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Home » Career Transformation » Banking continues to go digital and opens up more career opportunities

Steve Morton

Director, Organisational Effectiveness, Bank of Ireland

Kate Butler

Inclusion and Diversity Lead, Bank of Ireland

Eimear Harty

HR Director, Bank of Ireland

Banks are embracing innovative data-led career development opportunities as they seek to build a workforce to serve increasingly digital-savvy consumers.

Data and digital transformation are proving pivotal elements in delivering attractive career opportunities for people coming into the banking and business sectors. Analytics is also improving inclusion and diversity (I&D) by highlighting specific areas that organisations need to focus on.

Optimising career opportunities

Steve Morton, a careers and organisation effectiveness specialist focused on developing people into work and people at work, says there are clear benefits of using data-driven programmes to expand opportunities to meet individual career ambition and organisational needs.

Data can help individuals become more flexible, develop their skills and capabilities, as well as highlight where they are in their careers. It is about providing people with the tools, resources and opportunities to further their careers, in whatever way is important to them.

For organisations, data identifies specific needs and helps staff to upskill and move internally — and to pinpoint where external recruitment is required, ensuring they ‘build’ as well as ‘buy’ the talent they need for now and the future.

Growing within the organisation

Morton explains that organisations that actively identify an individual’s skills, and then show how they might transfer across the business, can see benefits in attracting and retaining staff.

Bank of Ireland supports people to develop careers in lots of different areas; someone might join a customer-facing team, move to the Risk team and then pursue their next career move in HR, for example.

“We have examples of people who came in through different avenues or came in to do a specific job in a specific area, and over time found themselves using their skills in a different team.”

Bank of Ireland has several, new learning pathways, all supporting colleagues to learn new skills and gain industry-recognised certification. These are supported by a digital career platform, Careers Lab. They also point to a graduate programme, management development programmes and the performance management initiative, which focuses on wellbeing, development and performance.

It is important for us to continue to retain our core banking skills but alongside that, we are growing future-critical digital skills.

Eimear Harty

Shifting to digital

Eimear Harty, HR Director of Technology and Risk, points to the future skills the organisation needs to enable it to continuously serve its customers effectively and focus on their financial wellbeing.

“How we deliver for our customers is changing as they become increasingly digitally led in their interactions,” Harty says. “It is important for us to continue to retain our core banking skills but alongside that, we are growing future-critical digital skills.”

“We are looking for data scientists, data analysts, modellers and data infrastructure engineers and bringing together those skill sets to develop the infrastructure and the insights to enhance our customers’ financial wellbeing,” she adds.

Inclusion and diversity

Bank of Ireland strongly believes that a diverse workplace leads to more creativity, innovation and constructive challenge and drives a positive place to work.

Group I&D lead, Kate Butler, says: “Core to the success of our I&D strategy is the contribution from our six ERGs (employee resource groups); they challenge the status quo, provide perspective and drive out policy and process improvements.”

Each of the six ERGs (employee resource groups) is built around the diversity characteristics of pride; intergenerational; multicultural; accessibility; family; gender balance, ensuring there is something for every single colleague.

Butler says: “We continue to focus on attracting, progressing and retaining diverse talent. Ensuring that we are doing more to attract and recruit candidates with diverse backgrounds is very important to us.” In 2018, the Bank set a gender target to improve the representation of women at senior levels in the company.

They continue to launch market-leading progressive policies such as fertility, surrogacy and menopause and are committed to creating enduring supports for colleagues at all stages of their life.

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