Sarah’s tackling gender inequality for the next generation.

The banking industry is evolving. It’s more international, more technologically-innovative, and more regulated than ever before. As competition increases and societal expectations shift, how do we build a workforce fit for the future?

For Sarah, a Director in our Fixed Income & Currencies Business, building a diverse workforce is the key to unlocking future success. For her, it’s not just the big initiatives that matter; when it comes to championing gender diversity at work, it’s the little things that make the difference.

Sharing experiences

As we welcome a new generation of women to the bank, it’s important that we meet and, ultimately, exceed their expectations. Today, new employees want to learn from women who have experienced the things they have; women of different ages, races, religions; women who look, sound and live like them.

“I’ve been involved in the Women’s Network. I’m a female mentor. I’m part of the maternity buddy scheme. And I’m very passionate about careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). For me, change starts with being visible.”

To succeed as a bank, we must do what we can to make sure women, from all walks of life, can feel empowered to succeed here. Providing equal opportunity is the first step towards making gender equality the norm.

We’ve rethought the recruitment process for new graduates to ensure we can appeal to women from a diverse range of backgrounds. By moving away from numerical testing and towards situational judgement assessment, reviewing CVs from a wider pool of degree subjects, and partnering with women’s societies, we’re making opportunities more accessible to women. This year, our incoming graduate class was 44% female across all our divisions; and 46% within Corporate Finance. But we’re not stopping there. At Deutsche Bank, we believe in investing in women throughout their working life. From long-standing maternity coaching and return-to-work schemes through to our Director Development programme, ATLAS, we believe in supporting women at every level, in all kinds of ways – just like Sarah.
“Since joining in 2004, I’ve made it my mission to make even the smallest gestures count – doing things like having honest conversations with my female colleagues and sitting in on entry-level interviews. You have to be the change you want to see.”

Tackling stereotypes

Sarah believes that putting successful women from STEM backgrounds in front of the next generation is the first step towards inspiring change.

“In 2018, 88% of boys took Computing A-levels. 78% of A-level physics students were boys. 72% of people who took Further Maths were boys. In this day and age, these statistics are shocking – and it just goes to show how much more work needs to be done around changing the narrative.”

As a Trustee on the Board of Science Education Centre, Centre of the Cell, Sarah has also participated in the conversation around the importance of using neutral language when recruiting for STEM careers – a sentiment that’s also reflected by us at the bank, where unconscious bias training is offered to senior management and beyond.

“As a mother, with a 3-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy, I see the effect language has on defining how we think about gender. That’s why we need to champion diversity in work, not just as and when, but every day. Working in a place where that’s not only encouraged but expected, that’s what makes an inclusive employer.”

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