Our differences bring us together

You’re a unique personality, with a unique background. At Nationwide we embrace that difference.

It’s what brings us together. And helps us better support the communities we work in.

It's why there isn't one, simple way to handle inclusion and diversity.

While we’re proud of the progress we’ve made, we know there’s more to do. So, we’re not going to sit back and rest on our laurels.

We’ll continue to do the right thing in the right way.

Our mission

Our mission is to build an inclusive culture where everyone can thrive and for our society to reflect the diversity of the wider communities we serve.

We thrive when we’re allowed to be ourselves.

People are placing more value on careers that offer a diversity of experience, meaning and purpose. They want to be true to themselves in the workplace.

We want that for them too. Because we know it doesn’t just make for a happier more fulfilling workplace. It increases innovation, drives better decision-making and boosts performance.

And that means we can do our best by our members. This is why we’re making sure that inclusion and diversity is at the heart of how we do things and what we do at Nationwide.

Commitment from our leaders

Real change in inclusion and diversity demands a different approach. It requires leadership to commit to plans. And to be accountable for delivering them.

Our board and leadership team are committed to progressing our inclusion and diversity strategy. Each of our business areas also have Inclusion Partners, with their own inclusion and diversity plans that are guided by and support our overall strategy.

These are examples of targeted action we’re taking.

Leadership pathways

A development programme to support our senior leaders with their development and career direction. Each group is gender balanced and the programme has included a group specific to ethnically diverse future leaders.

Sponsoring talented employees

We’ve designed a programme that matches talented people, especially those from minority groups, to leaders who will support their development.

Developing leadership skills

Our branch network has partnered with Ivy House. Ivy House supports the career development and aspirations of talented women and people from ethnic backgrounds.

Find out more about Ivy House (opens in a new window)

10,000 black interns

Nationwide supports the #10000BlackInterns programme, offering paid work experience, and providing training and development opportunities for candidates who are Black African, Black Caribbean and/or Black British candidates.

Find out more about the 10,000 Black Interns programme (opens in a new window)

Diverse interview panels

Across the Society, we have been rolling out diverse interview panels.

A diverse panel consists of 2 to 5 employees and reflects diversity in gender, race, age and ethnicity. We hope this will help us to uncover unconscious biases and improve fairness and equality principles during recruitment.

Committing to gender equality

We’re members of the 30% Club, a cross-organisational mentoring scheme supporting female development.

Find out more about the 30% Club (opens in a new window)

A focus on ethnicity

We became one of the first organisations to sign the Government’s Race At Work charter. This commitment further supports the development and career opportunities available to employees who are ethnically diverse, helping to break down barriers to progression.

Improving the experiences of our people

Becoming an even more family-friendly organisation

We’ve made a number of policy changes based on feedback from our teams. A lot of these changes are based on helping our people feel able to do what’s right for them.

For example, we’ve increased paternity leave to 6 weeks’ paid leave. And our premature baby policy gives extra support to parents who have babies before the 37th week of pregnancy.

This lets them focus on their families, without the worry of returning to work too soon.

Real change, led by our people

We’re creating an environment where we can bring our true selves to work, no matter what our differences may be.

We know the power our people can bring to inclusion and diversity. So, we encourage them to share ideas and experiences. And to engage others in doing their bit for our Society.

We have 9 employee networks supporting our inclusion, diversity and wellbeing mission at Nationwide. Our employee networks help our colleagues build support networks, escalate issues and drive supportive changes. These networks are:

  • Enable (disability network)
  • Gender Equality Matters
  • Race Together (ethnicity network)
  • Working Families Network
  • Working Carers Network
  • Proud (LGBTQ+ network)
  • Faith and Belief Network (FaB)
  • The Veteran and Reservist Network
  • Minds Matter (mental health network)

With help from our employee networks, we’ve introduced:

  • gender-neutral toilets
  • passports for carers and those with a disability to share with managers to ensure they get the right support
  • mentoring circles for people from ethnic minorities
  • quiet spaces where people can reflect and have a moment to themselves.

The employee networks play an important role in building awareness of different experiences and cultures through celebrating diversity, including Asian Experience Month, Black History Month and Pride Month as well as supporting the #WeThe15 movement for the Paralympic games.

In 2021, our Working Families Network was awarded the Best Family Network Award by the Working Families charity.

Using data to guide us

Creating a truly inclusive culture demands total transparency. We need to be clear about what we’re doing well and, equally important, what needs improving.

We analyse our diversity data, to help us set actions that will make a real difference.

Based on data analysis, we’ve:

  • improved how we capture diversity data allowing us to better understand who is applying for roles.
  • improved our recruitment, talent and development, and performance management processes.
  • introduced a gender language neutraliser that’s reduced masculine language in job adverts. Since then, we have seen an increase in applications from women.
  • added social mobility questions in employee satisfaction surveys to highlight socio-economic diversity allowing us to do more to ensure everyone has opportunities, regardless of background.