Progress in Diversity and Inclusion in Financial Services

Progress in Diversity and Inclusion in Financial Services

Nisrin Abouelezz

20 years: Structured finance and diversity advocate

In this second video of this two-part video series, Nisrin outlines what diversity is and why it is important. She also discusses the lack of diversity and adequate data in the financial services industry.

In this second video of this two-part video series, Nisrin outlines what diversity is and why it is important. She also discusses the lack of diversity and adequate data in the financial services industry.

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Progress in Diversity and Inclusion in Financial Services

6 mins 19 secs

Overview

There is no quick fix with something as complicated as Diversity & Inclusion, but if people are well-informed when it comes to what we have discussed here and if they are willing to put in the effort, then positive change will come.

Key learning objectives:

  • Outline the concept of diversity

  • Understand why diversity is important in the financial industry

  • Discuss the lack of diversity and adequate data in the financial services industry

  • Learn about the SMBC's diversity and inclusion achievements

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Summary

What regulatory intervention, according to the three regulatory bodies, will help in accelerating the change in diversity & inclusion?

  • To see increased Diversity & Inclusion in financial services translated into safer and sounder firms with better internal governance and risk management
  • To ensure a resilient financial services sector
  • To accelerate the pace of meaningful change and define the role the regulators can most usefully play to support this change

SMBC diversity & inclusion achievements

It is true however, that until more recently, SMBC EMEA has been a little bit behind its peers in really starting to seriously focus on diversity and inclusion. In fact it was the persistent drive from employees that led to the creation of their first employee-led diversity network in 2016.  Since then, they have moved at pace. They have:

  • Become a signatory to the Women in Finance Charter in 2017
  • Established an EMEA-wide Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee chaired by our deputy CEO
  • Established local Diversity & Inclusion Country Councils who adapt our Diversity & Inclusion strategy to the local challenges in the market
  • Begun to capture data on ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability, in addition to gender
  • Launched 4 additional employee-led diversity networks focussed on LGBT+ inclusion, black inclusion, disability and networking
  • Designed a diversity talent programme for high performing females, called Elevate, and are now looking to expand the programme to be more inclusive
  • Delivered a wide range of training on Diversity & Inclusion , including a mandatory module called Inclusion and Respect
  • Built inclusion into our recruitment process, now tracking gender representation and ethnicity representation through the stages of the recruitment process
  • Our senior female representation has moved from 22% in 2017 to 29.5% as of 31 July 2021

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Nisrin Abouelezz

Nisrin Abouelezz

Nisrin Abouelezz is a banker covering emerging markets for an Asian bank in the City of London. She has experienced diversity both directly and indirectly in a number of its different forms throughout her career. When Diversity & Inclusion initiative was introduced at her bank, she jumped at the chance to play a part in progressing this important issue faced by both our current generation and those of the future.

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