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What is the Women in Finance Charter?

This charter is a pledge for gender balance across financial services. It’s a commitment to work together, across our industry and with Government, to build a more balanced and fair financial services industry.

Organisations who have signed the charter have made a clear commitment to improve diversity, to ensure that women are able to progress into senior levels, to set targets to support this work and to regularly report on their progress. On 23 June 2020, Leek Building Society became an official signatory to the charter committing us to:

♦ Having a designated member of our senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion. This is our Chief Executive, Andrew Healy.

♦ Setting internal targets for gender diversity across our Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Senior Management. We have stated our commitment to achieve a minimum of 45% representation of females by the end of 2023.

♦ Publishing progress annually against this target on our website. For more information about the Women in Finance Charter please click the link below:

Women in Finance Charter

Our commitment to building a diverse and balanced workforce

At Leek Building Society, we’re committed to creating a diverse and balanced workforce because we know different people bring different ideas, skills and perspectives.

We’re better equipped to put our members first if we have a diverse workforce of talented people that’s representative of the communities we live and work in. We want everyone who works for us to feel engaged, valued and respected and to experience that their potential is not in any way limited by their background, gender, age, race, disability, religion or sexual identity.

With full Board support and under the executive leadership of Andrew Healy, CEO and Rob Longmore, HR Director, since joining the Women in Finance Charter, we’ve refreshed our policies and approach to diversity and inclusion through a clear and impactful diversity strategy.

Position against target

When we signed up for the charter in July 2020, we had 40% female representation within senior management. As of 1 September 2021, we had 33%, which grew to 38% in September 2022. We are proud to say that we achieved our target early, meeting 45% female representation in our senior management team in April 2023.  


Our plans for the future

During 2022 we recruited a female non-executive director to our Board, and a female Head of HR, which led to an increase in our position against target. This position increased further in April 2023 as one male member of the Board left the Society, resulting in us achieving the target of 45%.

We strongly support the pledge for gender equality, and value inclusion and diversity as being an integral part of our strategy. We have a number of initiatives to support our progress including those relating to succession planning, recruitment and flexible working. In particular over half of the individuals within our succession plans are female.

In further support of enhancing gender diversity, we have reviewed our recruitment processes to make sure that we are fully inclusive and actively promote considering flexible working within our Society – something which many of our colleagues now do. This has been enhanced through the offer of hybrid working for all of our non-branch employees. We continue to robustly support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of our staff – something that was recognised by the CIPD within their prestigious awards in 2023. At the end of 2021, we significantly enhanced our family leave and sickness policies to ensure that we support our employees when they need it most. Our maternity and adoption leave policies in particular are now market leading within our sector. In 2022 we engaged an external specialist to review our approach to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion. We were pleased to hear that we were in a really good position with our approach, and they have provided some objectives to allow us to challenge ourselves even further. Across 2023 we have continued to embed the comprehensive approach to diversity including launching women’s health support and signing up to the Menopause Friendly Accreditation.

We will continue to put the diversity of people, thought and outlook within our teams at the heart of our business strategy. We are proud of what we have achieved since joining the Charter and are committed to continuing our approach to supporting female progression and development.