By Kate Langton, chief people officer, Phoebus
Phoebus is a specialist mortgage and banking software supplier with 131 employees and 37% come from an ethnic background compared to a 13% in the UK as a whole. We are based in Solihull, West Midlands which is a multicultural area and we are keen to have a workforce that is representative of our local community.
This is also true of our clients who provide a broad range of products and services to millions of their customers across the UK and Ireland. As such we want to ensure we are representative of this wider spectrum and embrace the ideas, inputs and feedback of the broader community, to best serve our clients on a daily basis.
How far has the industry come on to be more inclusive and how much further is there left to go?
Within tech and across all sectors in the UK, including the mortgage industry, we have seen a movement to become inclusive in every respect at work. Along with many of our lender clients, we celebrate and encourage diverse ideas and thoughts that research has demonstrated leads to innovation and productivity in the workplace.
What would you recommend to get more BAME individuals involved in the mortgage industry?
At Phoebus we work very hard to create a culture that is inclusive and supportive of our colleagues. We genuinely value colleagues as individuals and for the knowledge and experience they bring to our organisation; we do believe this allows diversity of thought, problem solving and idea generation which is important for innovation.
We understand that for people to do their best work they need to feel comfortable at work. We have therefore been able to create an ongoing culture that supports and maintains an inclusive and diverse working environment, backed up by people policies that promote fairness and equality at work.
My recommendation would therefore be to fundamentally encourage an open and supportive culture that is transparent and allows people to thrive. At Phoebus we do this through a focus on collaborative working and learning, social activities to help build relationships across the business and open two way communications. Our diversity metrics demonstrate that this is making a positive impact.
Could educational practices be introduced to help ensure greater inclusivity?
At Phoebus we do recognise that raising awareness and educating our colleagues in relation to diversity and inclusion issues is important and helps us all with a common understanding. Part of our culture is that we raise awareness of health, wellbeing and diversity issues throughout the year, that may affect our colleagues. This helps us to start conversations, celebrate our differences and understand more about each other at the same time. Again, this way of working is promoted through people practices and our Diversity and Inclusion Policy.