Diversity and inclusion

Diversity is in our roots. HSBC was founded more than 150 years ago to finance trade between Europe and Asia, and we continue to bring different people and cultures together.

As a business operating in markets all around the world, we believe diversity brings benefits for our customers, our business and our people. We want a connected workforce that reflects the communities where we operate and helps us meet the needs of customers from all walks of life. Different ideas and perspectives help us innovate, manage risk, and grow the business in a sustainable way – and difference is celebrated within Our brand.

Awards and benchmarks

  • HSBC employees are recognised in the Financial Times’ most recent OUTstanding (LGBT+), Empower (ethnicity) and HERoes (gender) lists

  • Stonewall Top Global Employer 2015, 2016 and 2017

  • Stonewall Global Trans Inclusion Award 2017

  • Company of the Year at the European Diversity Awards 2017

Being inclusive is an expression of our values to be dependable, open and connected. We want HSBC to be a place where people are valued, respected and supported to fulfil their potential – and we foster an environment where people can speak up to remove barriers to success, and collaborate to put the best ideas into practice.

Our policy

We expect our people to treat each other with dignity and respect, creating an inclusive culture to support equal opportunities. We do not tolerate discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation on any ground, including age, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, mental or physical health conditions, disability, pregnancy, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status or other domestic circumstances, employment status, working hours or other flexible working arrangements, or religion or belief.

Building a diverse and inclusive workforce

We take active steps to encourage people from a broad range of backgrounds to apply for jobs at HSBC. Across the globe, the types of recruitment activities that we undertake to improve diversity include:

  • Hosting and participating in careers fairs targeted at different diversity groups
  • Working with local non-governmental organisations to help meet commitments to provide opportunities for people from groups that tend to be under-represented in the workplace
  • Requesting gender-balanced shortlists from our third-party recruitment partners
  • Ensuring our graduate attraction programmes reach potential applicants from a broad range of backgrounds

Employee networks

Our employees lead seven global networks and a variety of HSBC Communities. These voluntary groups bring together employees with shared characteristics and common interests. They aim to make sure everyone feels included, and can help HSBC to address internal challenges and opportunities. Their insight into the experience and needs of a diverse customer base can also help our business identify commercial opportunities.

Our networks focus on gender, age, ethnicity, LGBT+, faith, working parents and carers, and ability. HSBC Communities have been formed on a range of topics, including flexible working, mindfulness and Chinese culture.

Informing an inclusive culture

HSBC University provides resources and courses to support our employees in their development. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is embedded in our Group-wide programmes, and dedicated information and training on the topic is available both from HSBC and through other third party sources. Examples include:

HSBC supports a better balance

Diversity leads to better decisions, says Group Chief Executive John Flint.

  • Our hiring programmes, which guide people managers on how to counteract potential biases when recruiting
  • Our leadership programmes, which help leaders develop techniques to build trusting relationships with a diverse range of people
  • Videos and other content to support people engaging in both formal and informal mentoring, including advice on making connections with people from different backgrounds and levels of seniority
  • Country guidance with insight on local cultural attitudes and legislation around different aspects of diversity
  • Access to the latest research and articles on diversity and inclusion from trusted external experts
  • Our global bias awareness e-learning

In addition, we know that the expertise of our own employees is a valuable resource and that we have a great deal to learn from each other. HSBC provides guidance and opportunities for career development support from other employees and people at external organisations. Examples include:

  • Advice on coaching for people managers
  • Mentoring and sponsorship opportunities to develop specific skills, including our Accelerating Female Leaders programme
  • Coaching, mentoring and sponsorship initiatives via many of our employee networks including Embrace (ethnicity) and Pride (LGBT+)
  • Participation in external initiatives including the Network of Executive Women (“NEW”) Mentorship Programme, designed to support the development and advancement of women leaders across businesses in Southern China, the Mentoring Foundation’s FTSE 100® Cross-Company Mentoring programmes and the 30% Club’s cross-business mentoring programmes

We also share stories about our colleagues through our internal and external media channels to mark key diversity dates and highlight challenges, role models and best practice. Find out more on the HSBC NOW YouTube channel (opens in new window) and on other social media channels.

Monitoring progress

Diversity and inclusion is championed by our Group Chief Executive, John Flint, and his executive team. HSBC’s Group People Committee oversees the bank’s approach to the topic.

Mr Flint has signed up to the 30% Club CEO Campaign commitment to reach 30 per cent women in senior leadership roles across the bank globally by 2020. To support this objective, aspirational diversity targets are incorporated into Group Management Board performance scorecards.

One of my most important jobs is to ensure everyone at HSBC can fulfil their potential

John Flint, HSBC Group Chief Executive

Life at HSBC

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The bank is proud to support its LGBT+ customers and employees.

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