The Guardian reports that in a speech in Hong Kong, Gulliver said: 'To discriminate against women is to discriminate against talent. It's unfair. It's wrong. And it's a really poor business decision'.
He explained: 'This is not about being cuddly, it's about competitive advantage'.
Almost half of the bank's 261,000 workforce is made up of women but at senior management level the proportion falls below a quarter.
However, this is a higher proportion than rivals and Gulliver said the bank had set a target for 25% of senior management to be women compared with 22% now.
The bank has four women – all non-executives – on its board of seventeen. 'That shouldn't be taken as a signal that the job is done – because having four women on a board of seventeen people doesn't necessarily tell you very much about the experiences of the 125,000 women in the rest of the organisation', Gulliver said.
He said the bank had only in the last 10 to 20 years started to promote women in its workforce, assuming in the past that they would not want to work overseas or would fail to be taken seriously in some of the markets in which the bank operates.
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