HSBC Malta has committed itself to be a leading company in the country for diversity by launching a number of initiatives focused primarily on achieving gender balance in senior management positions.
These were announced by Chief Executive Officer Andrew Beane and the Bank’s Chief Risk Officer Joyce Grech to 1,000 employees at the bank’s annual townhall in March and then committed publicly during a conference on gender balance, ‘50-50 Boardrooms? Increasing Gender Diversity in Senior Management Positions’, hosted by the Times of Malta in April.
“I believe diversity of thinking is essential for us to take the best commercial decisions for our business, to deliver the highest standard of service for our customers and to ensure we are serving all parts of society responsibly,” said Andrew Beane.
Despite 60% of its workforce being female, only 20% of HSBC Malta’s senior management positions are currently held by women. “This is something we are going to change; as CEO I am committed to run HSBC with a truly a meritocratic culture where anybody irrespective of gender or background knows it is possible to come through the organisation and reach the very highest levels based on their talent while also maintaining balance with their personal life.”
Whilst the latest initiatives are geared at supporting female staff, they are all guided by the principle of meritocracy. The actions being taken by the bank include a range of initiatives; firstly flexible working is now open to all employees who have young children – mothers or fathers – on an opt-out basis rather than opt-in, making flexibility at work standard; secondly, for every single senior management position at HSBC Malta, the bank will ensure that there is at least one female applicant on the shortlist for an interview; and thirdly the Bank is inviting employees on child, maternity and special unpaid leave to the main events it organises to help them stay in touch and reintegrate quickly back to the workplace upon their return.
The bank’s Chief Risk Officer, Joyce Grech, shared her own experience as someone who has ascended through the ranks at HSBC Malta by emphasising that while an enabling environment is helpful, women taking responsibility for their own career is equally important.
“Some of the initiatives, which I am supporting wholeheartedly, involve employees who are on childcare leave. I believe in keeping these employees connected to and engaged with the organisation, inviting them to events such as the staff townhall that we held recently. Our employees really appreciated this because they feel that they are part of our team,” said Joyce Grech.
The Bank has recently appointed two female colleagues to the Executive Committee of the bank. Irina Seylanyan will be joining as Head of Global Banking & Markets having held senior management posts with HSBC in Armenia and in London. Anna Camilleri joined as Head of Audit as an external recruit from PwC where she held the post Senior Manager – Governance, Risk & Compliance Services.
In addition HSBC Bank Malta’s Board of Directors recently welcomed two new female members, Ms Tanuj Kapilashrami and Dr Maryanne sive Sue Vella as Non-Executive Directors subject to regulatory approval. Ms Kapilashrami has occupied the role of Group General Manager & Head of Human Resources (HR), HSBC Europe, Middle East, Africa and International Management since January 2014. Dr Vella is presently a resident academic at the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Malta. Dr Vella also served as Malta’s delegate to the European Treaty-based Employment Committee (EMCO) and was elected Vice-President of EMCO in 2008.