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What does Diversity & Inclusion mean at HSBC?

If you have a different way of seeing the world, HSBC is interested in hearing from you. At every level of the bank – from the application process, through the graduate experience and at senior levels – the principles of Diversity & Inclusion are upheld and celebrated.

‘Diversity is about the many, varied differences in people including but not limited to their race/ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, gender expression, nationality and religious background, says Dave Shaw, Diversity & Inclusion Manager UK at HSBC. ‘Inclusion is the differences all working well together.’

A collaborative culture encourages individuals to realise and maximise their own potential. HSBC recognises that its diversity is part of the reason the company has become one of the largest in the world. A strong focus on diversity does not just make good business sense, it enables the Bank to better serve the communities it operates within and ensure an inclusive, collaborative culture that nurtures talented individuals to realise and maximise their own potential.

D&I and HSBC’s recruitment process

HSBC works hard to make sure that students and graduates of all backgrounds have knowledge and equal access to opportunities with the bank. The approach the firm takes to Diversity & Inclusion was a strong motivator for why Shibani Datta, who is on the Wealth and Personal Banking Graduate Programme, joined the bank. She is now part of the Embrace employee resource group (ERG). ‘I have felt able to easily share my thoughts and opinions,’ she says.

Graduate involvement in Diversity & Inclusion at HSBC

When you join HSBC as a graduate, you can join any of the 16 employee resource groups (ERGs) across the bank. They play a key role in engaging employees and are an important feedback channel for more innovative and relevant business solutions. ‘ERGs act as a point of information, strength and expertise, propelling the Diversity & Inclusion agenda within the bank,’ Shibani explains. As a graduate you can play key roles in these groups, even becoming the graduate lead for a group – you’re not just there to observe.

From your first day, you can get involved. ‘During the graduate local induction week, some of the ERGS came to talk to us,’ says Anam Zaka, who is on the Commercial Banking Graduate Programme and is now the graduate representative for the Muslim Network. ‘After speaking to people involved, ‘ she says, ‘I appreciated all of the good work they did. It was something I definitely wanted to have the opportunity to be involved with.’

Elliott Cox, on the same programme, is the graduate lead for the Pride ERG. ‘It has enabled me to meet colleagues passionate about D&I and LGBT+ inclusion in particular, build the connection between the graduate population and Pride UK and help to promote an inclusive environment which is open to all, exemplified by our recent “24 Hours of Pride” event in collaboration with the Global Pride ERG.’

Shannon Whyborne, on the Wealth and Personal Banking Graduate Programme is the co-lead for Balance, which focuses on gender diversity in the workplace. Shannon got involved when she discovered the resources HSBC invests in promoting and celebrating Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace, specifically in its ERGs: ‘Being Balance co-lead provides me with the opportunity to be part of this drive‘, she says, ‘and to share my enthusiasm across the graduate community and the wider bank.’

Diversity & Inclusion throughout your career

HSBC takes graduate and intern development seriously and is committed to supporting vou in driving your career forward. Examples include:

  • coaching, mentoring and sponsorship initiatives via many of its employee networks
  • content to support people engaging in both formal and informal mentoring, including advice on making connections with people from different backgrounds and levels of seniority
  • country guidance with insight on local cultural attitudes and legislation around different aspects of diversity
  • access to the latest research and articles on diversity and inclusion from trusted external experts
  • global bias awareness e-learning

Becoming even better

Olamide Sobitan, Digital Product Manager, describes Diversity & Inclusion as ‘the key to how our organisations and societies can become better’. He’s right – diversity brings benefits for HSBC’s customers, business and people. A connected workforce that reflects the communities where it operates can meet its customers’ needs and innovate, manage risk and grow the business in a sustainable way.

‘Beyond D&I initiatives,’ points out Dilum Jirasinghe, Regional Head of Learning and Talent Development, ‘the real prize is belonging – when people feel they are truly welcomed by all and can bring their real and authentic selves to the workplace.’

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