Development Bank of Wales – why equality and diversity matters to them and their customers
Organisation Name: Development Bank of Wales
Wales has a vibrant and diverse business economy, and we are keen to reflect that in our workforce. That’s why working towards greater gender balance is really important to us as an organisation. The more diverse our workforce, the better we can support our customers and their needs. We’re always looking for ways we can help entrepreneurs get off the ground, and through our Responsible Business and Impact strategies - are actively looking to ways we as a business can help underrepresented groups.
“Working with Chwarae Teg has given us real insight into areas where we can do more and promote policies which encourage greater gender diversity. We’re delighted to receive the FairPlay Silver Award this year, and are actively working to improve in all areas.
Tell us a bit about who you are, what you do and the nature of your organisation:
The Development Bank of Wales was set up by the Welsh Government to support the Welsh economy by making it easier for businesses to get the finance needed to start up, strengthen and grow.
It aims to unlock potential in the Welsh economy by increasing the provision of sustainable, effective finance in the market. When Wales’ businesses thrive, they create a higher number of better-quality jobs.
When Welsh businesses are strong, Wales is strong.
The Development Bank provides flexible funding at all business growth stages and all sectors, with funding available from £1,000 to £10 million.
The Development Bank is a unique resource for Wales, creating long-term value and enhancing a dynamic, competitive Welsh economy.
Why did you sign up for FairPlay Employer?
Equality and diversity is a topic that’s relevant for all workplaces, regardless of whether they employ two or two hundred people. The Development Bank believes in a diverse workforce and we want to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities and receives the same, fair treatment.
This helps with our recruitment and retention. It also supports employee engagement, our goal to be an inclusive employer, and improves productivity and brand reputation. Importantly, a diverse workforce helps us meet the different needs of our customers.
Our core values are open, responsible, partnership and these are at the heart of our organisation.
We depend on attracting, retaining and progressing the best talent and believe in our mission of delivering sustainable effective finance and working in partnership with customers and stakeholders.
The organisation needs a knowledgeable, motivated and engaged team who can both deliver on our objectives and be brand ambassadors for the Development Bank. Our aim is to have an equal and diverse workplace and we implement strategies to ensure we achieve this.
The Development Bank has a responsibility to support the Well-being of Future Generations Act. We are committed to the long-term provision of finance for the prevention of market failure, taking an integrated and collaborative approach, involving people of all demographics for sustainable growth in Wales. Within each new Fund, we detail what outputs will improve outcomes within the seven integrated well-being goals, how the sustainable development principle has been incorporated and where outputs support well-being objectives.
How do you see your gender equality journey progressing from here?
2020 was certainly a difficult year dominated by Covid-19. Looking forward, we will build on what we have already achieved, improving our flexible working policies to support greater diversity.
Continuing to invest in our internal communications and wellbeing initiatives will be a focal point as we look to how we can support our colleagues with the return to a ‘new normal’ working environment in what will be another challenging year.
Our Future Working Teulu – an intradepartmental working group – includes representatives from across all Development Bank of Wales departments. The Teulu will put forward options and recommendations that will directly shape the way in which we work. With most of the workforce working from home since last March, as an organisation we’re keen to retain flexibility for colleagues even as a roadmap out of lockdown is laid out. As part of the work of the Teulu, colleagues will also be surveyed on their flexible working preferences.
We’re also providing greater transparency regarding reward and recognition as well as supporting colleagues to progress in their careers.
We will continue to place increased efforts on encouraging more women entrepreneurs to access finance to start-up and run businesses. We are actively involved with the Supporting Entrepreneurial Women in Wales advisory group and in adopting the Good Practice Guide to increase the diversity of the businesses we invest in. This has been supported through a variety of marketing campaigns. To date, we have worked with over 2000 women involved in the ownership of companies in Wales.
Organisations such as Development Bank demonstrate the value and benefits of being an Equality driven employer. To see an organisation, especially one of their size, go from a Bronze to Silver in the ‘Organisational Culture’ category of our bench marking survey is fantastic- It shows unequivocally the positive difference being an accepting, open and forward thinking organisation can make to their employees.
They have been a joy to work with and continue to go from strength to strength. We at FairPlay Employer look forward to their continued gender equality journey and to seeing them thrive even further
What is the FairPlay Employer award:
It is our innovative programme to support, connect and recognise organisations that are leading on inclusive growth. It is a year on year award process to deliver gender equality in the business, giving the benefits of a genuine inclusive workforce.
We Benchmark organisations against others in their industry and region, ascertain the key areas of success and those that need development and together embark on a journey of guided support and improvement.