We are delighted to announce that Suneel Bakhshi, President & CEO of Mizuho International plc, has joined fellow industry leaders on the UK government's taskforce to boost socio-economic diversity at senior levels in the UK financial and professional services sectors.
Commissioned towards the end of 2020, by HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the taskforce will be run by the City of London Corporation. Its mission is to challenge the lack of career progression for those coming from non-professional backgrounds, and to explore the intersections with other protected characteristics including gender and race.
Research shows that 89% of senior roles in financial services are held by people from higher socio-economic backgrounds, and that employees from lower socio-economic backgrounds progress 25% slower than peers. As with all inclusion matters, employees of minority groups often expend time and energy conforming to dominant cultures, which detracts from them being able to focus on other matters. Greater socio-economic diversity increases our diversity of thought, it boosts productivity, provides access to a wider pool of talent and maximises global competitiveness.
As a financial institution, Mizuho has an essential role to play in facilitating social change, and this is an important step forward for us on our inclusion and ESG journey. On sharing his thoughts, Bakhshi said, "I understand how hard it can be to find and create rungs on a ladder which are missing, not only during the early stages in life but in mid to later career points. A supportive community has a vital role to play and I am delighted to be part of a taskforce that is committing to greater socio-economic diversity in financial services.'
Taskforce members come from different subsectors, regions and backgrounds, but all share the vision for equity of progression, where high performance is valued over ‘fit'. Members' responsibilities will include shaping the output of the taskforce’s work, raising awareness of the needs to address socio-economic diversity and showcasing case studies of lived experiences, as well as improving socio-economic diversity at senior levels within their own organisations.
To find out more about the taskforce, please visit www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/whogetsahead.