Major bank announces 50/50 gender target

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The world’s fourth-largest financial institution announced a 50/50 gender target for its UK operations yesterday, promising a number of measures to help women secure top jobs.

 The plan applies to the lender’s high-street operation, which deals with customers and businesses, as well as its wealth-management branch.

Currently, women make up 54 per cent of the UK HSBC workforce but less than three in ten occupy top jobs.

Among the measures adopted by the bank, is the UK government’s new ‘name-blind’ initiative, which encourages employers to accept anonymous applications only.

It’s hoped that omitting the names of candidates will eradicate any potential of unconscious bias in the initial selection process, ensuring candidates proceed to interview entirely on merit.

The bank has also brought external recruiters on board, insisting firms provide 50/50 candidate short lists for all senior manager roles.

Other initiatives include a ‘Professional Returners’ programme which offers increased support to women who are reapplying for senior jobs after  taking time off to care for children.

As one of the few openly-gay leaders in the banking industry, chief executive Antonio Simoes regularly campaigns for workplace diversity.

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