UBS Group’s business in the Americas is weighing some workplace changes following feedback from employees on issues such as diversity, job flexibility and community engagement.
The bank is seeking to improve its engagement in underrepresented communities following requests from staff, said Tom Naratil, co-head of wealth management at UBS globally. It plans to deepen efforts through initiatives such as the financial literacy program it currently conducts in low- to moderate-income communities, he said.
“You’re seeing a higher percentage of our employee base that wants us to speak out on societal issues. And not only speak out on it, but act on it,” Naratil said. “The overall trend is a generational one.”
Staff have also indicated to the bank that they want more personal time, and women in particular have sought greater flexibility to work from home, according to Naratil. The bank wants to respond with changes so it can help retain employees, he said.
“A majority would like to work remotely two to three days a week,” Naratil said. “That doesn’t seem very unreasonable. And if that could help people feel like they’re doing a better job at balancing their lives, and make us a better employer, we’re going to do that.”
UBS is also releasing diversity numbers for the second year and increasing transparency by releasing year-over-year data on promotions, retention and hiring across ranks. And while numbers are still stark — less than 4% of the workforce is Black and less than 40% female — diversity has increased since 2019 at almost every level. Retention numbers specifically have improved at almost every rank — except for financial advisers, where there are fewer women and minorities than a year ago.
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