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In the UK, only 1 in 16 of the ethnically diverse workforce is in senior management. Just four of FTSE 100 CEOs are ethnically diverse.

Increasing the diversity of our leadership is central to our inclusion and diversity strategy. Mentoring is a great way of achieving this.

It helps develop the confidence and skills people need to progress their careers. And, as an added benefit, it gives mentors fresh new perspectives.

Leadership role models

When Jaskaran Singh, a university student on placement, expressed concerns about not seeing someone like himself on the board, two senior colleagues took him under their wing.

They were Larry Banda, Director of Financial Planning, and Rickard Beck, Leader of Strategic Planning and External Relations.

The approach was straight forward. They found common ground and built from there.

Both mentors made sure they threw in plenty of sound advice. ‘I shadowed Larry, went to all his one-to-ones. I attended project boards and other meetings. Watched how he spoke and conducted himself. I’ve taken it all on board’ says Jas.

It gave Jas a different perspective on his career

‘I felt like there were real similarities between us, despite our differences’ says Jas.

As for Richard’s advice to Jas? Deal with any key knowledge or skills gaps early.

‘Competence gaps narrow future options. Why limit your possibilities? After all, an inclusive leadership is one where those with the right skills rise to the top’ says Richard.

Interested in a career at Nationwide?

If you’d like to find out more about joining our team, or what working at Nationwide is like, visit our careers site today.