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‘Building pipelines’ of talent vital for D&I success – DIFF Live

  • 01/02/2024
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‘Building pipelines’ of talent vital for D&I success – DIFF Live
Companies should have 'pipelines' of diverse talent throughout their business, whether that is at a senior or junior levels, senior industry executives have said.

Speaking on the masterclass, Leeds Building Society’s chief executive Richard Fearon said that ensuring that the mortgage industry works to “attract diverse talent” was vital for the future of the sector, and part of that was “building pipelines”.

He said: “Whether that be apprentice or graduate level, [you need] pipelines all the way through the business to help progress and focus.”

Fearon pointed to its non-executive director network, Leeds Building Society’s NEDworks, which was aimed at “aspiring board members” and a “diverse group of people”, where he and the chair of Leeds Building Society go and talk through a range of issues.

This will “help them get ready to join boards of their own in the coming years. My hope is that that is beneficial to other firms, and who knows, we might recruit from that, but others might do too, so it is important to have pipelines all the way through the business.”

Esther Dijkstra, managing director for intermediaries at Lloyds Banking Group, said that it was important to be “broad with recruitment”, and by having “diverse shortlists”, you are more likely to have “multiple diverse candidates”.

However, she added that it actively maintained contact with people who might not have gotten the job and ensured that, the next time a role came up, coaching, mentoring or other support was available.

“From there, you can quite easily create that diverse list of candidates,” she added.

Fearon agreed that succession planning and diversity and inclusion (D&I) were a “very hot topic”.

He explained: “It goes back to that pipeline piece, be it at the board level, executive team level, we are really thinking about succession. We are a smaller organisation, so we are looking at the different people who could do different roles and then putting a lens over that around all of the characteristics, be it gender, ethnicity and other characteristics too.”

Fearon said that the company was endeavouring to get people to disclose more personal characteristics as that “helps us do even better” on issues like intersectionality and social mobility.


Watch the [47:17] DIFF Live session hosted by Bharat Sagar, ambassador at large at AE3 Media, with guests including Dina Bhudia, director at P2M Asset Management, Ali Crossley, managing director of distribution at Legal and General Retail, Esther Dijkstra, managing director for intermediaries and Lloyds Banking Group and Leeds Building Society CEO Richard Fearon.

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