Towards a more equal world

6 March 2020

In Neha Jain’s job with a previous employer, she found it too hard to balance being a new parent with the demands of her manager.

“It was such a traumatic experience,” she says in a video to mark International Women’s Day 2020. “I just gave up on working.”

Neha did not work for 16 months before joining HSBC as a risk manager. Today she appreciates working in a more supportive environment – but says it’s vital for businesses to keep on making progress.

“I think we have come a long way, but I don’t want to be having this conversation in 10 years when my kids have grown up,” she says.

HSBC is publishing Neha’s story ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March. The bank also held an employee event this week to discuss the next steps in supporting gender equality.

Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn told the audience that the bank needs to accelerate progress towards gender balance at senior levels.

The bank is on course to meet its target of ensuring 30 per cent of senior posts are held by women by the end of 2020, with 29.4 per cent at the end of 2019.

But Mr Quinn said it was important to look further ahead. He said: “Through a concerted effort we have made progress, but we need to continue to work beyond that target. And I want to continue the journey at a more rapid pace.”

Employee networks have helped bring about change over the past decade, Mr Quinn said, and would continue to play a key role translating ambition into action. These groups include Balance, a 50,000-strong global group bringing women and men together to champion gender equality in the workplace.