Our commitments and actions

We’re taking action to ensure HSBC is an inclusive workplace where everyone has the opportunity to develop and progress. Different ideas and perspectives help us innovate, manage risk and grow the business in a sustainable way.

Our aspirational targets for diverse representation 

Per cent
Fact: Our target is to have 35 per cent of senior leadership roles filled by women by 2025
At least double
Fact: Our target is to at least double the number of Black employees in senior leadership by 2025

Improving gender balance

We are committed to increasing female representation in senior leadership. Leaders at HSBC have clear gender diversity targets to drive progress.

Accelerating female leaders (duration 0:59) Colleagues talk about their experiences of HSBC's leadership programme for women

The combined female share of our Group Executive Committee and their direct reports is 30.5%, up from 27% for 2019. As part of the 30% Club CEO campaign, in 2018 we set ourselves a target to achieve 30% women in senior leadership by 2020, and we achieved 30.3%. We have extended our aspirational target for women in senior leadership to achieve 35% by 2025.

At the Group level, the share of women on HSBC’s board is 35.7%, above the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33%.

Improving ethnic minority representation

In 2020 we made a series of commitments to support more Black and ethnic minority colleagues to succeed at HSBC.

We aim to at least double the number of Black employees in senior leadership by 2025, provide targeted development planning for those colleagues, and ensure Black employees are participating in accelerated development and leadership programmes. We are taking action to improve representation of Black and ethnic minority people across the recruitment lifecycle and ensuring our hiring process is fair, transparent and inclusive.

The future of our business relies on us continuing to embrace the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce

Noel Quinn, HSBC Group Chief Executive

Developing diverse future leaders

We invest in learning, upskilling and development to ensure everyone has access to opportunities.

Our culture and employee networks

Employee networks support our commitment to diversity and inclusion, helping make HSBC a place where people feel they can be themselves.

Our Accelerating Female Leaders (AFL) programme, which focuses on increasing the visibility, networks and sponsorship of high performing director and manager-level women, significantly grew the number of sponsors and participants this year.

Our Accelerating Into Leadership (AIL) programme provides group coaching and development for high-performing manager-level colleagues and is expanding from a female focus to include ethnic minority colleagues across genders. In addition, our leadership development programmes in HSBC University are open to interested employees from all backgrounds.

Our Future Skills curriculum launched in 2020 to help all colleagues globally handle change, improve resilience and take on a growth mindset. It covers skills from curiosity and creativity to connectivity and customer engagement, as well as how to help others develop and communicate with impact – helping the whole workforce develop for future success.

To diversify our talent pipeline, every member of our Group Executive Committee, as well as many members of their management teams, actively sponsors colleagues from under-represented groups.

We also participate in external initiatives designed to support the development and advancement of leaders from under-represented groups including the Mentoring Foundation’s FTSE 100® Cross-Company Mentoring programmes and the 30% Club’s cross-business mentoring programmes.

Our AFL programme sponsors work with talented women to understand their career ambitions and to open up opportunities

Annabel Spring, Chief Executive, Global Private Banking, HSBC

Grow together

At HSBC, we encourage collaboration, the pursuit of new skills through training and diverse thinking to help shape the future of the bank.

Partnering for progress

We know that we can always achieve more by working collectively to drive change. We partner with organisations to learn from others and share our own expertise.

We are founding members of the World Economic Forum’s Partnership for Racial Justice in Business (opens in new window) initiative which aims to coordinate commitments, collectively advocate for inclusive policy change, and set new global standards for racial equity in business.

We are a signatory to the UN Standards of Conduct for Business (opens in new window), tackling discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and intersex people. As a supporter of the standards, we foster diversity and promote a culture of respect and equality both in the workplace and in the communities where we do business.

We are a founding partner of The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health (opens in new window), an initiative that unites organisations that are committed to making mental health a priority, to share best practice and accelerate progress.

How we are supporting our employees

From flexible work and sabbaticals to inclusive leadership training, we are taking a wide range of actions to help our employees be at their best.

Hiring in a fair, inclusive way

How we hire directly influences how diverse we are. Being inclusive means that we can benefit from the richness of different ideas, backgrounds, styles and perspectives.

All hiring managers complete mandatory training to help ensure we attract and hire the strongest candidates from diverse talent pools and address bias, for example through the use of diverse interviewers to assess shortlisted candidates. We are working with all of our recruitment partners including specialist firms to improve representation of candidates from under-represented groups. Graduate recruitment is an important foundation for a diverse workforce for the long-term. We have a gender-balanced intake globally, and are continuing our efforts to improve diverse representation across our graduate population.

Sharing and exploring our data

We’re building a more accurate and transparent view of our diversity profile so we can effectively target our actions and measure our progress. We intend to expand the diversity strands and markets where we publish pay gap data in the future.

Gender Representation Data

Share of women in senior leadership roles globally

Global graduate intake in 2020

Female share of headcount by HSBC global career band (GCB)

UK (%)

US (%)

To highlight the shape of our workforce for gender, we are providing female share of headcount data broken down by HSBC global career band for the UK and the US. There is more work to be done to improve the representation of women across our senior leadership global career bands (GCB 0, 1, 2 and 3). We will continue our efforts to build a strong pipeline that leads to more balanced gender representation in the future.

Pay disclosures

Pay gaps are one indicator of how we are doing against our objective of building a workforce that is representative of the communities we serve. Pay gaps are not the same as unequal pay. They instead show the difference in average earnings between two groups (e.g. women and men) across an organisation regardless of role or seniority. We ensure fair pay to all employees regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, disability or any other factor unrelated to performance or experience. We regularly review pay practices with independent third parties and make adjustments if differences are identified that are not due to an objective reason.

Our Gender and Ethnicity UK Pay Gap Report 2020 details our aggregate UK-wide and entity gender pay gaps in line with regulatory requirements, as well as our aggregate UK-wide ethnicity pay gaps.

We are also publishing our 2020 US gender pay gaps here. We have calculated the US median and mean pay gaps using 2020 year-end Fixed Pay and Total Compensation.

The key drivers of our pay gaps are explained below.


Per Cent

Mean gender pay gap

Fact: The median gender pay gap is 48.0 per cent

Per Cent

Mean gender pay gap

Fact: The mean gender pay gap is 48.3 per cent

Per Cent

Mean gender pay gap

Fact: The median gender bonus gap is 57.9 per cent

Per Cent

Mean gender pay gap

Fact: The mean gender bonus gap is 67.1 per cent

Key drivers

Our aggregate UK-wide gender pay gaps reflect the shape of our organisation, and will narrow as we improve gender balanced representation.

  • There are more men than women in senior and higher-paid roles, and more women than men in our junior and lower paid roles
  • HSBC UK, our largest employing entity in the UK (with over 20,000 employees), has a mean pay gap of 32.9% and a median pay gap of 20.2%, which is more comparable to UK domestic peers
  • Unlike a number of our peers, our aggregate UK wide figures include our Global Banking and Markets business (within our HSBC Bank Plc entity) which has a predominance of men in senior, higher-paid roles
  • We have a significant number of senior, global roles based in our UK head office
  • Part-time employees (predominantly women) receive their bonuses on a ‘pro-rata’ basis, however the gender pay gap calculation does not take this into account
Per Cent

Mean gender pay gap

Fact: The median ethnicity pay gap is minus 5.6 per cent

Per Cent

Mean gender pay gap

Fact: The mean ethnicity pay gap is 2.2 per cent

Per Cent

Mean gender pay gap

Fact: The median ethnicity bonus gap is 0.8 per cent

Per Cent

Mean gender pay gap

Fact: The mean ethnicity bonus gap is 10.3 per cent

Key drivers

The pay gap numbers reflect the current shape of our organisation:

  • We have lower representation of employees from ethnic minority groups in senior, higher paid roles
  • The overall median pay gap is in favour of ethnic minorities because the ethnic minority mid-point employee is at a higher grade, with different pay and bonus opportunity compared to the ethnic majority mid-point employee
  • Underlying pay and bonus gaps are at their widest for Black employees as they are less represented in senior, higher paid roles
  • Fewer senior leaders have disclosed their ethnicity to HSBC. This means a number of higher paid individuals are not reflected in the pay gap calculations, which may impact the numbers in future years


Per Cent

Mean gender pay gap

Fact: The median gender fixed pay gap is 32.3 per cent

Per Cent

Mean gender pay gap

Fact: The mean gender fixed pay gap is 31.3 per cent

Per Cent

Mean gender pay gap

Fact: The median gender total compensation gap is 34.0 per cent

Per Cent

Mean gender pay gap

Fact: The mean gender total compensation gap is 37.9 per cent

Key drivers

Our US gender pay gaps reflect the shape of our organisation, and will narrow as we improve gender balanced representation.

  • There are more men in senior and higher paid roles, and more women in junior roles and lower paid roles

The pay gap explained

Pay gaps are not the same as unequal pay. Equal pay considers work of equal value.

A gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of all men and women across an entity or organisation. The figure is expressed as a percentage of male pay.

An ethnicity pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of all colleagues in one ethnic minority group versus average earnings for colleagues in all other ethnic groups.

Pay gaps are calculated on both a mean and median basis. They do not factor in differences in career band, the business individuals work in, the job they do or their level of performance.

A group of six HSBC employees talk together


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