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Financial Services and the Future of Firm Culture

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Financial Services and the Future of Firm Culture

​As the UK’s regulators expand their diversity and inclusion requirements, firms around the nation are met with some fresh cultural challenges.

The recent proposals from the FCA and PRA represent significant changes to the way regulated businesses will need to approach D&I, primarily due to its imminent status as a regulatory issue.

Could we be on the verge of a major cultural shift in financial services? The regulators’ stance on D&I is clear: the health of firm culture depends on it. The new proposals are likely to accelerate the transformation, and the change is long overdue. There’s been a lot of talk from firms attempting to ramp up their D&I efforts in recent years, but some reports point to a lack of any meaningful progress.

For many, bridging the gap between intention and action will require an active, consistent, and measured approach to building a more inclusive company culture. Where’s the best place to start? It’s different for everyone, but there are some popular methods with proven results worth considering. Check them out below.

Establishing Employee Engagement Groups (EEGs)

For the team here at Broadgate, employee engagement groups (EEGs), sometimes referred to interchangeably as employee resource groups, have had a large part in creating the culture of inclusion we enjoy today.

EEGs tend to consist of employees who share common characteristics, experiences, values, or beliefs – the groups are voluntary and act as an internal community in which employees can work together on solutions that improve their working experience.

EEGs usually work on a variety of projects, whether it’s fundraising, team bonding, mentoring, volunteering, or even just sharing their thoughts over a monthly coffee. They are open forums that often contribute to a greater sense of workplace belonging. According to a recent report from McKinsey, 66% of employees felt as though employee resource groups contributed to creating a greater sense of community in the workplace.

Unconscious Bias Training

From the recruitment process to system-level decision-making, unconscious bias training is a great way to move the cultural dial at every cornerstone of the business.

To get the most impact out of unconscious bias training, it needs to be part of a wider behavioural shift. As such, using it in conjunction with the reformation of recruitment processes, from onboarding to offboarding, is worth considering.

Overcoming Resistance

While the proposals have been welcomed by many, there are concerns about their broader implications, particularly for UK firms with overseas headquarters – significant cultural differences could prove difficult to navigate.

Many of these difficulties could be mitigated by improving workforce diversity. A multitude of experiences and perspectives may enhance a team’s ability to recognise cultural nuances, a particularly powerful dynamic to have in areas such as risk and compliance.

Broadgate’s Specialisms

Here at Broadgate, we pride ourselves on connecting candidates with environments and opportunities that enable them to thrive. Our specialised recruitment and advisory services are designed to help create career access, close skill gaps, and support historically marginalised talent through a diversity-focused recruitment methodology. Want to learn more? Reach out to the team here:

Looking Ahead

Firms need to prepare for the changes early to not only avoid sanctions and fines, but also to retain their competitiveness in a changing world.

You can read the proposal in full here: