By embracing diversity and inclusion at the highest level with a leadership team that reflects the diversity of its employees and customers, HSBC New Zealand has created an inclusive working environment and allowed the organisation to grow in a sustainable way.
With 94 per cent of its New Zealand customers having cross-border activities and doing business with 41 different countries and territories, HSBC New Zealand has brought together an equally diverse team, with its workforce representing more than 30 nationalities.
As part of an international banking and financial services organisation, HSBC New Zealand works with New Zealand customers wanting to expand overseas, and with international customers coming into the country.
The team is as diverse as the customer base they interact with every day. Rob Roughan, Country Head of Wholesale Banking, says having such a diverse team with different backgrounds and perspectives is clearly an advantage. The organisation is striving to accelerate inclusion everywhere across HSBC, creating an inclusive environment where employees and customers can achieve their full potential.
“Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of our corporate philosophy. Only by valuing our differences, seeking out different perspectives and collaborating across boundaries, can we succeed together, be responsible to our stakeholders, and get things done,” he says.
“The range of country-specific insights from the team helps us to understand our customers better, to meet their requirements and improve business performance.”
The Executive Committee, made up of the CEO and the Heads of Departments, champion diversity and inclusion by integrating it into the business strategy at the highest level. The executives also act as the bank’s Diversity Committee, overseeing five focus groups.
The committee reflects the diversity of both employees and customers. Five different countries are represented and four out of the nine committee members are women, including CEO Burcu Senel.
“These examples of how diversity and inclusion are embraced at the highest level have created positive waves resonating across the whole organisation.”
Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn adds, “I want us to be judged by the concrete, sustainable actions we take to be a more diverse and inclusive bank.”
An extensive leadership training programme focuses on the advantages and challenges of a diverse workforce, and leading to achieve a common goal. The programme is supplemented by a mentoring and reverse-mentoring circle between senior and middle-management.
Fostering a speak-up culture is an integral part of the organisation’s commitment to well-being. Employees are able to talk to Executive Committee members directly during frequent meetings or pursue other avenues with investigation guaranteed.
“Ensuring that our people are able to raise concerns and feel confident they will be taken seriously is vital to creating the right culture and to HSBC’s long-term success,” says Phong Do from the Wholesale Chief Operating Office.