An update on diversity at Zopa

5 min •
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Zopa bank employs an exceptional team of passionate, talented people.

We strive to provide a fair and inclusive working environment that embraces individuality, across race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, class, disability, and gender. Our values drive collaboration and community to engage and inspire all our people in our journey to deliver a better, fairer financial future for the diverse communities we serve.

With a rating of 4.1 out of 5 on Glassdoor, we care deeply about creating a supportive workplace where our people can be their authentic selves:

  • 9 out of 10 people would recommend Zopa as a great place to work

  • Already over 40 pct of our employees are women

  • Our high culture score (80 pct) illustrates the alignment of our people with our mission and values – putting our customers first, acting honestly and transparently, collaborating cross-functionally to deliver innovation.

  • Our scores on work-life balance are consistently high, which speaks to our culture of respect and our trust in our people to deliver their work in the way that is most effective for them.

In this section we summarise Zopa’s initiatives aimed at promoting diversity, equal pay, and equal representation. We also provide an update on our progress so far.

What we are doing

Building on our inclusive, collaborative culture, a balanced and diverse workforce with equal opportunities and fair compensation that cuts through seniority and gender is important to Zopa.

Achieving tangible progress in this area requires clear commitments that are promoted horizontally across the business.

The requirement for all UK Companies with over 250 staff to report on their respective gender pay gaps has enabled us to look closely at how we remunerate our employees and establish the reasons behind our headline figures. As a result, we’ve identified and implemented a number of activities that will ensure an ongoing and proactive focus regarding gender related pay. We’re fully committed to a long-term aim of reducing our gender pay gap, which results from the gender ratios that exist at different levels within the structure of our workforce, rather than as a result of us paying our female employees less than we pay male employees to undertake like for like roles.

This table details:

  • the degree to which the hourly pay of female employees is lower than male employees as at the snapshot date of 5 April 2021.

  • the degree to which bonuses paid to female employees in the 12-month period up to the snapshot date are lower than what was paid to male employees during the same period.

  • the percentage of relevant male and female employees receiving a bonus payment in the 12 months preceding the snapshot date.

The mean represents the arithmetic average and median details the figure at which half of our population are above and half are below.

It is our policy to pay at market value and we regularly conduct benchmarking exercises to inform our pay positioning. But while Zopa’s pay is fair across like for like roles, our 26.5% mean pay gap remains higher than target, and has grown by 2% in 2021.

This is not only because we have fewer women in senior management, but also a product of the distribution of women in our organisation, with lower numbers of women in roles that have a high market value like Tech and Product oriented roles.

We have made considerable progress in our levels of female representation in critical capability groups (+30% women in engineering, +17% in some product tribes).

But whilst we have more women in our business than ever before, we recognise the importance of developing more female talent over successive years as the way in which Zopa and the UK as a whole will address female representation in Tech .

To continue our progress, we are focusing in the following areas:

  • Structural changes

Diversity & Inclusion have been mandated as part of the Board and Management Committees’ agendas. Progress against the Women in Finance Charter has been included as a factor for deciding the bonus element of the leadership team. Our remuneration policy was reviewed to ensure its fairness.

In 2018 we signed the Women in Finance Charter which encourages companies to have at least 33 pct women in senior management. Female representation in senior positions is at 32 pct today, and Zopa is committed to achieving 44 pct of women in headline senior management by mid 2023.

We are not there yet, but we are keen to get it right. This target increases female representation at our senior management level by approximately 50 pct against existing levels.

  • Partnerships

We have created a partnership with Code First Girls to nurture female talent in the tech space and to improve our visibility with senior women in Tech. In the medium term this will change the composition of areas like Tech. We have also established a partnership with the Black Young Professionals network to open recruitment routes and ensure that we reach diverse candidate pools.

  • Mentoring

We now have a mentoring program in place which we believe will serve to develop leaders within Zopa and ensure people break out of functional silos. This runs alongside our leadership development programs.

  • Diverse pipelines

We are focused on ensuring a fair approach to attracting talent through search, application and interview by mandating 50/50 shortlists for all open roles. We are undertaking a complete review of our Employee Value Proposition to ensure as broad a reach into candidate pools as possible.

Our job ads are now decoded for gender biased wording. We have also set all recruiters the target of attracting diverse candidate lists. We are further ensuring that all senior management roles have a gender diverse long list for consideration.

  • Training

We have implemented D&I training across the business to build awareness of unconscious bias and a focus on combatting it. We run regular surveys on engagement at company level which we have started analysing by gender, race and sexual orientation.

  • Distributed work model

Over the last year we have been trialling a distributed working model to understand the impact it has not only on the business but also on our ability to attract and retain diverse talent.

  • Career mobility

By encouraging internal career mobility, we allow people to develop their careers in a variety of ways. For example, we have trained customer service agents to go on to become compliance officers, developers, lawyers and HR specialists. In fact 20% of our open roles in Q3 of this year were filled by internal candidates. This not only makes Zopa a great place to work, but also starts to break down some of the systemic pipeline issues that we see in STEM professions.

  • Tracking & measuring

We are regularly tracking our data to ensure that we are improving our demographic split. Furthermore, we encourage our people managers to take ownership of creating gender balance on their teams with an aim to increase female representation in STEM roles and male representation in non-technical roles.

The way ahead

At Zopa we believe that diversity is key to a successful business which reflects and represents the customer base it serves.

Despite our focus on driving diversity and promoting equality across all tiers of Zopa, we still have not gotten everything right. Like many other businesses in our sector, Zopa has experienced unprecedented change driven by the effects of the pandemic and our own growth.

Launching our bank last year changed the shape of our leadership structure, and we experienced further resourcing changes as we responded to societal changes brought about by successive lockdowns.

We believe that these interventions remain the right ones and anticipate that upcoming growth will open more opportunities for us to further increase our diversity.

Our focus, moving forward, is to continue to develop and evolve the practices that will enable us to attract and retain a more balanced workforce that is inclusive at all levels.

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