Our commitment

A message from Stanislas Roger

Deputy chief executive officer of SMBCE and chair of the diversity and inclusion steering committee, SMBC EMEA Division

SMBC Group is committed to diversity and inclusion (D&I). We recognise that diversity of people, opinions and perspectives is vital for the sustainable growth of our organisation and benefits our customers and stakeholders.

I am honoured to be the chair of our D&I initiatives in EMEA and I am proud of the progress we have made since the establishment of our steering committee in 2016. Achievements include signing the Women in Finance Charter in 2017, which committed us to EMEA-wide diversity goals, and being selected for the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index in 2019.

We constantly seek new ideas to evolve our approach to inclusion. Our D&I steering committee was recently reorganised and now has a more diverse representation of leaders from both different nationalities and from across our employee networks. Our D&I strategy continues to expand in scope, with specific initiatives being put in place to support disability, gender, generations, ethnicity, nationality and sexual orientation. To demonstrate our commitment, our newly launched EMEA culture statement specifically encourages our employees to embrace diversity in all its forms.

We work closely with our employee-led Drive initiative and its networks, Niji and Balance. We also work with a select number of external partners who help us deliver on our D&I strategy and to ensure that SMBC Group continues to be an engaging and inclusive workplace for everyone.

Stanislas Roger

We encourage our people to bring their authentic selves to work every day

Diversity and inclusion in action

Our aim is to build an inclusive work environment where each employee feels able to be their authentic self. We have implemented a number of initiatives to support our diversity and inclusion strategy.

Our people in EMEA

1,800 +



employees nationalities locations


Diversity, respect, inclusion, value and equality

DRIVE is the SMBC Group umbrella for employee-led diversity networks. Its mission is to drive the sustainable growth of SMBC Group in the EMEA region by fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.

An acronym formed from diversity, respect, inclusion, value and equality, the initiative was launched in 2016 to bring energy and focus to SMBC Group’s diversity agenda in order to foster an inclusive workplace. DRIVE aims to foster a corporate culture that respects diversity and makes it a key strength of the organisation.

Through its networks, DRIVE provides development and networking opportunities, as well as advising senior management on practical measures to enhance the recruitment, retention and advancement of a diverse workforce.


Balance advocates and supports SMBC Group in achieving gender balance and a more inclusive and representative workplace to drive our continued success.

With an understanding that greater balance benefits everyone, our focus is on promoting this concept more broadly, helping staff gain the mindset to achieve a more sustainable balance in work and life.

Balance aims to empower all female and male employees at SMBC Group by providing opportunities to learn from leaders and network with colleagues from across SMBC Group, as well as a forum to share experiences and best practice with colleagues.


Niji is the Japanese word for rainbow and is our network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff and their straight allies. Niji EMEA was launched in 2018 and is led by a diverse, collaborative and friendly committee comprising a cross-section of staff. They enable the network to deliver its mission of creating an open and welcoming workplace for all employees – regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression – fostering an environment that allows everyone to reach their full potential.

Niji EMEA has hosted several events with engaging and authentic external speakers including an international sports professional and executives from large multinational corporations. Such events help to raise awareness, educate, increase visibility and help enable LGBT colleagues to be their authentic selves at work.

In 2019, Niji EMEA joined the Stonewall Global Diversity Champions programme, in support of Niji and SMBC Group’s broader diversity and inclusion strategy and goals.

Diversity, respect, inclusion, value and equality


Women in Finance Charter

SMBC Group strongly supports the business case for gender equality and value diversity as an integral part of driving business performance and growth.

SMBCE is a proud signatory of the Women in Finance Charter and has set a target to increase female representation in senior roles to 30% by 2022.

When we signed up to the Charter in March 2017 we had 22.7% female representation. As of July 2019 we have 27.7% female representation in senior management. We believe we are on track to meet our Charter target by our deadline.

SMBC EMEA Division March 2017
July 2019
March 2022
Female representation in senior roles 22.7% 27.7% 30%

Gender pay gap

SMBC Group welcomes gender pay gap legislation and the increased transparency it brings. In the UK, all companies with 250 employees or more are required to publish their gender pay gap under legislation that came into force in 2017.

PDF Gender pay gap report (SMBCE – 2018)

PDF Gender pay gap report (SMBCE – 2017)


We are proud to run Elevate, a leadership development programme specifically for females in senior roles to enhance diverse leadership across SMBC Group. The core focus of this programme is on understanding and exploring leadership identity, influence and networks, supplemented by a 12-month mentoring programme.


We are committed to attracting the best talent to SMBC Group and ensure all employees have the right workplace adjustments in place to ensure they can reach their full potential. We are currently working with a specialist organisation to build greater inclusion for current and future employees with a disability or health condition and build knowledge and awareness internally for colleagues and line managers.

Wellbeing and mental health

SMBC Group understands the impact that mental wellbeing can have on an individual’s daily life. We have therefore taken steps so that we have the relevant resources to appropriately guide any employee who may be suffering with mental health to ensure that they receive the correct advice and guidance.

The recent introduction of trained mental health first aiders (MHFAs) is an important part of our wellbeing framework. These individuals have volunteered from across the business and have all successfully completed a two-day course accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. MHFAs are not trained to be therapists or psychiatrists but they can offer initial support through non-judgemental listening and guidance.

A further vital tool offered to all employees is our employee assistance programme, which is a confidential helpline available 24/7 offering assistance, support and face-to-face counselling when required by our employees. In addition to this, regular stress awareness and mental wellbeing workshops are being rolled out to employees and line managers.

We operate across a number of countries and our wellbeing framework may vary across these locations depending on local requirements and partnerships.

We support mental wellbeing

Inclusive benefits

SMBC Group is committed to supporting employees in different roles, environments and life stages. We realise that juggling the demands of work and family, changes in life can be difficult at times and will sometimes require extra support, particularly in an emergency.

We offer a number of inclusive core and flexible benefits to employees

  • Agile working
  • Flexible working
  • Life assurance, occupational sick pay and private medical insurance
  • Enhanced paid leave for maternity, paternity and adoption, and shared parental leave and IVF support
  • Emergency backup care for children and eldercare
  • Employee volunteering opportunities as part of our corporate social responsibility
  • Employee assistance programme
  • Access to trained mental health first aiders.

In the UK, SMBC Group partners with My Family Care, a specialist provider of family friendly employee benefits, to provide employees with support and resources. We operate across a number of countries and our core and flexible benefits may vary across these locations depending on local requirements and partnerships.

Partnerships and memberships

We work with a number of specialist partners to support our diversity and inclusion aims

Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index 2019 HM Treasury MHFA England My Family Care Purple Space Stonewall Diversity Champion