Although the world around us is always changing, sometimes it can feel like we are stuck in the past. In the UK, women obtained the right to vote a little over a century ago, but progress towards gender equality has often since felt painfully slow. In the workplace, inequality and discrimination is still all too common.
In 2019, over 8.2 million employees in the UK reported being discriminated against on the basis of their gender – and there’s definitely a lot of work to be done to create more trans-inclusive workspaces. In fact, surveys show that nearly 70% of LGBTQ+ staff in UK businesses have experienced sexual harassment at work, a quarter of whom did not tell their employer for fear of being outed. So, how can businesses create a safer, fairer workplace for all employees?
At Siemens Financial Services UK, we believe that we are responsible for helping drive positive change not just in the workplace, but also across wider society. When it comes to pride, we proudly fly flags for all our staff. We’ve also reduced our gender pay gap by 13% over the last 3 years and have more women in senior roles than ever before. In the past year, we created a black-led employee network supported by colleagues from all ethnicities, educating and encouraging us to talk openly about race. We know these are small achievements within a much bigger picture, but we’re proud to be engaging with issues of discrimination and equality within our company walls in the best way we can.
Our people are our most important asset. What matters to them matters to us. Think about this for a moment – at any one time, 1 in 6 of the working populationexperiences a mental health issue while at work. At SFS we have seen first-hand how having mental health first-aiders who are available to anyone who needs support can hugely benefit employees. Encouraging flexible ways of working can also help tackle inequality by accommodating different patterns and rhythms of life and provide a better work-life balance for everyone.
We recognise that we are all different and that diversity make us stronger. Let us not forget that 20% of the working age population are disabled – without them, we would be missing out on a vast pool of talent! As a certified disability confident employer, we want to make sure people with visible and non-visible disabilities feel supported when they work with us.
Currently, 89% of our employees feel they can be themselves at work – our aim is to get that to 100%.
We know that we haven’t it all figured out yet - there’s always more learning and work to be done.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, but we are committed to making it happen.
Watch our video here:
 SME Loans, MEN More Likely Than Women To Feel Discriminated At Work On The Grounds Of Gender , May 2019: https://smeloans.co.uk/blog/gender-discrimination-in-the-workplace/
 The Guardian, Survey finds 70% of LGBT people sexually harassed at work, May 2019: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/may/17/survey-finds-70-of-lgbt-people-sexually-harassed-at-work
 Sanctus, Mental health in the workplace statistics, July 2020: https://sanctus.io/mental-health-in-the-workplace-statistics/
Julian Hobbs, CEO at Siemens Financial Services UK
Julian Hobbs is Chief Executive Officer at Siemens Financial Services Ltd UK. He joined Siemens in 2010, bringing with him 20 years extensive experience in financial services, across a variety of roles. He is an advocate for sustainability, working with local businesses and charities to support the local community, providing thought leadership and challenge to the financial services sector on areas such as diversity and inclusion and is passionate about attracting new talent into the industry.In his role at Siemens, Julian is driving forward the development of innovative and creative financing solutions to enable the capital investment needs of clients.