As a proud member of Gender Networks, a forum established by WeAreTheCity for internal gender networks, we were pleased to host a networking event for the community to share network best practice, seek opportunities to leverage ideas and share challenges.

The session was a fantastic opportunity for MUFG employees to meet gender network leads across various sectors who are all working on raising awareness around gender diversity. The Gender Networks group now includes representation from over 85 organisations across the UK, including HSBC, Barclays and EY.

MUFG launched its EMEA Inclusion & Diversity strategy in 2016 and has made huge strides since then. We have five employee networks which focus on LGBT & allies, disability (including mental health), multiculturalism, family and gender. In 2017 we signed the Women in Finance Charter, and developed our gender strategy to ensure achievement of these important targets.

The Balance network has been a critical element of ensuring progress against our gender strategy. Since its establishment just over 3 years ago the network has helped to raise awareness of hidden, gender-related, barriers and biases.

Notable activities include a flagship Role Model programme to raise the profile of role models for gender diversity at MUFG, participation in Early Careers events, and hosting a number of speaker events around key dates in the annual calendar such as International Women's Day and International Men's Day.

While we know that good progress has been made on gender diversity, we also acknowledge that there is still a way to go. It is positive to see so many people committed to highlighting gender balance and its importance within their respective organisations, which is a key objective for MUFG's Balance network.