Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has become a top priority for HR professionals in every sector as part of their ESG (environmental, social, and governance) strategies, and its importance cannot be overstated. Companies with greater ethnic and gender diversity are more likely to yield higher revenues, be more innovative, and attract better talent.
The UK’s fintech sector has made progress to engage, recruit, and develop diverse talent in recent years: According to a Tech Nation report on ethnic diversity in fintech, the sector has nearly doubled the proportion of employees from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds at 20 percent, compared to 11 percent average in the UK labor market. However, of the early careers population, 77 percent were White compared to 12 percent Asian and 3 percent Black, and the proportion of BAME employees continues to drop among senior executives and the C-suite.
HR professionals have an opportunity and responsibility to help young people overcome the hidden barriers of their industry. That is why at Trust Payments, we are embedding a DEI strategy through corporate and governance programming to engage with more young people from diverse backgrounds, and cultivate this talent to improve the diversity and inclusivity of senior management in fintech.
This includes participating in the Kickstart Scheme, which launched in January 2020 and closed in September 2022. While there have been concerns about the performance and oversight of the scheme, Trust Payments has seen great success with it. Since the scheme’s inception, Trust Payments has hired more than 80 young people who were claiming Universal Credit for six-month placement positions. Of the successful applicants, 85 percent of candidates have since secured full-time positions.
Companywide DEI Training
Trust Payments also provides companywide training on diversity and inclusion. In 2022, we designed and rolled out an eLearning module and assessment that brought our diversity and inclusion policy to life, highlighting our commitment to equality, while recognizing our responsibilities of preventing discrimination and harassment. We also partnered with Ted Learning to deliver face-to-face “Inclusion, Equity & Diversity” training company-wide, looking at how to manage unacceptable behaviors that could lead to discrimination, and providing clarity on individual contributions to ensure we have an inclusive and diverse working environment. This was successfully delivered to our executive and senior leadership team and to our People and Marketing teams. We currently are rolling out this program to all our employees. Our recruiting managers also will be participating in “Consciously Inclusive Recruitment” training to learn and develop the skills to conduct truly inclusive interviews.
We also signed the Race at Work charter, which asks businesses to make a public commitment to improving equality of opportunity in the workplace, and we adopted the Level One Disability Confident Committed status to ensure Trust Payments empowers differently-abled people to reach their full potential, including targeted recruitment efforts and making reasonable adjustments to be inclusive of all individuals and burgeoning talent. We are eagerly awaiting the outcome from our application to become a Real Living Wage employer in 2023. These accreditations are not a tick-box exercise for us, they are a reflection of the commitment that we have made to our prospective and current employees that inclusivity is a key pillar in our overall People Strategy.
As a member of the Payments Association, Trust Payments is actively participating in Project ESG, with myself and my head of Sustainability, Nora Dowling, on the project team. Project ESG’s mission is to encourage members and the wider payments industry to adopt ESG strategies and demonstrate how a strong ESG proposition creates value and makes financial sense.
The results speak for themselves: Between 2020 and 2021, our workforce doubled from 214 to 428 employees, and our revenue grew by 73 percent. Trust Payments ranked 28th in the Financial Service 30 Best Companies to Work for List, and we were shortlisted for the Movement to Work – Youth Employability awards for our successful participation in the Kickstart program.
The success of our workforce drives the success of our company. We could never have achieved these results without a talented, diverse workplace where everyone is able to reach their full potential.
DEI is more than simply employing different types of people—DEI is a moral and corporate responsibility, creating a sense of belonging and equality of opportunity, no matter your background. It is the key to unlocking a company’s potential and helping the fintech sector thrive, so the UK can continue to be a global fintech leader now and into the future.