Corporate responsibility

We aim to be a responsible and sustainable organisation that values our people, supports our community and protects our environment

People

As an employer, we value diversity, encourage inclusion and support staff wellbeing.

Diversity and inclusion go together

We’re working to create a workforce that reflects the diversity of the society we serve. And we think diversity and inclusion go hand-in-hand. So we’re also developing an inclusive workplace culture that allows people to be themselves at work and achieve their potential.

As part of his appointment as Governor, Andrew Bailey committed to leading an institution that is truly diverse. At the launch of the Meeting Varied People initiative in Spring 2021, Andrew highlighted that identity and cognitive diversity are equally important and that his desire to have an inclusive and open culture will mean people can speak up, ensuring we make better decisions.

We’re building a diverse workforce

Diversity targets

We’re building a diverse workforce because we believe it will allow us to build trust with the people we serve and help us make better decisions.

We set our original diversity targets in 2014 (revised in 2017), aiming to increase gender and ethnic diversity. By setting targets, we can be held accountable for our actions, and these actions will benefit all staff whatever their characteristics.  Our new targets are set for end-February 2028 (with a review in 2025). We want:

  • 18-20% of our senior managers to be Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic
  • 40-44% of our senior managers to be female 
  • 23% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation in roles just below to be senior management
  • 43% female representation in roles just below to be senior management 
  • 20% of new appointments at Executive Director (ED) and Director-level to be Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic
  • Gender parity on new appointments at ED and Director-level
  • 10% of graduate intake to be Black (including mixed)
  • 5% of our managers and above to be Black (including mixed) 

Our targets support focus on where progress is most needed and reflect our commitment to greater senior female and ethnic representation, both in appointments to senior management but also in ensuring that our pipeline of talent is diverse. 

We have also introduced Black specific representation targets to address disproportionately low Black representation at the Bank, particularly at senior scales (this includes all staff with Black heritage).

Our new gender and ethnicity targets will be supported by the development of clear action plans and the introduction of processes to support truly effective accountability.  Importantly, our targets are in no way a limit to our ambitions which, if our actions are effective, we can exceed.

While our targets are focused on gender and ethnicity, we also considered whether we expand our targets beyond gender and ethnicity and in National Inclusion Week 2020 we published our approach for disability and sexual orientation and gender identity

End-2020 targets

We acknowledge that we have not achieved our goal for 2020 for greater female representation. As other organisations are finding, meeting ambitious targets is taking longer than we would like. Now we are looking to the future and aspire to make greater progress than we have to date. This will come through building an even more inclusive culture and increasing accountability for the day-to-day decisions we make.

As at end-December 2020, the Bank of England was at the following position against its targets:

  June 2014 End-November 2020 End-2020 Target
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic below Senior Management 15% 21.4% 20%
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Senior Management 3% 8.2% 10% (end 2020 interim)
13% (end-2022)
Female Below Senior Management 43% 46.0% 50%
Female Senior Management 20% 31.7% 35%

We publish all our diversity targets and our progress on pages 65 in our 2022 annual report. 

We are signatories of a number of Charters – Women in Finance Charter; Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter; The Valuable 500, which aims to get disability on to the agenda of Boards and Tech Talent Charter. In early 2020, we launched our own Out and Proud Charter, a public commitment to support LGBTQ+ colleagues

Our Career Returners Programme supports employees who’ve taken a career break, including many women and people from ethnic minorities.

In recent years our work experience programme became virtual and will predominantly remain virtual in 2022. We recruit students through partner organisations such as Speakers for Schools, Mayor’s Fund for London and Social Mobility Foundation. None of these students have a personal connection to the Bank of England, and in 2022 we are focusing on giving opportunities to young people from Birmingham, Bradford, Glasgow and Liverpool. Find out more about our work experience programme on page 75 in our annual report

And inclusive workplaces

We want everyone who works for us to feel that they can be themselves at work. We encourage a workplace culture that makes that happen. For example, we support many staff networks:

  • Age network
  • Bank Employees That Served (BETS)
  • Bank of England Ethnic Minorities (BEEM) network
  • Carers network
  • Christian union
  • disAbility network
  • External recruits
  • Jewish network
  • LGBTQ+ network
  • Mental health network
  • Muslim network
  • Parents network
  • Women in the Bank (WIB) network

Wellbeing

The wellbeing of our staff is important to us

We provide a wide range of services, benefits and initiatives to support staff with their mental, physical, social wellbeing and financial wellbeing. This includes:

  • flexible working
  • a network of Wellbeing Champions, Peer Supporters and Mental Health First Aiders
  • seminars to help support wellbeing and good work-life balance
  • practical advice and support through our employee assistance programme
  • in-house counsellors
  • discounted gym memberships

We encourage staff to be open about mental health

We work hard to challenge mental health stigma. For example, we provide our line-managers with training and we made a video of our staff talking about their experiences Opens in a new window to encourage others to.

We have a staff mental health network that raises awareness and provides support. For example, by taking part in the Green Ribbon Campaign and turning our Threadneedle Street building green Opens in a new window.

Our senior staff support this work too. Our former Governor Mark Carney highlighted it in The Express Opens in a new window. And our executive directors explained our approach Opens in a new window in a case study by the City Mental Health Alliance.

We also recognise mental wellbeing is an important issue for people starting their career Opens in a new window. Watch a video Opens in a new window featuring some of our most recent joiners, as well as colleagues further along in their career, discuss their own experiences of mental ill-health.

In both 2020 and 2021, The City Mental Health Alliance Opens in a new window awarded us its highest accreditation mark in their annual 'Thriving at Work' assessment.

City Mental Health Alliance logo

Community

Many people who work at the Bank of England choose to support the charitable causes they care about by fundraising and volunteering. 

We support them to do this by offering volunteering leave and by matching the funds they raise. 

Our support for individual charities

Every two years we support three individual charities. We call them our charities of the year.

We choose these charities by inviting our colleagues to advocate for causes they support. Then we ask colleagues to vote to decide which we should choose.

Currently, we are supporting Carers UK, Demelza Hospice Care of Children and WWF-UK until November 2023.

Our local community partnerships

We partner with organisations such as Governors for Schools and The Switch to support local communities. Colleagues have recently been part of their virtual ‘Writing Partners’ scheme to support pupils at schools in Tower Hamlets to develop writing skills.  

And some of us mentor young people through our partnerships with the Social Mobility Foundation, East London Business Association and With Insight Education

Until early 2020 our staff volunteered at a range of charities including a local homeless charity, and at local green spaces or city farms. 

Environment

We’re committed to improving our environmental performance. We’ve developed a ‘Greener Bank’ programme that’s supported by a staff network of over 150 ‘green champions’. Our approach includes:

  • changing how we produce and recycle our banknotes
  • using a 100% renewable energy supply (electricity and gas) for all our sites
  • making changes to make our buildings more energy efficient, such as switching to LED lighting
  • supporting biodiversity at our sites, including introducing beehives.
  • continuing more environmentally-friendly business practices like holding virtual meetings to reduce travel and using less paper
  • encouraging our staff to use reusable cups and food containers

This year, we were awarded Gold Status in the Clean City Awards in three categories: communication and engagement, plastic free City, and resource and circular economy.

You can find out more about our carbon footprint and our work to reduce our environmental impact on pages 77-80 of our annual report and in our climate-related financial disclosure.

We recycle our banknotes

We recycle the vast majority of banknotes that are no longer fit to use. Our decision to move to polymer banknotes will have lasting environmental benefits. In 2017, we obtained independent certification from the Carbon Trust of the carbon-reduction benefits of polymer banknotes notes over paper banknotes.

And reduce our carbon footprint

There is a pressing need to reduce global carbon emissions to prevent catastrophic and irreversible climate change. We are committed to playing our part in addressing the risks of climate change, including cutting the carbon emissions of its operations.

We established our carbon footprint in 2016 and set ourselves a target of reducing this by 20% by 2020. We have exceeded this target, achieving a reduction in our carbon footprint of 33%.

In 2019, we set ourselves a new target in line with the aims of the Paris Agreement and consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This target is to cut the absolute greenhouse gas emissions from our Scope 1 emissions (use of gas, fuel and refrigerants), Scope 2 emissions (electricity) and business travel by 63% by 2030 compared to our 2016 baseline.

We base our 2030 target on the latest climate science and informed by Science Based Targets. The Carbon Trust validated our baseline footprint and target in this validation letter.

In 2021/22, our carbon footprint was 10,843 tonnes CO2e.

67% is the result of banknote production

31% is from energy use

2% is from other sources, such as waste, water and paper

In order to sustain the carbon reduction we saw in 2020/21, we continue to embed some of the change we have seen into our ways of working in the longer term.
This page was last updated 29 July 2022

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