At Nationwide, we believe our differences make us

We know our employees are not just ‘employees’. We’re mums and dads. We’re brothers, sisters, carers and guardians. We’re students, footballers, cake bakers, readers, cyclists and yogis. We have different personalities, backgrounds, perspectives, and ways of doing things. We believe those differences bring out the best in us, helping to support the communities we work in across the UK.

We’re proud of the progress we’ve made with inclusion and diversity over the years but we also know there’s more to do. There isn’t one, simple way to ‘do’ inclusion and diversity, and we believe in doing the right thing, in the right way.

We believe in the power of an inclusive culture that truly values diversity and difference.

It’s well known that inclusive and diverse workplaces increase innovation, drive better decision making and boost performance as people thrive being themselves, helping us to do our best by our members. And we also know that our employees are placing more value on being able to bring their whole selves to work, looking for careers that give them variety, diversity of experience and a real sense of meaning and purpose. We want that for them too. So, our aim is to make sure inclusion and diversity (I&D) are truly at the heart of what and how we do things at Nationwide

We’ve moved away from a traditional, HR-driven approach to inclusion and diversity. That’s because real change happens when our leaders are committed to inclusion and diversity, and are accountable for making progress.

Each of our business areas –- which we call ‘communities’ – have Inclusion Partners with their own inclusion and diversity plans that are guided by our strategy. They’re driven by their leaders and shaped by their people. Here are just some of the things that are happening:

Increasing our diversity
Our Legal and Secretariat community support an organisation called Aspiring Solicitors who are passionate about increasing diversity in the legal profession, just like we are.

Developing our future leaders
Our branch network have partnered with Ivy House to support the development and career aspirations of talented women and those from ethnic minorities.

Recruiting for the future
Our technology team have partnered with the Black Young Professionals network to empower talented black professionals in taking their careers to the next level.

Committing to gender equality
Our Chief Executive, Joe Garner, and our Chairman, David Roberts, have pledged their commitment to female progression. We’re members of the 30% Club is a cross-organisational mentoring scheme which supports female development.

When it comes to making our Society more inclusive, our people know what’s working and where we have challenges. So, we’re working with them on a range of initiatives to make their experience of working at Nationwide the best it can be.

Being a family friendly organisation
We’ve made a number of policy changes based on feedback from our employees and are focused on making sure our employees feel able to do what’s right for them For example, we’ve increased paternity leave to six weeks and changed our premature baby policy to give extra support to parents who have babies before the 37th week of pregnancy. This is so they can focus entirely on their families without the worry of having to return to work too soon.

Sponsoring our talented employees
We’ve designed a programme that matches talented people, especially those from minority groups, to leaders who believe in their potential and will support their development.

Creating learning material
These will support our people to better understand inclusion and diversity in a human and meaningful way, to help create a truly inclusive Society.

We’re creating an environment where we can bring our true selves to the workplace, no matter what our differences may be. We know the power passionate and dedicated people bring to inclusion and diversity, so we encourage our employees to share their ideas and experiences, and to engage others in doing their bit for our Society. Real change led by our people.

We have eight employee networks at Nationwide (gender, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ+, working families, working carers, faith and belief, and veterans and reservists). They’re run by volunteers and are the voice of our employees. They work together to share stories and experiences from our people, to educate us on our differences, and to help us create inclusive workplaces.

With help from the people within our employee networks, we’ve introduced gender neutral toilets, a passport for carers and another for adjustments, mentoring circles for those from ethnic minorities, and quiet spaces for when you need a moment to yourself.

We’re also really proud to support our LGBTQ+ employees and members. This year, we joined eight Pride parades and were the headline sponsors of our hometown Swindon Pride.

We want our Society to reflect the diversity of the wider communities we serve, because we believe this helps us support our members in the right way.

We have a specific focus on improving our ethnic diversity and are committed to supporting development and career opportunities for our employees from ethnic minority backgrounds. We were one of the first organisations to sign the government’s Race At Work charter because we believe more needs to be done to tackle the barriers to equality that we know exist.

Being transparent about what we’re doing well – and more importantly, where we need to do better – is the only way we’ll truly succeed in creating an inclusive culture where everyone can thrive. We use our diversity data to draw out valuable insights and help us focus on action that will make a difference.

Foe example:

  • We’ve improved the way we capture diversity data, so we can understand who’s applying for roles with us. We’ve also introduced a gender language neutraliser, which reduces the masculine language used in job adverts. As a result, we’ve seen more women applying for roles in traditionally male-dominated fields.
  • For the first time, we’ve added social mobility questions in our employee satisfaction survey. This helps us understand the socio-economic diversity of our workforce, so that everyone has opportunities at Nationwide, regardless of their background.
  • We’ve used this data to help us improve some of our key processes, such as recruitment, talent and development, and performance management.

You may also be interested in...

Women in finance

We are committed to increasing the number of women in our senior leadership population and we have put a programme in place to help us achieve this.

Pay gaps at Nationwide

As part of a regulation aimed at narrowing these gaps in the UK, large organisations now need to report their own pay gaps, every year.