UBS releases diversity figures for Americas staff

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at a branch office in Zurich, Switzerland January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – UBS Group AG (UBSG.S) said on Monday that 38% of its employees in the Americas at the end of last year were women and 25% were people of color, adding that it aims to increase the diversity of its workforce.

While diversity was greater in hiring – with 42% of recruits being female and 38% non-white – it declined for promotions. A third of those promoted were women, while only 21% were people of color, UBS said in a report.

UBS aims to achieve 50% diversity in hiring, promotion and retention in the Americas, it said, without setting a timeline. It described the goal as “aspirational.”

UBS’ disclosures come as banks and other large corporations come under pressure from governments and investors to employ more diverse staff, particularly at senior levels.

Women account for 20% of executive committee members in major financial services companies globally, while only 6% of CEOs are female, according to research by management consultancy Oliver Wyman.

While banks have amped up their rhetoric on the importance of diversity, few voluntarily disclose detailed workforce figures. In the UK, banks publish annual gender pay gap figures because of local disclosure rules.

The UBS report listed initiatives the bank has undertaken over the past few years to improve diversity, such as requiring external recruiting agencies to deliver multiple diverse candidates for open roles.

The Swiss bank employed 21,309 people in the Americas in 2018, roughly a third of its global workforce. Around 39% of its staff globally is female, it said in its 2018 annual report.

Only two of its 13 executive board members are women, and two are non-white. Last week it named Dutch banker Ralph Hamers as CEO.

Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by Dan Grebler

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