Our approach to Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

Over the course of the past 12 months, we’ve continued to build on our work in relation to diversity, inclusion and belonging. 

We’ve raised the profile of our DI&B approach internally by exploring what the subject means for us and our team members:

  • Diversity is about what makes each of us unique - our background, personality, life experiences and beliefs, all of the things that make us who we are
  • Inclusion means feeling like you're welcomed and respected as part of The Cambridge team
  • Belonging is the feeling that you fit in here and have positive connections with team members

But it’s much more than just our personal characteristics or what we identify as. It's also about who we are and how we value and appreciate all our differences. It includes where we live, where we work, our life experiences, our political views, our education, our family life and even our job location. 

Understanding who we are helps shape our culture. 

What do we do to help shape our approach?

Highlighted below are some examples of the support we have in place and the work we have done to promote DI&B:

  • We created a DI&B forum, which comprises team members from across the Society. It’s open to all, and meets quarterly to discuss important topics and help shape our policies and approach
  • During 2021, all managers received training on the subject of DI&B, which also focused on unconscious bias
  • We’ve signed up to the Women in Finance Charter and start from a better position than most, with the Society’s Leadership Team comprising six women and five men
  • Although we are not required to report externally on our gender pay gap, we report this figure internally to our Remuneration & Organisational Design Committee
  • Our stores and branches have been designed to support the needs of our team members and customers, considering physical and non-visible challenges, for wheelchair users and those with additional needs
  • We give individuals a ‘voice’ through our team member working group called Our Forum. Team members are selected by their peers to sit on the group, and collectively they represent a wide range of different experiences, outlooks, and society roles
  • We offer a competitive benefits package ensuring team members have choice which suits their lifestyle
  • We launched our menopause policy to help our people talk more openly about this stage of life and continue to support team members by being flexible and making tailored adjustments
  • We’ve grown our team with 10 fully qualified mental health first aiders this year and improved access by offering bookable appointments as well as on-demand support through telephone, video conference and face to face contact

These are just some of the activities and initiatives we implemented in 2021 that give a flavour of the importance we as an organisation place on DI&B.

Women in Finance Charter and what it means for us

The Women in Finance Charter is one strand of diversity which supports inclusivity and a sense of belonging at The Cambridge. 

This is a commitment by HM Treasury and signatory firms to work together to build a more balanced and fair finance industry. Firms that sign up to this Charter are pledging to be the best businesses in the sector.

The Charter reflects the government’s aspiration to see gender balance at all levels across financial services firms. A balanced workforce is good for business – it is good for customers and workplace culture, and our society.

As a signatory, we have pledged to promote gender diversity by:

  • Having one member of our senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion
  • Setting internal targets for gender diversity in our senior management
  • Publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on our website
  • Having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.

Who is our Accountable Executive and what does the Charter mean to them?

Peter Burrows, our Chief Executive Officer: ​​​​​​​

"The benefits of making The Cambridge a diverse and inclusive workplace are clear. Not just in making the Society a great place to work for everyone, but also in improving our decision-making and eliminating groupthink.

Historically, the financial services sector has lagged in female representation, particularly at the most senior levels, which is why back in 2015 the UK government commissioned Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia to lead a review of women in senior management across UK financial services. This resulted in HM Treasury launching the Women in Finance Charter.

​​​​​​​To me there was no question that this was something to which we should subscribe, and The Cambridge formally joined the scheme in 2019. And while they are important, I see the commitments that we have made under the Charter as just the beginning. In comparison to most of our Building Society peers, we start from a good place, for example we have a Leadership Team of six women and five men, but that’s no reason for us to be complacent. Going forward, we are committed to publishing our performance against Charter commitments, and continuing the journey to make The Cambridge a society in which everyone can flourish."

What are our internal targets and how are we performing against them?

  • By 2025, we will have maintained a gender diversity split within our Leadership Team (between 40% - 60% female)
  • By 2025, we will have a programme specifically aimed towards our future leaders. Of those candidates shortlisted 40%-60% will be female

As of August 2021 we have 54% female representation in senior management and 46% female representation within our future leader cohort. 

We have met our targets and maintained a gender balance throughout 2021. 

Throughout 2022 and beyond we will continue to focus on gender balance but we also continue to focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging to support all team members.