Our people, our purpose 

Date published: 24 October 2023 Blog

Jane Cosgrove

Chief People Officer

Jane is responsible for delivering our people strategy, learning and development and promoting diversity and inclusion throughout the organisation.

In this blog, Jane talks about our people, our purpose and our shared values – and how they are fundamental in building an engaged and inclusive organisation. 

What I really enjoy about my job – and the Financial Ombudsman Service – is that we make a positive difference to people’s lives.  

Some organisations struggle to define their purpose – but ours is very clear. We were set up by Parliament to help customers resolve financial disputes – quickly, informally and on a fair and reasonable basis.  

Every year, we help hundreds of thousands of people, and have a huge impact on customers’ lives.  

A career at the Financial Ombudsman Service is one with fairness at its heart – you’re not only joining an organisation with a strong purpose, and an important job to do, but with a strong set of values that guide how we work and communicate. 

Shared values

To ensure everyone in the organisation gets the support they need to flourish, develop and thrive in their jobs we listen carefully to feedback and take the time to understand what helps to make a great place to work.  

For example, last month we held an organisation-wide “values celebration week”. It was a great way to recognise everyone’s incredible contributions and dedication, and to build a shared understanding of the values we created collectively. Our values set out how we play our PART – through purpose, ambition, respect and trust. Our focus for the week was how we demonstrate our values through the work we do every day and how they help define our culture. 

As part of the event, I spoke to colleagues about our value of ‘respect’ and our latest work on diversity, inclusion and wellbeing, outlining the strategy that will take us to 2026.

Together we Thrive – our strategy

Our strategy brings together a new set of commitments to foster a culture that goes beyond equality – one that promotes equity and embraces our differences.  

Our diversity, inclusion and wellbeing work is based on four key pillars: 

  • Conscious inclusion 
  • Diverse perspectives 
  • Equity by design 
  • Proactive wellbeing 

Reaching the best outcomes for our customers involves taking account of their different needs, backgrounds and perspectives. That’s why embracing diversity and inclusion is so important.  

To provide the right level of support to our people – and become a fully inclusive workplace – our workforce must reflect the customers we serve. And the better we reflect the communities we serve, the better our service to customers will be. 

Empowering diversity and inclusion

We want to create an environment where everyone feels empowered to contribute and has a sense of belonging.  

To help us to do this, we’re planning to: 

  • introduce initiatives that help our people demonstrate inclusive behaviour
  • increase our focus on socio economic diversity, including signing the social mobility pledge 
  • maintain our commitment to the Race at Work Charter, being disability confident and supporting women in finance
  • piloting regional hubs to offer recruitment opportunities in regions around the UK

Reflecting on our journey

We’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far in this area of our work, and the recognition we’ve received for diversity, inclusion and wellbeing. We’ve been working towards ambitious targets since 2016 and we’ve reported our pay gap and representation data since 2017. 

The data we report each year helps us track our progress, shares detail about what we have achieved against the targets we set and where we still have work to do. 

Our people are at the core of our ability to deliver our purpose – and we all have a part to play. So, as well as a shared commitment to deliver exceptional customer experiences, we are committed to investing in our people, fostering collaboration, and providing support and resources to help them to thrive.