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Posted by Alex Heron, 5 months ago

2 min read

Hear from Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consultant Sharniya Ferdinand on how she’s helping to lead the bank’s ethnicity agenda.

“Creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is core to our values and integral to fulfilling our purpose.”

I’m really proud to be part of NatWest Group’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) team – so let me start by telling you a bit about us. Creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is core to our values and integral to fulfilling our purpose. We aim to drive strategic and positive change across the organisation through our DE&I strategy. Our approach is focused on gender, ethnicity, disability, LGBT+ and socio-economic diversity.

My role as the bank’s ethnicity lead

I’m the bank’s DE&I Consultant for ethnicity – a role I’m extremely passionate about. I lead and drive our ethnicity plan which aims to:

  • Build ethnically diverse teams through recruitment retention and advancement
  • Improve leadership and allyship capability – through education and supporting leaders to use the tools we have available to nurture diverse talent
  • Ensure collaboration and coordination of the bank’s ethnicity focused working groups – so that we create greater impact by aligning our focus

Collaboration is key

Teamwork and collaboration are key in our roles in the DE&I team. From a strategic perspective, I work with external thought leaders and organisations who advise on best practice policies and initiatives pertinent to the ethnicity agenda, which helps inform our ethnicity strategy for the bank.

On a day-to-day basis, I work with colleagues across NatWest Group including our Racial Equality Taskforce, our employee-led Multicultural Network, leaders across the bank and our ethnicity Exec Sponsors, to drive activities and behaviours that will create positive impacts.

I also work with NatWest Group’s Ethnicity Advisory Council, who provide expertise and challenge on our ethnicity plans, ensuring that we’re moving in the right direction against our ethnicity and Black targets (to have 14% of colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds in our top four UK layers and 3% Black colleagues in our top five UK layers in the UK by 2025).

Passionate about making a change

Working with people who are passionate about making a change and understand the critical importance of diversity, equity and inclusion is what I love most about my role. As an organisation we’re making progress and there’s a lot I’m proud of.

Last year NatWest Group won ‘Diversity Supplier Programme of the year’ at the Burberry British Diversity Awards for our work focused on supporting ethnic minority businesses. Our Multicultural Network have been shortlisted this year for the Outstanding Ethnic Diversity Network of the Year. And a number of colleagues have been recognised by external bodies for the additional work they do in addition to their day roles to support our diverse colleagues and communities.

I’m so proud to work along-side all of these colleagues – together we’re working to make our work-place and wider society somewhere where we can all thrive.

Learn more about how we support our colleagues.

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