepared to give it your best shot. At the same time, be confident about your ability to grow and learn quickly. People have taken career breaks for a variety of reasons, but they’ve not lost their skills. For an experienced talent pool, it only takes a week or two of focused effort to get back up to speed.

Gender Balanced

We recognise the value of a gender balanced team. It’s vital to our success to make sure everyone has the encouragement, inspiration and opportunity to take their career with us as far as they want to. That’s why we’re working towards a target of having women in 50% of our top level leadership roles by 2030, with interim targets over the next 10 years.

Here’s some of the ways we’re addressing gender balance:

Positive action

We’re focused on attracting, developing and retaining strong female talent

Women in Finance Charter

We’re committed to the UK government’s charter to support gender balance across financial services

STEM Scholarships

At four universities in the UK and India we’re providing scholarships for females studying STEM subjects

Open and encouraging

We’ve been recognised by Bloomberg’s Gender Equality Index and The Times as a Top 50 Employer for Women

Two women sat in a meeting smiling

RBS Women Network

Since its launch in 2017, the RBS Women Network has been hugely successful. It brought together the bank’s various gender networks – Focused Women, Women in Technology, Coutts Women’s Network, Compass and Business Women Can – under one banner. With the aim to attract, retain and develop talented female members of staff, the network is vital to the bank’s strategy of having a fully gender balanced workforce by 2030.

RBS Women has around 9000 members, with 2000 male allies, and is open to all colleagues regardless of sex or gender identity. The network provides high quality personal development training, internal and external networking opportunities, and access to senior leaders and mentoring. It ensures that female talent and success is recognised internally and externally, and proactively promotes RBS as an inclusive and attractive place for women to work.

Chrissy

Meet Chrissy…

Chrissy is a Team Leader in Premier Banking, and is a passionate advocate of the work of the RBS Women Network. Joining us upon leaving university, she began in Branch roles before moving to a telephony based Mortgage Adviser position. It was around this time that she realised that she wanted to take the step onto the management ladder, and since then she has enjoyed experience across several areas of the bank.

Chrissy commented:

Working for an inclusive employer is imperative. I’ve been with RBS for a long time and, from a managerial point of view, supporting your team’s progression is vital. I enjoy seeing people flourish and achieve their goals. The fact that I work for a company that offers a range of networks is fantastic, and I’ve found the Women Network really nurturing.

We are fully committed to inspiring women to manage their careers successfully with us, and to maximise their potential in whatever discipline they choose.

LGBT Innovative

As an inclusive employer, our goal is to deliver a better LGBT colleague and customer experience by continuously challenging the status quo. With insight, education and support we are working towards being an LGBT employer of choice.

Here’s some of the ways we’re working to be LGBT innovative:

Improving processes

We’ve improved existing processes and developed new ways to make our LGBT colleagues feel welcome and valued

Inclusive policies in India

We’ve introduced inclusive workplace policies for the LGBTQ community in our India business

External partnerships

With partners such as Stonewall and INvolve, we’re actively striving to deliver best practice in how we treat LGBT customers and colleagues

Recognised LGBT employer

We’re proud to be one of Stonewalls Top Global Employers

Pride parade and flags

The RBS Rainbow Network

The Rainbow Network has been run by volunteers since being founded in 2005, and uses its influence to make sure we provide the right services to customers, colleagues and communities. It aims to improve RBS as an employer of choice for LGBT staff and allies.

With around 1800 members and the support of 4500 LGBT allies, it is one of the largest LGBT networks in the banking sector. Rainbow is proud to support its members both personally and professionally, and is involved with LGBT charities, working to enhance the lives of LGBT people.

Gerry

Meet Gerry…

Gerry is a Safety, Health & Environment Advisor, and is one of our first colleagues to become a father with his husband, John. We supported Gerry with significant input from his line manager, and provided shared parental leave which allows people to care for a child during the first year following birth or adoption. We also made sure he made full use of our maternity team, so we could fully explain the support for colleagues going through surrogacy, and his rights.

Gerry commented:

The support I’ve received from RBS has been brilliant, especially from my line manager, who was supportive throughout the entire pregnancy, maternity appointments, birth and beyond. The first year of your child’s life is so important, so I feel really grateful to be able to spend it with Mitchel.”

Inclusivity in action

NatWest Girls Can Code speakers
NatWest Girls Can Code speakers
Brighton pride
Brighton Pride
Winning Hackathon team
Summer '19 Hackathon winners
Back Her Business Launch
Alison Rose at Back Her Business in Ulster Bank
Edinburgh pride
Edinburgh Pride
Rising Star in diversity winner
Rising Star in diversity winner
London Pride
London Pride
Bracelets at one of our Employee Led Network events
Bracelets at one of our employee led network events
Derek, systems matter expert, using a screen reader
Derek, systems matter expert, using a screen reader
Dublin Pride
Dublin Pride
Snacks at one of our Employee Led Network events
Snacks at one of our employee led network events
Group photo at women development programme
Group photo at women development programme