At Zopa Bank, our people are connected by purpose and a shared mission to create a fairer financial world that makes every penny count. We do this by offering fair, simple, and intuitive financial products that add great value to the lives of our customers.
We extend our values of fairness and inclusivity onto our culture and the way we build teams and enable our colleagues to do great work.
We always strive to provide a supportive working environment that embraces individuality across race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, class, disability, and gender.
Almost one out of two senior managers at Zopa are women
As part of our commitment to diversity and female representation, in 2018 we signed the Women in Finance Charter with a pledge to ensure that at least 33 percent of our senior management is made up of women.
We are incredibly proud to have surpassed this goal in 2022, reporting that the number of women in senior management at Zopa Bank increased significantly to 40 percent, an 11 percent increase from 2021 (defined as leadership team and their direct reports).
We pledged to do even more in 2023, setting out to achieve a target of 44 percent in senior female representation by the end of the year. We are delighted to report that we have again hit our target, going above and beyond the initial mandate of the Charter.
Achieving 44% of women in senior management is a reflection of several initiatives that place diversity and female representation at the forefront of our strategy:
Partnering with Code First Girls - We have partnered with CFG since 2021, offering technical training courses in data, software, full-stack and product management to 135 participants; this has already led to a dozen job offers with Zopa. We will continue to work as partners into 2024 to ensure the success of this initiative continues.
Building a diverse talent pipeline - We decode all job ads to remove gender bias and are focused on ensuring gender diverse candidate lists and interview panels, including training for all interviewers on how to identify and mitigate against gender bias.
Ensuring a 50:50 hiring pipeline - Direct sourcing is a long-term undertaking and we strongly feel that a systemic approach is needed to create more diverse leadership in our Tech function. We have now achieved a 50:50 split in our graduate hiring pipeline for the first time ever. Next year we will renew our focus on the development of graduate and apprenticeship levels, nurturing the next generation of female Zopa leaders and managers.
Raising awareness - DE&I was our highest scoring factor with 81% in Zopa’s most recent Employee Engagement Survey. This is the result of internal and external initiatives enabling excellence and championing women in tech, such as the work we are doing with Innovate Finance to promote and celebrate the annual Powerlist of Women in FinTech.
Supporting maternity - In 2024 we will look to markedly improve our female employees’ maternity experience by reviewing all aspects of their journey.
From gender parity to pay parity
With 44% female representation in its leadership team, Zopa bank is on its way to achieving true gender parity, making it a leading player among UK digital banks when it comes to female representation at the highest level.
We also pay equally across like-for-like roles, proudly employing a diverse team of people across the organisation.
But while our pay is fair across like-for-like roles and we have more women in our business than ever before, our current pay gap remains higher than what we’d like.
As of April 2023, our mean gender pay gap was 26.2% and our median gender pay gap was 38.2%, further decreasing to 34.2% by the end of October.
This is mainly a product of the distribution of women across our firm. We have more men in tech and product roles; these roles often come with a higher market value. And we have more women in customer service roles, the Zopa function which consists of our lowest salaries overall.
When we look at our overall gender pay gap separating out our Customer Operations team we observe a significant reduction in our overall gender pay gap.
One of our main committed focus areas of our strategy has been to increase the representation of females in our upper quartile and we are delighted to have continued to increase representation by 3% year on year within this quartile.
Notably, between May-22 and April-23 51.3% of all joiners were female, with a large proportion joining our Operations team.
The UK Financial Services industry shares the long-term challenge of closing the gender pay gap and we know that there is still more work we can do.
Our intentions in this area are reflected in Zopa’s diversity goals.
We have an ongoing commitment to hire more women into a greater number of senior levels, and continuously invest in our talented women to achieve and maintain balanced representation at all levels.
We are continuously working, year after year, to ensure our workplace enables female employees to thrive, and in turn, to reduce our gender pay gap.
Driving Diversity and Inclusion
We have made further investments in 2023 to improve our diversity and inclusion efforts. These are building on the previous initiatives we launched in 2021 and 2022, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement in this area:
Building out our mentoring programme - Our mentoring programme has been helping Zopians at all levels move towards their personal development and career goals for the last two years.
Bolstering our Leadership Academy - Mentoring now runs alongside our brand-new Leadership Development programmes in Operations and Technology, and in addition to our Leadership Academy which takes emerging leaders and develops them over a six-month period.
Delivering unconscious bias training - We have collaborated with Mission Diverse to give all our managers additional unconscious bias training. We believe this training provides Zopians with important new insights where they can learn from each other and better understand their teams.
Delivering menopause training – We run multiple Menopause Awareness training sessions for our managers, have a dedicated Menopause Advocate group, and held a Lunch and Learn on perimenopause and menopause with Dr Louise Carter. We also have free sanitary products on site from Hey Girls and provide long black cardigans in our office toilets for those who have been caught short by their period.
Delivering neurodiversity training - We partnered with Rachel Morgan Trimmer from Sparkle Class who ran multiple training sessions, championing neurodiversity as a catalyst for inclusivity. We will continue to run neurodiversity training in 2024.
Improving ethnic representation - Zopa’s community encompasses 43 nationalities with some 26 percent of our employees identifying as ethnically diverse. This diverse blend of cultures, faiths and experiences is a key part of Zopa’s success story. While specifically Black representation at Zopa has increased to 5 percent and is higher than the general UK population, we think it is still not high enough. In 2024 we plan to build a brand-new partnership, with a black talent focus, to help improve representation in this area.
Cost-of-living Support - All Zopians earning under £50,000 per annum in 2023 have received a winter bonus payment of £500. This is an extension to the very first payment of this kind we made in 2022.
New benefits - This year we launched a range of new benefits to further enhance our package, including
Anya (a new parent support app)
An EV salary sacrifice scheme
Permanently allowing the option to flex religious bank holidays to dates better suited to the individuals’ beliefs
Group Income Protection
A will writing service
A free mortgage advice
We also increased our health cash plan thresholds to provide more support for dental, optical
Today Zopa bank offers an environment of high trust, inclusivity and a range of benefits that empower our teams to work in ways that enable them to meet both their personal and professional objectives.
In 2024 we will continue to invest in our People proposition, empowering our employees to do their best work, adding even more improvements to the delivery of our strategy that is guided by our unwavering commitment to fairness, equal representation, diversity and inclusion.
Signed, Iain Kendrick, VP, People at Zopa Bank