HSBC is taking action to improve opportunities for Black and ethnic minority employees and boost the diversity of its senior leadership.

Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn said that the Black Lives Matter movement had rightly created pressing demand for change, as he set out practical steps the bank will take to achieve that goal.

In a message to employees, he said he had spoken to a number of Black colleagues about Black Lives Matter and their experiences of the working world, following the death of George Floyd.

He said: “Their stories, covering their whole careers, ranged from feeling overlooked for career opportunities and uninspired by the lack of senior role models, through to being on the receiving end of everyday slights which left them unable to be their true selves at work.”

I want us to be judged by the concrete, sustainable actions we take

Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive, HSBC

As part of its initial plan of action, HSBC aims to:

  • At least double the number of Black employees in senior roles by 2025, and provide targeted development planning for those colleagues
  • Ensure Black employees are participating in existing accelerated development and leadership programmes
  • Work with an external executive search firm to engage Black and ethnically diverse talent for leadership roles
  • Improve representation of Black and ethnic minority people on shortlists for mid-career roles by working with specialists focused on recruiting from diverse candidate pools
  • Enhance hiring strategies for Black and ethnic minority candidates for graduate programmes
  • Update recruitment processes and guidance to reduce the potential for bias

In addition, HSBC plans to improve the reporting and transparency of its ethnicity data.

Mr Quinn added: “Saying the right words is easy. Doing the right thing is harder. I want us to be judged by the concrete, sustainable actions we take to be a more diverse and inclusive bank.”

A group of six HSBC employees talk together

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity is in our roots. We believe that diversity brings benefits for our customers, our business and our people.

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