Lloyds Banking Group meets diversity targets with ‘business as usual’ returners strategy

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Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) started recruiting returners in 2016, with the goal of increasing diversity in its senior leadership. It initially focused on gender diversity and expanded to include other aspects of diversity. It also aimed to bring more women into tech roles, and the Lloyds Banking Group Returners programme played a significant role in achieving this. LBG decided to move this programme into a business-as-usual approach rather than an annual campaign so that hiring managers had more ownership and there would be greater opportunities for business unit participation, as managers could plan and recruit at their own pace rather than at set times of the year.


In 2023 Lloyds Banking Group transitioned to the business-as-usual model for returners. To support this change, it created a group-wide learning suite to educate hiring managers on the benefits of recruiting returners. It also tailored and streamlined recruitment processes to ensure returners feel fully supported throughout the hiring process.

The bank advertised returner roles on various diverse job boards, exclusively targeting individuals returning from a career break of at least 18 months. It focused on transferable skills and experience rather than industry-specific experience. The company encouraged all business areas to review upcoming vacancies and advertise them to returners, broadening the types of roles available. It also provided tailored job adverts and a recruitment process that offered support, hints and tips to help returners feel fully supported.

Once onboard returners receive considerable support from line managers and team members. The bank set up a virtual hub for returners to aid in their personal development and networking with other returners. Each returner is paired with a buddy or mentor from their team to help them settle into the business and receive the necessary support to develop their skills and contacts. Ongoing 1:2:1s and check-ins with line managers ensure that returners receive continuous support and a platform to provide feedback or raise concerns.

“Ongoing 1:2:1s and check-ins with line managers ensure that returners receive continuous support and a platform to provide feedback or raise concerns”


The bank has achieved a 90% representation of women and a 60% representation of Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic professionals returning back into a permanent role since 2021. The programme has debunked the myth that returners are unable to move back into tech roles, with 60% of recent returners securing tech positions. LBG has set a public goal to increase the representation of disabled colleagues in senior management to 12 % by 2025, with 9% of returners disclosing a disability since 2021. The programme has also been successful in attracting a diverse range of talented individuals, with 74% of returners aged 35-50 and 14% over 50 years old. Returners have shown long-term commitment, with 39% staying with the company for more than five years and 50% for more than two years. The approach has received positive feedback from hiring managers, who say that returners bring a desire to challenge and improve the ways they work, a wealth of experience and a different perspective and outlook.

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