Bank of England sets itself ‘stretching’ diversity targets


LONDON — The Bank of England said Wednesday it has set itself “stretching” targets to increase ethnic diversity within its ranks after falling just short of its aims for female representation at the end of 2020.

The 327-year-old central bank said in a statement that it realized last year following George Floyd’s murder by a police officer in the United States and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests that it needed to do more to increase the range of voices within its walls in the heart of London.

“As a first step towards building a more diverse workforce, we have set ourselves new and stretching targets to increase ethnic diversity,” the bank said.

It added that the targets for February 2028 mean it “can be held accountable for its actions.”

One goal calls for 18-20% of senior manager positions to be held by people who are Black, Asian and members of other minority ethnic groups (BAME) and 40-44% to be held by women.

The bank has set other targets to address disproportionately low Black representation, particularly at senior levels. One target is for 10% of the new university graduates the bank hires to be Black or of mixed race.

The statement said the targets, which will be reviewed in 2025, focus on where progress is most needed and reflect a commitment to having more women and ethnic minority employees in senior management but also in ensuring that that the “pipeline of talent is diverse.”

The bank, which sets interest rates and oversees financial stability in Britain, also acknowledged that it did not achieve its 2020 goal of greater female representation. For example, only 31.7% of senior managers were women instead of the 35% aimed for.

“Making the bank a genuinely inclusive workplace is integral to getting the day job right,” Andrew Bailey, the bank’s governor, said. “We need people to bring their different experiences to the table, and to represent fully the people of this country.”

The bank commissioned a review of ethnic diversity and inclusion in September. It said at the time the review had two overarching aims: to ensure the bank is on “the right path, with momentum, towards attracting and retaining an ethnically diverse workforce at all levels; and for the bank to be a BAME employer of choice.”

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