Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), the oldest international bank in the Philippines, continues to provide a collective voice and foster meaningful actions to create awareness, further improve inclusivity and drive change. For years, the bank has embedded diversity and inclusion into its organizational DNA, celebrated female role models and allies to reaffirm its commitment to gender equality, and build an inclusive culture where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive. The bank has institutionalized initiatives globally including mentoring and coaching, staff engagement, training and development, and community programs across its network.
In 2018, SCB signed a statement of support for the UN Women Empowerment Principles to reinforce its ongoing commitment to gender equality. It has also made a commitment to address gender pay gaps and increase its female representation in senior leadership roles. To date, the bank’s percentage of women in leadership positions increased to 30% and aims to further increase to 35% by 2025. Fourteen of its markets have female CEOs at the helm, including China, Hong Kong, India, UAE, and the Philippines, with Lynette Ortiz as its first Filipina CEO since 2016. More than half of its country management team members are women.
Ortiz is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion with gender equality and women empowerment as her personal advocacies. In the past, she led the local staging of Vagina Monologues to celebrate International Women’s Day to benefit One Billion Rising with some parts played by international theatre actress and women’s rights activist Monique Wilson and has spoken in conferences and symposia on these topics.
Ortiz is also actively involved in various career coaching sessions for college students and young professionals with Filipina CEO Circle, and a mentor in the bank’s global Speed Mentoring Programme for female colleagues. She was recently appointed as Vice-Chairperson of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Management Association of the Philippines.
“There is strength in solidarity and sisterhood. It is important to inspire each other and add a collective voice to the conversation. We must actively challenge stereotypes, offer support to female colleagues, and openly celebrate role models in order to drive a more inclusive environment,” said Ortiz highlighting the importance of active involvement in keeping the conversation on women empowerment going.
SCB Philippines is a founding member of the Philippine Financial Inter-Industry Pride (PFIP) and actively participates in the annual celebrations of International Women Day, Pride Month, World AIDS Day, World Mental Health Day, World Sight Day, International Men’s Day, International Day for People with Disabilities among others.
The bank recently launched a Lean-In Circle called “Women of Wonder (WoW)” dedicated to providing a platform to provide peer-to-peer support for female employees. Through WoW, it aims to create a more inclusive environment that enables everyone, regardless of gender, to contribute to their full potential.
Other female leaders of the bank are also involved in year-round volunteering and coaching sessions supporting students, young professionals, and people with disabilities in partnership with universities and non-profit organizations such as Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Gawad Kalinga and Virtualahan, a social enterprise that champions the welfare of women and PWDs. Mentoring topics include job application tips, communication skills, and career guidance.
Standard Chartered was recently ranked as among the top 100 companies in Equileap’s 2021 Gender Equality Global Report and Ranking and recognized on the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index 2019, for the fourth year in a row. Financial Times likewise recognized SCB as a diversity leader, ranking in the top 20 among banks and financial services list of European 2021 leaders for workplace diversity and inclusion.