On 19 April 2023, the Bank of England (BoE) published a speech by its Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Afua Kyei, given at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s Talent and Diversity conference. In the speech, Ms Kyei discusses the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and her personal story of how she became one of the first ethnic minority women to rise to one of the top jobs at the BoE, as its CFO.
Ms Kyei begins by discussing her personal journey to become the CFO of the BoE, and then goes onto discuss the importance of DEI in the financial and advertising sectors. She notes that there is a lot the banking and financial industries can learn from the advertising sector projecting the importance of DEI in an impactful way, and that there are lessons learned in the financial sector on talent retention and inclusion that other sectors such as advertising can draw on.
Ms Kyei then goes onto discuss the benefits of having women in leadership roles. In her view, a good leader needs to have a mixture of leadership qualities and there should be a balance between qualities that have been stereotypically considered male and female. Furthermore, different people from different walks of life all have relevant experience to bring to the table and the more diverse we are, the better we complement each other to achieve the best outcome. Given these factors, the BoE has made DEI a strategic priority. Instead of relying on volunteers to juggle DEI alongside busy day jobs, the BoE has dedicated funding and resources to it. However, Ms Kyei does highlight how the BoE still benefits from the fantastic voluntary work from its 14 employee networks. The BoE has now created a division to lead on driving cultural changes to support this strategic priority and embed change across the organisation.