Our diversity and inclusion strategy supports our efforts to employ people that reflect the diversity of Africa’s people, and to create an inclusive, engaging and high-performance culture that enables all our employees to perform to their full potential. We aim to ensure that all our employees feel valued, empowered and motivated to work together to create solutions for our clients and the communities in which we operate.
In 2019, building on the work that had already been done in South Africa, we developed a diversity framework for Africa Regions, which guides how we work, to ensure fair and equal treatment of employees. The framework applies to all recruitment and selection; terms and conditions of employment; remuneration; promotion; work assignment; training and every other aspect of employment. It also addresses the critical issue of creating an inclusive work environment.
At country level, each of our businesses is developing a diversity plan with targets, against which progress will be tracked. Gender is a primary focus area for all countries. Plans include diversity metrics for recruitment and skills development, promotion and provision of targeted skills development interventions for women.
In South Africa, we have appropriate processes and support systems in place to assist people with disabilities to perform to their full potential. Employees can apply for reasonable accommodation to address specific workplace requirements. We raise awareness of disability declaration and reasonable accommodation application processes, through internal communications to all employees.
Standard Bank employees are governed and protected by group policies on harassment, sexual harassment and unfair discrimination. These policies establish non-negotiable principles and standards on these issues, while allowing for in-country adaptations for dealing with complaints. We have zero-tolerance for harassment and discrimination. All reported cases are taken seriously, and promptly and justly handled. Individuals are provided with the necessary support, and we ensure that they are not in any way prejudiced or disadvantaged as a result of having laid a bona fide complaint.
Sim Tshabalala, our group CEO, is a Thematic Champion of the UN Women HeForShe movement, a global initiative for the advancement of gender equality. HeForShe is rooted in the understanding that gender equality will only be achieved with the involvement of men.
The movement invites all people to stand together to create a gender equal world. It recognises that fairness is not about treating everyone the same, but about treating people in a way which enables them to achieve their full potential. In line with the UN HeForShe ethos, we aim to create an inclusive culture, and to engage men and women to discuss the systemic and societal constraints that many women face. We make particular efforts to address any workplace barriers to gender equity. This includes making it easier for all employees, men and women, to manage the often-conflicting demands of work and home life, making it easier for women to integrate back into their positions after maternity leave, and offering opportunities for employees to take sabbaticals and extended leave periods when certain conditions are met.
During 2019, we encouraged our people across the group, from executives to front line employees, to make their own HeForShe pledges. We received an excellent response, and we’re delighted to see the enthusiasm with which our people have embraced the movement.
We are continuously working to increase the representation of women in senior positions across the group. Measured against the 2018 McKinsey Women in the Workplace Report, Standard Bank Group compares favourably in respect of the representation of women in both executive and senior management positions.
|Total number of employees by type of employment contract1||SBG||Employees||48 614||52 147||54 047|
|Permanent||SBG||Employees||44 996||47 419||48 322|
|Non-permanent||SBG||Employees||3 618||4 728||5 725|
|Total number of employees by gender (permanent)||SBG||Employees||44 996||47 419||48 322|
|Male||SBG||Employees||19 155||20 032||20 407|
|Female||SBG||Employees||25 841||27 387||27 915|
|Total number of employees by region||SBG||Employees||44 996||47 419||48 322|
|South African Operations||SBG||Employees||30 102||32 162||32 876|
|Africa Regions||SBG||Employees||14 274||14 618||14 831|
|Standard Bank International||SBG||Employees||620||639||615|
|1||Numbers exclude Liberty.|
|2||Percentage of women on SBG board.|
|3||Percentage of CE in Africa Regions.|
We provide a wide range of wellbeing services to our employees. We believe it is important to adopt a holistic view to wellbeing, so our service offerings cover physical, mental, social, emotional and financial wellbeing.
Our Employee Wellbeing Programme (EWP) provides confidential, personal support and information to help employees deal with everyday stressors and more serious concerns. Services are provided through an independent, external organisation in each country. Counsellors follow a strict, professional code of ethics to protect personal privacy. All Standard Bank employees and their immediate dependants can use EWP services, at no cost to the employee.
In 2019 we developed a minimum standards framework for the provision of an EWP, which stipulates:
Employees can also participate in wellness days, medical assessments for executives and senior managers, and a range of training and upskilling initiatives focusing on financial wellbeing and building personal resilience and coping skills.
During 2019, 7 147 individual employees from across Standard Bank Group accessed these services, representing 15.6% of total employees (compared to 15.7% in 2018).
We train managers in managing absenteeism and appropriately supporting employees who display symptoms of psychosocial or health challenges.
We use the cost of total sick leave as a percentage of total payroll as our main measure of absenteeism. In 2019, this equated to 0.66% for Standard Bank Group (0.63% in 2018). The average sick days per employee increased to 4.09 in 2019 compared to 3.92 in 2018, but is below the benchmark for the financial services sector of 4.5 days per employee (Alexander Forbes 2018).
Our employees have the right to enjoy fair and just conditions of work. The Standard Bank Group Employee Relations Governance Framework provides for constructive employer-employee relationship practices. The framework is founded on our international and national regulations and obligations, our values and code of ethics, and our commitment to maintaining and developing fair employment practices in all our countries of operation. The framework provides a general set of employee relations operating principles, which should be incorporated into the policies and procedures of group entities as applicable in their country of operation.
The Standard Bank Group is committed to providing a healthy and safe working environment for our employees. We do so by complying with all applicable legislation and regulatory and supervisory requirements.
Our Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) policy seeks to achieve high standards of care and provide a healthy and safe workplace for employees, contractors, clients, visitors, and other relevant persons. Any risks to the health and safety of employees and stakeholders resulting from hazards in the workplace and/or potential exposure to occupational illness, as well as the group’s exposure to the risk of impacting directly on the environment through our business, are managed by the health, safety, and environmental risk management team and are supported by executive management accountability structures. The Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) risk team works closely with group real estate services on the group’s direct environmental impact.
All buildings occupied by Standard Bank throughout Africa are covered by Standard Bank’s OHS programme. Our operations across Africa comply with national OHS standards and legal requirements, or the group’s minimum standards, whichever is more stringent. Effective OHS practices provide protection against the direct costs of health and safety violations and minimise legal, regulatory and reputational risks, while simultaneously ensuring shareholder value by looking after our biggest asset, our people.
We continuously strive to ensure that a healthy and safe workplace is provided for all employees, contractors, clients and visitors across all geographies, in pursuance of all applicable health and safety legal requirements and best practices. As an employer we understand that our duty of care places an obligation on us as to integrate occupational health and safety management frameworks as part of our policies and management arrangements at the workplace. We empower our people with appropriate knowledge and training that will enable them to effectively execute their health and safety responsibilities. We also provide our service providers and contractors with information on their health and responsibilities and how their activities may impact the group’s operations. Regular support visits are conducted to ensure alignment across all our operations. The visits contribute toward creating a positive health and safety culture, while preventing, minimising and managing health and safety risks, working closely with all the relevant stakeholders.