I went to the Pride in London Parade last summer with ombudsman colleagues, and I absolutely loved it. As well as being brilliant fun, it made me realise the power of coming together to create change, and being open and proud of who you are.
I thought about why this is important for any organisation, and for us in particular. Our role as the ombudsman, in understanding people and their circumstances to reach decisions that are balanced and fair, fundamentally depends on empathy and openness.
Reporting on this is a chance to see how we’re doing, and see how much progress we’ve made on what we said we’d do in 2018. And it’s a chance to tell those stories beyond the statistics. Some of these are really positive and deserve celebrating, and there are other things we need to work on.
I’m immensely proud of all our networks, and how they combine strengths and insight to create change. I’m proud of the courage of our staff in sharing their experiences and showing others that it’s OK to talk about stuff that matters to them, at work.
our role depends on empathy and openness
We’ve recently implemented reverse mentoring, have been listed by Business in the Community as one of 70 employers recognised for work on race, equality and inclusion, and we’ve strengthened our ties with local organisations to understand the problems people face in their career aspirations and how we can help.
In our last report, we identified BAME senior representation as an issue, and we’ve been working hard on measures to ensure that while results won’t be immediate, we’re moving in the right direction.
In this report, you can read about how we’re breaking down barriers between each other, and working together to make our organisation more accessible to potential employees and people using our service, while preparing for the future and nurturing our culture of openness.
I’m really proud of everyone at the Financial Ombudsman Service who makes a difference every day.