In this episode, you are going to meet Lisa Faulkner, who is Head of people at the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which is called the F S C S for short. And although it's quite a small organization employing around 250 people, the People team's work in the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion space has led to it consistently ranking in the top 50 Most Inclusive Employers list, which I think is pretty amazing.
And at the time of recording this episode, it's sitting in the number 12 spots on that list. But before we dive into the episode and hear Lisa's practical tips for committing to EDI in your organization, no matter how big or small it is, I just want to say a big thank you to the person who reviewed HR Coffee Time on Apple Podcasts last week.
The reviewer mentions last week's episode, episode 83. Which was called Destructive Team Dynamics, how to spot them and get things back on track, where we heard from guest Gabriella Braun. And the reviewer wrote, "It's genius and enjoyable to learn through stories rather than being brain fogged and bogged down by theory.
Thank you, Gabriella and Fay". So if that was you, thank you so much. Reviews are a big sign to Apple that HR Coffee Time is a podcast worth listening to, and it increases the chances of Apple recommending it to other listeners who haven't come across it before. And of course, if you missed last week's episode, hopefully this is a good nudge to hop back and listen to it after you've finished listening to this one.
But now let's move on to the main part of the show and meet Lisa.
Welcome to the show, Lisa. It's so wonderful to have you here. And please, can I just ask you to start us off by telling us all a little bit about yourself and what you do?
If you're unsure for who we are, what we do, have a look on your banking app and you'll see our logo on most of the banking apps. We are part of the UK financial regulatory family, but we don't regulate anything. We are the people that work as a compensation scheme, so we will give you back your money if you have been scammed or if you've been given poor advice or if your credit union or bank has gone into administration. So we work with companies and individuals who are no longer trading the Financial Ombudsman deals with live companies. We deal with companies who have like I say, stopped trading.
At the moment. We are an organization of 250. The majority of the work that we do is purely claims. So people come to us, they make a claim, or they make a claim through a claims management company. And we deal with that claim. We are seeing very complex claims around pensions.
That's our biggest area at the moment. Because obviously with the pension freedoms, what has happened in that area is that lots of kind of unscrupulous people have come out and sort of said, "Ooh, you've got all this money. If you give it to me, I can invest it in housing schemes in Brazil or rubber plantations in Guam, and you'll get a 400% return on your investment".
And it's not true. It, it's a big scam and they run away with people's money and people lose their entire pension pots.
So, yeah, so what we do is we are the people that will sit behind that and say, "no, we will give you back your money, as long as you fulfill certain criteria". It's quite a good social purpose I think, for an organization. So when we recruit, it's one of the things that we, definitely hang on the recruitment is the social purpose.
We do a good thing, we deal with a lot of vulnerable people. We deal with a lot of. Older people. Cause I, I say a lot of it's pensions. And and one of the things that brings people into working for us is that ability to give back, I think to society at large really.
Thanks so much for sharing that with us, and oh my goodness, it sounds like a very, very important service that is available. I'm sure there are a lot of people who are incredibly appreciative to get their money back after being scammed. It's awful to think how much these things must happen.
It's, it is quite, there are some very unscrupulous people out there, bad actors as we call them. But yeah, very, quite unscrupulous people.
They've got some really strong diversity networks. You know, the Bank of England's women's network is, is bigger than our organization. The membership of the network, they've got some, you know, they've got some great L G B T networks. We don't have that because we are quite small, but what we do have is very much a focus on how we manage our kind of, and we're calling it these days, equity - ED&I.
So equity comes first because one of the things that we are very focused on is that not everybody is starting off. It's not a flat playing field. So equity is very important. It's not equality, it's about where people at their starting point and how you make it more equitable for those people because they may be starting at various different points along their journey, depending on what other things that might be at play.
So, yeah, so ED&I is really important to us.
There's so much conflicting noise around this space and about what we could do. I thought it would be incredibly valuable to be able to share with them some of the practical things that you have put in place that have led to you getting that ranking within the list. So would you be happy to talk us through some of them?
And actually if you think about it, those are three areas that go across all of the characteristics cuz everybody falls into them in some fashion. So, and also one of the things that we were really clear on was even though there are no quotas or. You know, absolute targets in this country. Give yourself targets cuz it holds you accountable and it gives you something to focus on.
So, we built ourselves in some small targets. We had a target to increase our female management population. We had a a, a target a target to h ave gender shortlists that, that were 50 50 or shortlist recruitment shortlists that were 50 50, gender female, male.
Also data is really key. So look up the data. So the data was saying you have to have at least 50% of women on a short list to get to the point where you might have a woman and a man as the last two people in the race. If you have less than 50%, you are likely to end up with two men.
So start looking at the data, start looking at all the stats that are coming out, cuz it's really interesting and it can feed into the targets that you can build for yourselves. They don't have to be massive targets. And also you don't have to hit them. I mean, depending on what we are recruiting for, 50 50 on a short list is really tricky if it's an IT role or a data role, I'm, I'm lucky if I've got 30/ 70 because they're very male oriented. But if I'm looking for an HR person, it's usually the other way around. There's a lot more female to male. But we, try to Keep that as, as a sort of a target in mind because it's the best thing to do.
The same thing for race. We looked at our data and we realized that although we had a very diverse organization so a lot of racial diversity. The promotion of people that were Black or Asian or had other ethnic minority characteristics wasn't, wasn't showing. It was, less than it should have been.
So we realized that our data was showing that we had an issue with that, with the promotion of people. So what do you do about that? And how do you do that? Well, actually we introduced a talent sponsorship program, so It started off as a black talent sponsorship program.
So I invited black colleagues to be sponsored by a member of the executive team. They would be taken to board meetings or they might be taken to meetings at the Bank of England, or they would have mentorship meetings with the exec to talk about that. And then, then the exec member might mention them to other people and it's that kind of sponsorship and that sort of way of showing how people do that.
And that's worked really well. And we've had quite a few people off that program who've already been promoted. Because on the back of that, , and now we've expanded that to include all the other ethnic minority groups that we've got.
So it's, like you can just do really small things. We work with Business in the Community, which is the business arm of the Prince's Trust, really great organization. They'll give you consultancy days. We really started off a lot of our race work with them. And they will come in and they will run sessions for you so you know about don't be afraid to talk about race.
All those sorts of things. They came in and did some work with us around the Black Lives Matter movement. They've been great and through them we've signed the Race at Work Charter, and we've also signed the Change the Race Ratio. Change the Race Ratio is about getting more black and ethnic minority people into boards.
We also signed their Million Workers Over 50 Charter as well a few years back. It's about finding this missing million. I think it's a missing 2 million these days. But this missing million people over 50 who just dropped off the radar.
And were workless, you know, so it's just little things like that. You can just start small and you can just start focusing in on certain areas. And then as you go through, you can start to expand it. So there we started to expand it outwards to, to really look at people more as a whole. So people's health and wellbeing, people's socioeconomic backgrounds has been a a new thing for us as well about, again, the data saying in finance and in financial services, people with a lower socioeconomic background don't get to be a 'Head of', or don't get to be accountants because they're not exposed to it. So what do you do about that? How do you manage that? We are looking at working with schools in the area with Adecco who's our recruitment partner. It's called Creating Brighter Futures, and they work with local schools about getting people who might not have this lived experience, they might not have parents who have a corporate job giving them experience or showing them what it's like to work in a corporate, financial service industry. So it's lots of different things that you can do that take up a bit of time, but are really, really useful and really just practical stuff that you can do.
That's what we've been doing over the last, well, the last seven years since I've been here anyway.
But first of all, I want to say thank you for sharing it. I know it's going to be hugely helpful to so many people. So if I just take you back for a moment, you said about focusing on a few things to start with. So you focused on gender, race, and age to begin with, and then you said, "Set yourself targets and look at the data."
Now I know that data can still feel quite daunting to a lot of people. I have covered data on the podcast once before, so for anyone listening at this moment, if you take a look in the show notes, I'll make sure that I link to the episode. I can't remember what the number was off the top of my head. I had a guest speaker that day called Angela Moyle, who was absolutely fantastic.
So if you're listening and you heard Lisa say the word data and you immediately went into panic, please don't panic. Just go back and listen to that episode and it will reassure you. But Lisa, as I have you here in front of me, and you are doing brilliantly at researching data and looking at the data you have, can I just ask you two questions about it?
The first one is how are you holding your data? How are you gathering it? Have you got a a system that you find really helpful?
And so we did a big comms piece around, This is really useful data for us. We really want to work well in these spaces. We want to be able to help you. Please give us your data, please, you know, fill these bits in. And actually now we've got like a 92% fill rate on our equal ops data. And it's funny cause I was at a conference a
a few months later, and this point came up and a and a lady in the audience had said, oh, if I said that to my organization, they would think we were just spying on them. And I was like, it's about how you comms it to people and it's about, and telling people what you're going to use their data for is really important.
So yeah, so we, we've been really, really lucky in that people have really responded so well and given us all of their data so we can start looking at our sort of baseline of where we are starting from and then we can go back out and we can ask our recruitment partners. So Addeco who are our recruitment partner have amazing amounts of data because obviously they work in these sorts of fields.
Ask for, you know, look for data from other areas. They've lots of white papers that will talk about it. The C I P D has data on everything you could possibly think about. If you want to think about What's happening in the flexible or hybrid working world, or if you want to look at salary, you know, there's always an annual salary report that comes out from the C I P D.
They've got reports on diversity, you know, and inclusion throughout the UK. So just you can just find some really good data. In certain places that will just give you some sort of background to it. And that's kind of what we've done. And then we've looked at our own data in comparison to this data and figured out what we want to do and where, where we want to be.
So give yourself sort of attainable targets and you can build on them. So we've joined we've signed the Women in Finance Charter for instance, a few years ago. That's been absolutely. It's such a great thing. It really keeps you accountable as well if you sign a lot of charters because you have to tell them, it really keeps you accountable for the work that you are doing.
And then you have to sort of like say why you might not have met your target or what you're doing to meet your targets. That's been useful as well because again, and then you've got the data from the, the years preceding this, so we've got like five years worth of data around. Where we are with women and what we've been doing every year and, and, you know, what programs we might have run to, enable our movement into management and all those sorts of things.
So that's great to have shared that information. Lisa, again, thank you. There was another thing that you mentioned when you had moved on initially from talking about setting targets and then looking at your data, and then I can't remember your exact wording, but then you said, and then take action, and you gave an example of having talent sponsorship programs.
So can I ask you, how did you come up with the idea for the talent sponsorship program? I can imagine people sitting here thinking, well we've, we've got the data or we've looked at it, but what on earth do we do to improve?
We did the same thing for our female development, leadership development, you know, what is it? What can we do? And a, a lot of our female colleagues said, well, We, we've never been in leadership.
We, would quite like that. But what we lack and what we find women do lack is confidence. So can we have something that was going to build our confidence? And we've got a great program called the RISE Program.
And it's like almost like a little community now that has built up around this, but it's about, and it's also then women sort of helping each other out as well and, and supporting each other, and that's been a really useful tool for them as well. So, yeah. So just ask people.
Well, I know I'm not technically an HR professional anymore, but I'm, I'm sort of imagining I am. But there is that pressure you can put on yourself to think, I've gotta come up with all the answers. When you are quite right, actually asking your colleagues, that's often going to come up with way better things than you can think of on your own.
And then you also mentioned the fact that you've been signing up to some charters. How are you discovering all these brilliant charters that are proving to be so worthwhile being part of?
That was our first charter that we ever signed up for. The Race at Work Charter and the Change the Racer Ratio came through the Business in the Community. So those are charters that are there. And again, it's all about, I think this accountability and having some targets and working with some really good organizations as well.
And then now what we are really thinking about is, is moving that on. So we've now moved into more of a, what we call a responsible business model. So through the business in the community, they have the Responsible Business Tracker.
And it's about expanding people. So we have a People function, we talk about People, we don't talk about HR, we don't talk about human capital, which is my absolutely least favorite thing to call people. So, but. It's, it goes beyond people and it goes into a much more of a wider stance around, and it's about the environment that you work in and, and your surrounding environment and How you impact that really.
So how the work that you do or, or just being there impacts your environment. So the Responsible Business Tracker breaks down into three areas. So it's healthy business. So what are your purpose and your values? We have a very strong purpose, which is good. Healthy community. So what's happening around you, in your community and your local community. And then healthy environment. So that's talking about your CO2 emissions or the footprint that you are leaving behind and the type of furniture you might have in the building, or, you know, all those sorts of things. How much waste you produce. And I, I know you sort of like recycling, so there's lots of these different things.
So it's a move around from people to a much wider look at. It's not just about our people, it's about, I say the community that we sit in. It's about the young people in this community we work with Positive East, who are an HIV charity. And about helping people who are living with HIV get back into work.
We work with a company who provide food for the homeless as well. So, there's lots of different area things that we work with. I mentioned earlier we're working with Adecco and their Creating Brighter Futures. One of the things that we've asked is that we work with schools in Tower Hamlets, which is our particular area, so that we are.
Giving back to the, the community that we are in. And you know, we sit in just in the city of London, but sitting around us are some very deprived boroughs of London that doesn't have all of the benefits that other places have. And then the environment very much is, you know, on key.
You know, we want to cut our CO2 emissions, we want to recycle our waste better. We want to be able to recycle our furniture when we change furniture rather than chucking it into a landfill. So yeah, so those three areas is where we've really pushed onto, are way beyond People.
How are you managing to make time for all of this as well as running everything else to do with the People function?
So I have in my, and we are not a massive team so we have David, who's our chief people Officer. So David does a lot of work and you, and you people might have heard of him externally around our kind of way of working and our flexible working and all the work that we do. I manage the, people function around, I make sure people get paid.
We do learning and development. We make sure that people have desks to sit at, you know, those sorts of things, key bags. And then, but I've got a great people and Inclusion manager, Kathy. So her focus is very much on our inclusion work and our diversity work. And she focuses on that. And then we have Karina, who's our People Partner.
She focuses a lot on people's health and wellbeing and in any. We don't have a lot of employee relations, but any employee relations work that we do, she focuses on that. And at the moment she's doing all of our recruitment as well. Bless her. We've just actually recruited a new Recruitment Partner. We have a small learning and development team.
And I say we have a wonderful, what we call People Experience team, and they do a lot of the comms, they do a lot of the nice to have stuff
so we've been really, that's been really useful because it gives you that nice separation where I can focus on our leadership pathway or our career pathways. And I can focus on that without thinking, "oh, now I've got to worry about sorting out the Christmas party". And we've got also got an environment team that sort out where the desks are going and, and if the toilets flush and all those sorts of things.
So we've got some great separation in a very small team of work. But we are also what I call it's an interesting term, integrated pluralists. It means that we all have a common purpose that we're all working towards. And we do that by doing all these different things, but coming together to make it the right thing in the middle.
So paternalism, obviously the first sort of seeds of HR and that, that the Bourneville villages and the Cadburys villages where they would build these villages so that their workers were healthy and safe and could bring themselves to work and do what they needed to do.
The very paternalistic, all the way up to at the moment, most organizations sit between what they call the profit wave and the people wave. So it's all about profit or it's all about people. And then the next wave, so P six, the P wave that probably we would think we were sitting in is the paradox wave.
So the paradox wave means it's that kind of fight between profit and people . So profit is important, but not at the expense of people. You know, that's, that's very key to what we do. So the paradox wave is how do we manage that? How do we manage that? How do we disrupt all of those sorts of things.
And then the final wave is planet. How do we become a completely holistic and, round organization that does everything. So, yeah, so that's and integrated pluralists come from there. So if you're in the P paradox wave, your team should be integrated Pluralists. Oh yeah. Brilliant book.
He's written loads of books. I think I should be on commission. But I've read all of his books and they're just amazing. He talks also about the whole person and how your health affects the work that you do and the stress and exam time. He's got a book called Coherence, which is all about balance and how you balance your health and your working life, which is probably quite appetite at the moment because there's lots of stuff out there in the HR world about how, you know, we as HR people don't get any support and we're all.
You know, terribly stressed and burnt out.
He's great to listen to. But yeah, gr it's a fabulous book. If you're looking to see the evolution of, of HR and how it would affect the world, the be one of the best books. So it's, it's become slightly our, our main go-to text.
As you probably know, I get, I'm so lucky to have all these wonderful book recommendations pretty much every time a guest comes on the show and I cannot possibly read them all as much as I would like to, but. That one sounds like it's gonna be moving straight up the pile on my giant reading pile to the top.
And for anyone listening, if you would like to take a look at the book as well, I will make sure that I put a link in the show notes to it. I will also put links in the show notes to lots of the resources that Lisa has kindly mentioned while talking. If you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about when I use the word show notes, if you just look this episode up on my website, Bright Sky Career Coaching, you'll find it in the HR Coffee Time section.
You'll see that for each episode there is some writing underneath the audio that is the show notes. You should also be able to see them on whatever podcast app you're listening to this podcast on. Just tap on the episode, scroll down, and you'll see all the writing underneath the audio. That's the show notes.
So all that leaves me to say, Lisa is a huge thank you for coming on the show today. It has been brilliant talking to you.
The second point was about using data. So internal data and external data. The third piece of advice that she gave us was to set yourself realistic targets. The fourth tip she shared with us was to turn to other organizations for advice and support, and she gave us a couple of examples there, including Business in the Community.
Her fifth tip was to commit to charters, to hold yourself accountable to your commitments. And also having had a look at some of the charters that her organization has signed up to, I can see that they have some really good guidelines and advice and best practice that I think could be really helpful to take a look at.
Her sixth tip was to ask your people throughout the organization what will help them. When it comes to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and the seventh tip that I'll mention was to think about the wider impact you can have. So not just focusing immediately on your organization internally, but also thinking beyond that and thinking about the local community and the environment
and the world as a whole. There were other things she talked about as well, but they were the key seven points that I thought it would be helpful just to go over again. I really hope you enjoyed today's episode and that you have a great week and I look forward to being back again next week with the next episode.