Great place to work

Diversity and inclusion

As a global bank, the variety of markets in which we do business makes us inherently diverse. Our success is made possible by our people and the broad range of talents that they bring to the Bank.

Gender diversity

Women make up 46 per cent of our total workforce and the number of women in senior management roles has increased. To increase female representation amongst senior management we focus on creating a pipeline of high-potential female employees at middle management. In 2008, we developed a mentoring programme for our middle management talent, with a specific focus on women. We will measure the impact and success of this programme throughout 2009.

There is strong female representation in our global talent pools. In 2008, women made up 51 per cent of the International Graduate intake, 42 per cent of our junior high-potential talent pool and 32 per cent of our middle management high-potential talent pool.

The Bank actively supports International Women’s Day. Across our markets, we organise a variety of activities to recognise the achievements of women and highlight role models for women in the Group.

Employees with disabilities

In 2008, we put a renewed focus on attracting and supporting prospective employees with disabilities. Over the last 12 months, the Group trained and hired a number of blind employees in Pakistan, employed our first visually challenged employee in Indonesia and welcomed our first employees with disabilities in Sri Lanka.

In India, we partnered with a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to improve job prospects for people with disabilities. We identified candidates, sourced suitable positions, improved training for employees with disabilities and raised awareness across the Group. In China, the Bank has also increased its focus on recruiting individuals with disabilities, for example, by attending targeted recruitment events.

We also have global standards to ensure the health and safety of all individuals, including those with disabilities. For example, a personal emergency evacuation plan is agreed for every disabled employee with his/her manager.

Balancing work and personal commitments

In 2008, we introduced a number of measures to assist employees to balance both their personal and professional commitments. These also contribute to increased employee motivation and productivity. ‘Happy Fridays/Thursdays’ were launched in 23 countries in 2008. Every Friday/Thursday, employees are discouraged from beginning internal meetings late in the afternoon, so they can leave promptly at the end of the day. Employees are also encouraged to plan a fun activity at least one Friday/Thursday afternoon each month.

We also launched initiatives to support employees with family responsibilities, and new maternity and paternity leave policies were rolled out in Bangladesh, Lebanon, US and Australia in 2008.

Further to our initial pilot in 2007, a flexible working policy was extended to nine countries in 2008. We are also piloting home working arrangements which benefit employees, the business and the environment. The initiative has been well-received and in the US, UK, Singapore, Malaysia and India, over 800 people currently have working from home arrangements.

State-of-the-art crèche in Sri Lanka

Youngsters looked after while parents work

Our unique KidKare Centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka, has helped employees balance their work and family commitments. The centre provides day care services and educational activities throughout the working day for children aged between six months and 12 years.

Activities include arts and crafts, gardening and cooking. The centre offers supervised homework sessions for older children already at school and additional activities focus on developing conversational and social skills.

The centre is run in collaboration with Seekers Research, an educational research organisation. They provide regular staff training and monitoring to ensure the centre continues to provide the highest standards of care.


  • 73,800members of staff
  • 125nationalities represented across the Bank
  • Over 9,900managers attended the Great Manager Programme
  • 56Diversity and inclusion champions across the markets