Gurjeet chairs Santander’s BAME network (Ethnicity@Work) and since the launch in February 2017 has been instrumental to its successful internal and external growth. She has recruited senior managers, BAME and non-BAME, to participate in panel discussions, coffee and conversations and speed mentoring. She created leadership and site champion roles to increase awareness and membership of the network and encourage active involvement from members. She also lead focus groups around the UK to obtain feedback from members around the barriers they face, the support they require and what events they would like to see. Subsequently, she has just launched a bespoke BAME training programme and has developed an internal BAME mentoring scheme. Gurjeet has spoken at EMpower’s ‘What makes an inclusive workplace’ event and participated in the Business in the Community external mentoring scheme. She has also worked with other firms in enhancing BAME research, events and inclusion. As a result of her work in D&I, Gurjeet has been recognised in a number of prestigious industry lists including The Precious Awards 2018.
Shriti is Chairman of Santander UK, a significant UK retail bank, Senior Independent Director of BHP Billiton, the worlds largest mining company, and Non-Executive Director of Astra Zeneca, a leading global pharmaceutical company.
She is the first minority ethnic and first female chairman of a major UK high street bank and one of the most senior BAME FTSE 100 directors. Santander actively promotes a diverse workforce through policies to improve the number of people of BAME origin progressing to more senior roles in the business. These include (but are not limited to) appointing a dedicated Executive Committee member responsible for improving BAME diversity, reverse mentoring of the Executive Committee so that they can hear directly from BAME employees about the challenges that they face, training solutions to tackle unconscious bias as part of Santanders Leadership Programme and in some specific business areas and the establishment of a cultural awareness network for employees. Her other boards, BHP Billiton and AstraZeneca, also implement strong BAME policies.