Diversity at Zopa: Introducing the D&I charter

6 min •
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Zopa bank employs an exceptional team of passionate, talented people. We always strive to provide a fair and inclusive working environment that embraces individuality, across race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, class, disability, and gender.

Zopa is already recognised for walking the talk as an inclusive, forward-thinking employer who cares deeply about creating a supportive workplace where our people can be their authentic selves. We are proud that:

  • 9 out of 10 people would recommend Zopa as a great place to work
  • We have a rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Glassdoor
  • 45 pct of our employees are women
  • Our total company engagement score is 74 pct
  • Our high culture score of 79 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
  • We offer some of the best employment benefits in our sector, competing with some of the biggest employers in the UK
  • Our minimum salary of £27,000 pa is 15.8pct above the newly increased London Living Wage
  • We practice workplace flexibility in all teams, and our scores on work-life balance are consistently high, speaking to our culture of respect and our trust in our people to deliver their work in the way that is most effective for them
  • Glassdoor recently included Zopa in its list of 25 Companies Employees Say Are The Best for Diversity And Inclusion
  • Newsweek included Zopa in third place in its list of the UK’s 100 Most Loved Workplaces

In this blog, we provide an update on the progress of Zopa’s initiatives aimed at promoting diversity, inclusion and equal representation, and set our DE&I charter commitments for improvement over the next year, detailing how we will measure our success in moving the dial. These charter commitments have been agreed based on insight from our regular internal analysis of our diversity landscape, reviewing our internal engagement survey, and our public commitments to areas for improvement.

Gender Representation

Since June 2022 45% of Zopa’s employees are women, an increase of 10% against December 2021 levels.

Zopa is committed to sustaining or bettering this level of female representation to the end of 2023.

Women in Finance Charter

In 2018, we signed the Women in Finance Charter which encourages companies to have at least 33 pct women in senior management.

As of 31 August 2022, the last reporting window, the number of women in senior management at Zopa (defined as leadership team and their direct reports) has increased significantly to 40 pct (an increase of 11 pct from 2021).

Zopa is committed to achieving 44 pct of women in senior management by the end of 2023.

Our focus in improving gender balance is centred upon:

  • Building talent pipeline We already decode 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. We are working at a grassroots level with organisations such as Code First Girls to create a new generation of female talent and while this is a long-term undertaking, we strongly feel that a systemic approach is needed to create more diverse leadership in our Tech function. Next year we will also focus more of our attention on graduate and apprenticeship talent which we can nurture and develop in the business, helping to build the next generation of leaders.
  • Career acceleration In 2022, we launched the Zopa Leadership Academy to support individual career development in the transition from individual contributor to leader. We are also in the process of rolling out consistent reward and succession planning methodologies to ensure we are being transparent, fair and equitable and to enable more targeted career development interventions.

  • Removing potential bias We have worked closely with the Zopa leadership team to encourage disclosure across all diversity elements (disclosure of gender at 100 pct and ethnicity at 79 pct). We have invested in stronger data analytics to ensure that potential bias is removed from processes such as pay decisions and promotions. In our latest review cycle, of the population who received a pay increase, 50 pct were female compared to a Zopa company representation of 46 pct, and 31 pct were from a minority ethnic group compared to a Zopa company representation of 27 pct.

Gender Pay

  • Like all organisations of our size, we carry out gender pay gap reporting on the 5th of April of this year.
  • As of 5th April 2022, we had succeeded in closing the mean pay gap by 1 pct (to 25.5 pct) but widened the median pay gap by 0.4 pct (to 36.5 pct) against 2021 reporting. Whilst we have continued to increase the number of women working at Zopa at the time of reporting, and beyond, we recognise the need to increase female representation in our Tech and Product teams. The actions identified above to build talent pipeline, and accelerate careers, will address these challenges, but over the longer term.
  • Analysis in October 2022 shows that our median gender pay gap has further reduced to 35 pct, supported by work done to benchmark salaries and raise the minimum Zopa bank salary in September 2022. This year we also introduced equal new parent leave to improve our benefits package and target a longer-term reduction in the gender pay gap.
  • In 2023, Zopa is committed to achieving a 2 pct decrease in our median gender pay gap to 33 pct.

Ethnic representation

Zopa’s community encompasses 45 nationalities, and 34 pct of our employees identify as ethnically diverse. This rich blend of cultures, faiths and experiences is a key part of Zopa’s success story and fuels our environment of empathy, tolerance and compassion.

  • Our chosen focus area for improvement in 2023 is Black representation. Employee-disclosed Black representation at Zopa is currently 5pct of our community. In the last census, black representation in the UK was at 3.3pct. In the City of London black people represent 11.49pct of the population and at Zopa we fall below this threshold.
  • Specifically, to represent the area in which we live and work and the diversity within the customer base we serve, we intend to increase the representation and engagement of the Black community at Zopa by focused talent sourcing and diversification of talent pipeline, and by targeted partnerships.
  • To track progress in this space we will also measure our progress in employee ethnicity disclosures. Ethnicity non-disclosures currently sit at 20pct, and have reduced by 4pct since January 2022.
  • By the end of 2023 Zopa is committed to doubling Black representation at senior management levels and reducing employee ethnicity non-disclosure to 10pct of our community.

More about wider D&I initiatives at Zopa We’ve made a number of other improvements this year to improve our diversity and inclusion efforts. These focuses sit among wider diversity and inclusion initiatives we shared in December 2021:

  • Base salary increase In September, Zopa announced it is increasing its minimum salary to £27,000 per annum – 17pct above the newly increased London living wage. In addition, all Zopians earning under £50,000 per annum have received a winter bonus payment of £500. This decision reaffirms our unwavering commitment to our people’s wellbeing and to mitigating the impacts of this unprecedented cost-of-living crisis among those who may feel it most.

  • Enhanced benefits We’ve announced a number of new employee benefits this year, including: continuing to offer employees workplace flexibility and announcing that employees can work abroad for up to 120 days per year; gender neutral parental leave allowing all new parents up to 16 weeks of fully paid maternity, paternity, or adoption leave; enhanced bereavement leave of up to 15 days for all loved ones and two days for pet bereavement; implementing a healthcare cashback plan, Medicash, and allowing Zopians to sell back up to five days of annual leave. We are also in the process of launching menopause care, and piloting flexible bank holidays so Zopians can work a religious bank holiday, like Christmas, and exchange it for a different day off.

  • Mentoring Running a mentoring program, which we believe will serve to develop leaders within Zopa and ensure people break out of functional silos. This runs alongside our leadership development programmes.

  • Training We have 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 analyse by gender, race, age and sexual orientation.

  • 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. 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.

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