Our commitment

A message from Stanislas Roger

Deputy chief executive officer of SMBC BI 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, being selected for the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index in 2021, 2020 and 2019, and setting up country D&I councils across our largest markets. In December 2020, we became a signatory to the Valuable 500 initiative to promote disability inclusion in business.

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, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. 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, Balance, Black Employees & Allies, Collaborate and Niji. 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 be their authentic selves at 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, DRIVE was launched in 2016 to bring energy and focus to SMBC Group’s diversity agenda in order to foster an inclusive workplace. The initative aims to foster a corporate culture that respects diversity and makes it a key strength of the organisation.

Through its networks, DRIVE provides colleagues at all levels access to development and networking opportunities to leverage and build on the cumulative experience of individuals to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace. It also advises senior management on practical measures to enhance the recruitment, retention and advancement of a diverse workforce.

DRIVE networks

  • Balance supports gender balance and aims to empower all female and male colleagues.
  • Niji promotes LGBT+ D&I by creating an open and welcoming workplace for all employees, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
  • Black Employees & Allies Network promotes race equality by advocating for better representation of black employees and a more inclusive workplace.
  • Collaborate is an employee-led initiative for developing and supporting a diverse and inclusive workplace by providing informal and professional networking opportunities for colleagues at all levels across SMBC Group. Through Collaborate, employees can access and make the most of networking opportunities among colleagues in different areas of the organisation, as well as leverage and build on the cumulative experience of the group as a whole.

Diversity, respect, inclusion, value and equality


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


Balance is part of the employee-led DRIVE diversity network. It 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.

Women in Finance Charter

SMBC BI is a proud signatory of the Women in Finance Charter. In 2020, to reflect organisational changes and our desire to continue to hold an ambitious target to support gender diversity progression, we have moved our target up to a more senior level. . We are now aiming to achieve 30% of female Director and above leaders by 2023. Our current Women in Finance Charter position against this new target is 25.7% (as of July 2020).

Gender pay reporting

SMBC Group welcomes gender pay 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. In France, companies with 50 employees or more are required to publish their gender pay score under legislation that came into force in 2019.

PDF Gender pay report (SMBC BI London – 2020)

PDF Gender pay report (SMBC BI Paris – 2020)

PDF Gender pay report (SMBCE London – 2019)

PDF Gender pay report (SMBCE Paris – 2019)

PDF Gender pay report (SMBCE London – 2018)

PDF Gender pay report (SMBCE London – 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.


As an organisation, we have been striving towards enhancing our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusion agenda and in 2020 were proud to introduce two new UK policies for surrogacy and transitioning at work, to support current and future colleagues.


Niji is the Japanese word for rainbow and is our employee-led network for 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 as part of the bank's DRIVE diversity network. They enable Niji 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.


SMBC Group's diversity and inclusion agenda includes a focus on racial equity. We recognise the racial challenges that exist in society and we are taking active steps to support racial inclusion and stand against any form of discrimination in our workplace.

The Black Employees & Allies Network

The Black Employees & Allies Network promotes racial equality by advocating for better representation of Black employees and a more inclusive workplace. It is seeking a shift from an exclusive focus on the business case for diversity and inclusion, to a position that embraces the moral case.

The network hosts a number of events throughout the year to engage with colleagues across the EMEA region, raising awareness of the lived experience of Black people and the need for change. It is also focused on our impact in wider society and is developing a programme to engage with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Finally, the network seeks to promote the professional development of its members to ensure the bank benefits fully from its diverse talent base.


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 2021 HM Treasury MHFA England My Family Care Purple Space Valuable 500