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20 Oct 2020

We’ve set out commitments to racial equality

A colleague-led taskforce, established by CEO Alison Rose, has launched a report on racial equality for our customers, colleagues and communities. The report includes a set of commitments, and a new target for Black colleagues in senior roles, to make a meaningful, positive difference to people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

Following the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matters movement earlier this year, the taskforce was brought together to help the bank listen, learn and better understand what more we can do to champion the potential of everyone.  

This work will build on the progress we have already made over the past five years to create a more inclusive and diverse culture. Alongside targets to increase Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation across our workforce that have been in place since the beginning of 2018, our Executive team and senior leaders across the bank have taken part in our multicultural network-led reciprocal mentoring programme with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues. We’ve shared inclusion learning resources in our NatWest Group Academy, and we’re making important progress with our early careers initiatives, such as our Social Mobility Apprenticeship programme – a first of its kind in banking.

Led by the co-chairs of our 5,000 strong multicultural network, the taskforce is setting out commitments that will set the standard for how the we engage with our colleagues, customers and communities. These commitments are in addition to the existing target already set to have at least 14% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic leaders in senior UK roles by 2025. We’re also introducing a new target to have 3% Black colleagues in senior UK roles by 2025. This target is being introduced because there is a higher under-representation of Black colleagues in senior roles than other ethnic minority groups, relative to the UK’s working population. This target will help to address the imbalance.

CEO Alison Rose said: “At NatWest Group our purpose is to champion potential, helping people, families and businesses to thrive. It is a clear call to action for us all to break down barriers that hold people back, including those challenges  that persist for people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. I believe we have a substantial role to play in tackling these inequalities. 

“I am delighted with the work of our colleague-led taskforce. The commitments we are making will have a meaningful, positive impact for our colleagues and customers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, and for the communities we serve.

"I am fully committed to building a culture at NatWest Group that will embrace diversity and inclusivity to allow our colleagues and customers to thrive. At our best, we are an open, inclusive, progressive organisation, but until that is everyone's experience, every time, we have more to do.”

The taskforce co-leads, Samuel Okafor, Shamraz Begum and Yinka Fadina, added: “We were delighted to be asked by NatWest Group to lead this work so that we can help the bank better understand the challenges our Black, Asian and ethnic minority customers, colleagues and communities face.”

“Our lived experiences, like for many others, have always been a part of us. We know what it’s like to be disadvantaged, to grow up experiencing poverty, to have parents who have migrated to the UK and had to endure years of racism. This impact is felt economically, emotionally and mentally by minorities every day. That is why the work of this taskforce matters so much and allows us to put our purpose into action.”

Find out more about our commitments (PDF 38KB)

Read the full report: Banking on Racial Equality: A Roadmap for Positive Change (PDF 3MB)

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