Building a more inclusive bank | RBS

Building a more inclusive bank

We are proud to be building an inclusive bank which is a great place for all colleagues to work.

Our inclusion guidelines and plans apply to all our colleagues globally – ensuring that everyone feels included and valued, regardless of their background.

Our Inclusion plans apply globally and are formed around 5 key priorities:

Gender balanced

Our goal is to have at least 30% women in our top three leadership layers (c.4,000 roles) in each of our businesses by the end of 2020 and achieve a full gender balance across the bank by 2030.

  • As at 31 December 2019, 10 of our 12 business areas have 30% or more women in their top three leadership layers.

  • Our global aggregate CEO-3+ (target) position is 35% (*), a 6% uplift since targets were introduced.

  • Our top c. 4,000 roles are 44% women, representing a 12% uplift since we started work on the agenda.

  • At a wider bank level, we are gender balanced.

  • The boards of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc and NatWest Holdings Limited meet consecutively and share a largely common membership. When considered together, the director population across both boards currently meets the Parker target and exceeds the Hampton-Alexander target with a female representation of 44%. For more information please refer to the Boardroom Inclusion Statement.

  • We’ve appointed a female Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Risk Officer (NatWest Holdings), and CEO Ulster Bank (Republic of Ireland) in 2019.

  • For the third year, we are publishing details of our gender pay gap. The mean gender pay gap for NatWest Bank Plc is 30.4% (median: 34.1%) and the mean bonus pay gap is 49.9% (median: 53.8%).

  • It's important to remember that a gender pay gap is the difference between the earnings of all men compared to the earnings of all women, expressed as a percentage. It’s not to be confused with equal pay, which looks at whether men and women are paid the same for the same work. We’re confident that we pay our employees fairly and we keep our HR policies and processes under regular review to ensure we do so.

  • We’re improving the proportion of women in senior roles – but we’ve more to do. Our positive action approach, which we benchmark externally, is helping to ensure that our people policies and processes are inclusive and accessible – from how we attract and recruit, to how we reward and engage colleagues. We’re confident this approach is the right one and through time, it will help us achieve a better balance of diversity throughout the organisation.

  • We are active contributors to thought leadership externally – for example, HMT’s Women in Finance Charter and McKinsey. We are a Times Top 50 Employer for Women and rated in the top organisations in Bloomberg’s Global Gender Equality Index. We also have an investor, Pax Ellevate, on the basis of our gender performance.

  • We’ve >600 Women in Business (WIB) specialists among our frontline bankers, accredited by the Chartered Banker Institute and certified by Everywoman, who offer bespoke mentoring, networking and professional business advice to women-led and owned SMEs.

  • Following publication in March 2019, the Rose Review has made real progress in implementing the 8 initiatives recommended. Working closely with HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and numerous public and private sector organisations, the initiatives have started to make a tangible impact in breaking down the barriers to female entrepreneurship in the UK. A report will be published in March 2020 which updates the public on the progress that has been made on all 8 initiatives.

  • Our RBS Women Network has c.9,000 members and we have c.3,000 male allies.

Gender pay gap reporting

Details on gender pay within the bank

For 2017


For 2018


For 2019

HM Treasury Woman in Finance Charter

Demonstrating our commitment to creating gender balance at all levels of the organisation, RBS were one of the first signatories to HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter  requiring organisation to publicly report on progress against the targets they have in place. 


As at 30 June 2019, we reported to HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter that the proportion of women in the top three layers of our organisation was 36%, representing a 4% increase from when we first published our commitment to the Charter in September 2016 and a 7% increase since we introduced formal targets at the end of 2014. This means we remain on track to meet our 2020 target of having at least 30% female in senior roles in each of our business areas (8 of 12 business areas have already achieved this). 


Further, our pipeline (CEO-4+ / top 4/5000 roles) has increased by 12% to 44% since we introduced formal targets and we remain committed to achieving full gender balance – at all levels – by 2030.

Disability smart

Our goal is to become ‘disability smart’ and to remain in the upper quartile of disability performance in the UK.

  • By understanding the needs and experience of colleagues and customers with disabilities we are building a disability smart bank, from employee adjustments to developing customer products and services.

  • Colleagues reporting a disability showed improved engagement by 2 points in our most recent colleague opinion survey. This meant from an engagement index perspective, colleagues who have a disability have moved from being 16 points behind the global financial services norm in 2014, to 3 points ahead.

  • Of those who tell us if they have a disability or underlying medical condition, 4% report as having a disability. Our data set is limited but it continues to improve.

  • Externally, we are rated Gold in the Business Disability Forum benchmark which puts us in the top 1% of UK organisations for disability performance.

  • We are ranked as a Leader level in the UK government’s Disability Confident Scheme.

  • RBS signed up to become a member of The Valuable 500, a global movement which strives to place disability inclusion at the heart of business strategy with consistent attention at board level.

  • We continue to support the Scottish Business Disability Forum Conference and in January 2020 hosted for the third year in a row, bringing together our colleagues, customers and the wider community to focus on the subject of disability.

  • Our disability network, Enable, has over c.1,100 members.

Ethnically diverse

Our goal is to identify, develop and pull through at least 14% non-white leaders by 2025.


  • Of the 84% of colleagues who tell us their ethnicity in the UK, 15% report as non-white, which compares to 14% of the UK’s BAME working age population.

  • Given our focus on becoming more ethnically diverse and desire to be transparent, we have used the same methodology as gender pay gap reporting to look at our ethnicity pay gap. The bank’s mean ethnicity pay gap is 11.8% (median: 15.7%), and the mean bonus pay gap is 24.7% (median: 12.3%), which we disclose at an RBS Group Combined UK and Ireland level.

  • From the start of 2018 we set ourselves a target to have at least 14% BAME/non-white leaders in UK CEO-4+ roles, by 2025. At the end of 2019, 9% of our top four leadership roles are occupied by BAME/non-white colleagues, a 1% increase since these targets were introduced (we’ve been really authentic about how we track our stats in this area, removing white minority ethnic colleagues from our BAME/non-white figures).

  • We’re improving the proportion of BAME/non-white colleagues in senior roles – but we’ve more to do. Our positive action approach, which we benchmark externally, is helping to ensure that our people policies and processes are inclusive and accessible – from how we attract and recruit, to how we reward and engage colleagues. We’re confident this approach is the right one and through time, it will help us achieve a better balance of diversity throughout the organisation.

  • Engagement of Black colleagues is now 2% higher and Asian colleagues 1% higher, than the general population in our colleague opinion survey.

  • We remain committed to the UK government’s Race at Work Charter.

  • We also represented our colleagues, customers and communities during various events focused on the BAME agenda, e.g. our Black History month celebrations.

  • Externally, we are a Top Ten Employer in the Investing in Ethnicity Maturity Matrix in recognition of our positive action approach and the progress we are making. We also received an Outstanding Employer nomination.

  • Our Multicultural Network, which represents race, ethnicity, faith and cultural groups has c.2,800 members.

LGBT+ innovative

Our goal is to continue to deliver a better LGBT+ colleague and customer experience through continuously challenging the status quo.


  • We have worked hard to understand the issues our LGBT+ colleagues and customers face and engage with them regularly to demonstrate that RBS is a welcoming place, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Engagement of LGBT+ colleagues has changed year on year : Lesbian (-1 points), Gay men (no change), Bisexual (+1 points) and Transgender (-8 points).

  • Of the colleagues who tell us their sexual orientation in the UK, 4% report as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual and under 1% report as Transgender.

  • We offer colleague support for key moments that matter including: preparing for and undergoing gender reassignment and ‘coming out’. This includes support for colleagues who may have family members (or friends) undergoing these life events.

  • We have introduced the option for our Transgender customers to use the Mx prefix and have removed the need for existing customers to tell us their gender.

  • For our colleagues, we have introduced dual-sided work passes that allow non-binary colleagues to present in masculine and feminine expression.

  • We are also a Stonewall Global Founding Partner and Top Global Stonewall employer, receiving this award for the sixth year in a row.

  • The 2019 Pride season has seen our biggest and boldest attendance ever – supporting and celebrating 17 Pride events with customers and colleagues across the UK, Republic of Ireland, Poland and India. In 2019, in Poland we hosted and organised the Polish LGBT+ Business Awards for the second year running, recognising individuals and organisations making a significant difference to the LGBT+ community in the country. We are also a signatory of the United Nations LGBT+ Standards of Conduct.

  • Our Rainbow network has c.1,800 members and we now have c.4,000 LGBT+ Allies across RBS.

Inclusive culture

Our goal is to create a sustainable, inclusive culture.


  • As our inclusion agenda matures, we are moving towards an increasingly integrated approach, e.g. positive action on development for women and BAME colleagues and resourcing and organisation design principles that pull through greater diversity.

  • Inclusion continues to score highly in our colleague opinion survey, with colleagues scoring RBS 91pts for Inclusion (10 points above the Global Financial Services Norm).

  • We have a range of integrated propositions in place across our agendas, e.g. our ComeBack programme for returning female talent to the workforce, where we have a 90%+ conversion rate to permanent roles, which we are we are extending to also focus on BAME.

  • Externally, we are a Top Ten Employer for Working Families, Exemplary Level in the Scottish Carer Positive Campaign, and a signatory of the European Human Rights Commission’s Working Forward campaign.

  • Our Families & Carers Network has c.1,500 members, the Armed Forces Network has c.400 members and RBS Aspire has c.2,900 members.



(*) Limited assurance provided by Ernst & Young LLP.

Series of logos for employer awards received by RBS for 2019

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