Our 2020 diversity and inclusion report

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Our goal at Monzo is to make money work for everyone. To do that, working at Monzo must work for everyone. We want to create an equitable, high-performing workplace which gives people from all backgrounds the support they need to thrive, grow and meet their goals (whatever they may be).

We've chosen 'equitable' instead of 'equal' because we're focused on giving everyone what they need to be successful. Equality means treating people the same, but that only works if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same help. So we're working to make sure everyone is starting from the same place, with tailored help.

Since our 2019 report, we’ve more than doubled in size from 700 to over 1,400 people. 

Previously, we said we’d share an update on our diversity and inclusion journey twice a year, but we’ll keep these yearly to let us focus on our inclusion strategies and goals. We’ll have the same accountability as we continue to share our work in blogs throughout the year, especially as we now have a dedicated Head of Diversity and Inclusion.

In this update, we’ll share our:

  • progress since our last report,

  • employee breakdowns, 

  • inclusion 2020 strategy, and 

  • main areas of focus for this year.

In the past year, we’ve continued our improvements on the balance of gender identity, ethnic identity and nationality representation across Monzo.

We've seen the best improvements in our gender diversity, where we've increased our representation of women in Monzo by 13.75% through creating different partnerships with organisations focused on supporting women in industry (like Coding Black Females, NodeJS Girls and more), and through dedicated efforts in hiring to ensure a diverse pipeline of talent.

But we need to do more for ethnicity representation as it's only increased by 4.02%.

We've almost doubled the number of individual or combinations of nationalities represented at Monzo, which has increased from 66 to 113.

To continue this progress, our Inclusion 2020 strategy is focused across three themes:  ✨Engage, 🤝Retain, and 🌱Grow.

Progress since our last report

We committed to doing different things to make Monzo a more inclusive place to work.

From the start of the year, we focused on pro-actively sourcing candidates to make sure a wide range of people apply to work at Monzo.

We created partnerships with organisations like Coding Black Females, Codebar, NodeJS Girls, Evolve Housing, British Red Cross, Royal Association for Deaf People and others. These partnerships help us create a stronger connection to different communities and work on financial inclusion in society.

Coding Black Females at Monzo

Coding Black Females at Monzo

CodeBar at Monzo

CodeBar at Monzo

NodeJS Girls at Monzo

NodeJS Girls at Monzo

We also focused on hiring a Head of Diversity and Inclusion (that’s me!). I joined in November to help Monzo with a long-term strategy about how we make sure we’re inclusive by default, in everything we do. Since November, here’s how we’ve gotten on.

Everyone who joins Monzo gets mandatory privilege awareness training 

The training makes it clear that inclusion is a priority to all that we do here, and shows how we can all be more inclusive in our day-to-day. We’re now giving this training to all senior leaders too. 

We’ve done a detailed cultural analysis survey across the entire organisation 

We want to understand what it really means for people to work at Monzo across our different collectives (that’s a group of teams working towards the same goal). 

We’ve added questions covering inclusiveness, diversity and non-discrimination to our monthly employee engagement surveys. That’s so we can have regular check-ins about how we’re doing, throughout the year.

We created a diversity and inclusion dashboard

This lets us have an any-point-in-time view of our employee landscape, so we can have conversations on where we are in different parts of Monzo.

We defined a way to capture leads at events we attend

So that people who’re interested in working with us can hear directly from us.

We provide regular allyship learnings through our new #allies Slack channel 

We share useful articles and stories on becoming better allies in all of our roles. An ally is any person that actively promotes and aspires to advance the culture of inclusion. They do this through intentional, positive and conscious efforts that benefit people as a whole. 

We updated our tone of voice to include parts on inclusive language 

Language is crucial to an inclusive workplace and we should be considerate with our words.

We created a new diversity and inclusion handbook 

To create a shared understanding of where we are and where we want to go, so everyone understands what inclusion means at Monzo. This includes lots of info on supporting people (like those who’re neurodiverse or going through the menopause), using inclusive language, and different tools and activities to embed inclusion day-to-day. We’ll do a separate blog on the contents of this handbook, so watch this space 👀

Diversity and inclusion is never 'done,' and we're continually evolving our understanding of what true inclusion is.

Now we know what inclusion means to Monzo and where we stand, we'll focus on increasing representation of underrepresented groups. We'll mostly focus on gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. But we'll also look at inclusion around age, socio-economic background, disability, neurodiversity, religion, and working parents, as we understand more about our data.

Our latest breakdowns 

We can now see where we’re at any time, so here’s where we are in mid-March 2020. It’s important to remember 60% of Monzonauts (people who work at Monzo) completed this data, so it’s representative of that group. We’ve included optional questions into our onboarding processes so we have a regular up-to-date understanding of where we are.

Previously, we had our folks self-define whether they were leaders or technical.

To provide better data quality, this year we have defined “leadership” as those who are Level 4+, such as Heads Of, Directors, VPs and C-suite and those who are technical if you are in Engineering, Engineering Management, Testing, Technical Operations or our Data teams.

Gender identity - the percentage of people who identify as women has increased by 13.75% overall, and 50% in leadership

Gender identity - the percentage of people who identify as women has increased by 5.5%

The percentage of people who identify as women at Monzo has increased from 40% in Q4 2018 to 45.5%. We've seen a 50% increase in women in leadership, as women now represent 34.29% of overall leadership, increasing from 22.86%. 

We’ve seen a 51.9% decrease in women in technical leadership, as this group is now 14.63%, decreasing from 30.41%. In all technical roles, we’ve seen a 12.32% decrease in representation of women, decreasing from 25% to 21.92%. Previously, we asked people to say whether they were in a leadership or technical themselves, which made some of our data inaccurate. Now we have more accurate data, we need to do more to attract, support and retain women in technical roles.

Our non-binary+ community has decreased from 2.86% to 1.6% of the team. 

It's important that people from underrepresented gender identities, such as women, non-binary and transgender folks are represented and feel a sense of belonging at Monzo. 

What we’re doing

We reported on our gender pay gap in 2017, 2018 and 2019. We've also signed up to the Women in Finance Charter, committing to have women make up at least 40% of both our executive committee and our board. We also have a Monzonaut community group called Superwomxn, which creates a sense of belonging for those who identify as women or nonbinary in Monzo, through online and in-person trainings and events. 

To support and attract more women into our technical and senior technical roles, we’ll be:

  • partnering with different organisations dedicated to supporting these groups

  • sharing our jobs in different job boards to help reach a more diverse group of applicants

  • actively sourcing women for these roles

  • piloting a new sponsorship framework in engineering for women who already work here 

  • start to understand our hiring pipeline data so we can actively challenge ourselves in how we hire.

We are constantly changing how we do things to make Monzo a place for everyone to do the best work of their lives. We have a Slack profile field for folks to share their pronouns if they prefer and we will be rolling out a similar field in our job applications, for folks who want to share this with us.

We will continue to challenge the bias that may exist in Monzo through mandatory privilege awareness training for all leaders and people who join Monzo, as well as Inclusive Interview training for interviewers.

Ethnicity - the percentage of people of colour has increased by 4.02%

Ethnicity - the percentage of people of colour has increased by 0.8%

Ethnicity at Monzo in January to March 2020 

Other ethnic group2.7%0.95%0.68%
Not stated0.6%0%0.68%
Prefer not to stay1%1.9%0%

Between January 2018 and January 2020, the number of people of colour at Monzo has increased by 4.02%, from 19.9% to 20.7%. People of colour make up 10.96% of leadership roles, and 17.81% of technical roles.

Across our sites, we have the following representation. We have included the comparison across sites using official U.K. and U.S. census data.

EthnicityLondonAll of UKUSDistributed
Other ethnic group3.40%2.52%0.86%2.30%6.2%9.26%1.18%
Not statedN/A0.31%N/A0.23%N/A7.41%0.00%
Prefer not to stayN/A1.57%N/A1.15%N/A3.70%0.59%

What we’re doing

We have work to do in increasing the representation of non-white ethnicities at Monzo. And we’re reviewing our processes to challenge any bias which exists. We’re running mandatory privilege awareness training for all leaders and people who join Monzo, as well as Inclusive Interview training for interviewers. 

We’re creating a dedicated sponsorship framework (which we will pilot in engineering before rolling out further), which focuses on helping women and people of colour progress at Monzo. And it helps us understand future external commitments we want to make around ethnicity representation. 

We’re also launching our new people of colour Monzo community group later this year, to create a stronger community and sense of belonging for our Monzonauts who are people of colour. This group will support, empower and amplify the nuances of all different non-white ethnicities at Monzo, making sure that we respect the differences within the broad term “people of colour”.

We will be spending the time in understanding the specific outreach and support folks from different ethnic backgrounds need. We know that a blanket approach will not work here and we will dedicate time to understand our data further and what other initiatives in engagement, retention and growth we need.

Nationality - the number of individual or combinations of nationalities represented at Monzo has increased from 66 to 113

We represent 113 individual or combinations of nationalities

At the start of 2019, we represented 66 individual (or combinations of) nationalities, which has increased to 113. Normally, 23% of our community works distributed, from all around the U.K. and the world.

Our people’s health and safety is our main priority and due to coronavirus we’ve asked all our staff to work from home unless it’s crucial that they come into the office. 

What we’re doing

We make sure our distributed folks feel as included as those in the office. We live-stream our weekly All Hands meeting so everyone can be involved, pay for any equipment our distributed workers need to do their job, and provide allowances for distributed workers to come to the office to visit the rest of the team. We also encourage “online” tea breaks and catchups so folks can keep in contact with each other and have shared our “Top tips to distributed working” with all of our Monzonauts and Managers. 

Age - the age distribution throughout Monzo has increased in the past year

Ages12/2018 - All Employees03/2020 - All EmployeesDifference (% points)12/2018 - Leadership03/2020 - LeadershipDifference (% points)
21 or under4.75%3.43%🔻-1.320.90%0%🔻-0.90
22 – 2531.61%26.77%🔻-4.8425.23%2.11%🔻-23.12
26 – 3036.98%36.91%🔻-0.732.43%23.24%🔻-9.19
31 – 3516.74%20.13%🔺+3.3926.13%42.25%🔺+16.12
36 – 405.99%7.83%🔺+1.896.31%19.72%🔺+13.41
41 – 452.27%2.46%🔺+0.194.50%7.75%🔺+3.25
46 – 501.24%1.86%🔺+0.622.70%4.23%🔺+1.53
51 – 550.21%0.45%🔺-0.240%0.7%🔺+0.70
56 – 60-0.45%-0%0.9%-
61 – 66-0.07%--0%-

In the past year, we can see a significant increase in our age distribution throughout Monzo. This is because: 

  1. People get older!

  2. In previous surveys, we asked people to define if they were leaders themselves. This year we’ve defined what we mean by leadership to make our data more reliable. Leaders are at Level 4 or above, with job titles like “Head of”, “Director”, “VP” or “Chief”.  And people in these roles are typically older.

  3. We’ve intentionally hired people who bring a wealth of experience from their careers, who are also older. 

What we’re doing

We are continuing to support the Monzonauts that are currently working with us (and any new folks that might join) as they get older. We offer part-time working where we can, provide flexible working arrangements so folks can fit work comfortably around their lives, provide tailored support to those going on caregiver leave and more. 

Disability - the percentage of people in our team who are disabled has increased by 23.91%

8.60% of people in our team have a disability

8.60% of people in our team are disabled, compared with 16% of working age people in the UK. This has increased by 23.91% from 6.94% last year, but still doesn't reflect the rest of the country.

What we’re doing

This year, we’ve signed up to Purple Tuesday, a change programme for organisations of all sizes from all sectors to get involved in, with the common goal of improving the customer experience and working conditions internally for disabled people. We’ll also be looking at how we can make Monzo a more disability-friendly workplace, including changes in our hiring processes, providing reasonable adjustments and more.

Neurodiversity - the percentage of neurodiverse people in Monzo has decreased by 15.66%

11.90% of our team are neurodiverse

Last year we broadened our survey to include neurodiversity – the concept that neurological differences like autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and other differences, come as a result of normal variation in the human genome.

According to the British Dyslexia Association, approximately 1 in 10 people in Britain are neurodiverse. In 2019, 14.11% of our team identified as neurodiverse. We've seen a 15.66% decrease, with now 11.9% of people identifying as neurodiverse. In leadership, 7.62% of people are neurodiverse, and in tech roles 14.38% people are neurodiverse.

According to CIPD, any people who’re neurodivergent may not have had a formal diagnosis – this may be the case particularly for older people, women, and those from ethnic backgrounds. This means there’s a chance that there are more neurodivergent people at Monzo than we realise.

What we’re doing

We’re developing our support for neurodiverse folks who work at Monzo. We’ve introduced mandatory reading about how we can support neurodiverse folks better as part of managers’ progression. This includes: information on what being neurodiverse means, top tips on supporting neurodiverse folks, guides from CIPD and DARE, and Monzonaut showcases of some of our folks who are neurodiverse and wanted to share their stories.

We’ll keep building on this support and work to increase our understanding of what it means to be neurodiverse and work at Monzo.

Sexual orientation - the percentage of LGBQA folks in Monzo has increased by 15.53% 

[Blogpost] Diversity & Inclusion Report Sexual Orientation

At Monzo, 23.8% of the team identify as LGBQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and asexual). That's increased by 15.53% from 20.6% last year. According to the Office for National Statistics, 2% of people in the UK identify as lesbian, gay and bisexual. We've always had a strong LGBQA community at Monzo. 

What we’re doing

We'll be participating in London Pride, Brighton Trans Pride and London Black Pride when they are rescheduled to later in 2020, as well as other LGBTQA+ events. We’ll also be launching our new Pride Monzo community group later this year to help create a stronger community and sense of belonging for our LGBTQA+ employees.

Education - the percentage of folks in Monzo who have a Bachelor’s degree has decreased by 6.92%

[Blogpost] Diversity & Inclusion Report Education

47.1% of our team have a BA, BEng or BSc – a 6.92% decrease from 50.6% last year.

Those who've done foundation degrees, A-levels, GCSEs or equivalent qualifications account for 24.8% of people at Monzo, which is a 30.66% increase from 19% last year.

What we’re doing

We’ve taken steps to make our hiring process fairer for all, by removing formal qualifications or degree requirements from most of our job descriptions. There are some roles where we’ll always need formal qualifications for (like if you want to join the legal team as a lawyer). But we'll make sure that we don't ask for formal qualifications when it isn't a legal or regulatory requirement. 

We’re also doing more to create awareness about how the perception of education plays a role in how we view applicants – making sure we challenge ourselves on that bias in all our interviews and debriefs.

Socio-economic background - 55.30% of Monzo have self-identified as being from a higher socio-economic background

[Blogpost] Diversity & Inclusion Report Socio-economic Background

We asked our people to self-identify if they were from a lower socio-economic background or not. 55.3% said they were not, 29.3% said they were and 13.1% said they weren’t sure.

Socio-economic background is a combination of a person's income, occupation and social background. Socio-economic background plays a key role in people’s success and future life chances. It creates a layer of privilege that we must recognise and we’re taking these first steps by understanding what this means at Monzo.

[Blogpost] Diversity & Inclusion Report School attended

49.2% of Monzonauts attended a state-run or state-selected school, that was non-selective. 19.4% of us attended a state-run or state-selected school, that was selective on grounds of academic, faith or other grounds. 19.2% of us attended a school outside of the U.K. and this is largely down to how we now have workers who are distributed and in the US. 6.7% of us attended an independent or fee-paying school with no bursary and 2.7% of us attended a similar type of school, but with a bursary.

[Blogpost] Diversity & Inclusion Report University attended

36.1% of Monzo are the first person (or part of the first generation) in their immediate family to go to university. 47.7% of Monzo are not the first person (or part of the first generation) in their immediate family to attend. And 13.9% of us didn’t go to university at all.

20.1% of our employees were on UK free school meals at one point during their school years and 48.5% weren’t. You may have been on free school meals if you had parents/guardians who were on income support, or another type of government benefit. 22.6% of us said this didn’t apply, as they finished school before 1980 or went to school overseas. 

What we’re doing

Understanding economic background is incredibly important in creating inclusive workplaces. We’ll keep understanding how we can support those from different backgrounds, making sure our processes work for everyone.

Religion - the large majority of the team are agnostic, atheist or otherwise non-religious

The large majority of the team are agnostic, atheist or otherwise non-religious, with 70.4% of people identifying in this way.

16.8% are Christian, 2.1% are Muslim, 1% are Buddhist, 1% are Jewish, 0.9% are Hindu, 0.4% are Sikh, and 2.9% follow a different religion. 

What we’re doing

We’ve ensured that all of our offices have prayer rooms that are for all Monzonauts to use throughout the day and have created a shared Diversity and Inclusion calendar sharing all different religious holidays so we all can have a stronger awareness in this space.

Caring responsibilities - the percentage of carers in Monzo has increased by 35.88%

[Blogpost] Diversity & Inclusion Report Caring Responsibilities

Being a carer means you're responsible for caring for a child or an adult. Carers UK's latest report stated that in 2019, it’s estimated that 8.8 million adults in the UK are carers. In 2019, 13.88% of people at Monzo had caring responsibilities. That's grown to 18.86% this year.

What we’re doing

As folks at Monzo get older, it’s likely this number will grow. We actively support part-time working when we can, providing manager training on how to support working parents. Our ‘keeping in touch’ days let folks who’re on caregiver leave have paid days to keep in touch with the office, if they want to. And we give paid time off to attend antenatal appointments and other caregiver-related appointments. We’ve spent time this year reviewing all of our processes and communications – making sure they work for all types of caregiver leave, like adoption and fostering.

Mental health - the percentage of people in Monzo living with a mental health condition has increased by 54%

The NHS says that 24% of adults experience mental illness at some point in their lives. But because of the stigma around mental health and the non-visible nature of mental health conditions, The Mental Health Foundation says it's difficult to know how accurate statistics are.

In 2019, 25% of the company and 18% of the leadership team shared that they're living with a mental health condition. This year, we’ve seen an increase with 38.4% of the company and 20% of leadership now sharing they are living with a mental health condition.

What we’re doing

We’re continually working on how we provide mental health support. We now have Mental Health First Aiders in all office locations and working remotely, providing care for those that need it, when they need it. We have a mental health channel in Slack, where you can request contact from these Mental Health First Aiders, read regular advice and insights into how to prioritise your own mental health and more. 

Some of our benefits are also tailored to provide mental health support, where we provide discounted access to mediation and wellbeing resources with Headspace, access to up to 8 sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or counselling with Vitality and we pay in full for wellbeing therapist's fees for out-patient treatments with a mental-health and wellbeing therapist, through BUPA.

We also are part of the EAP (Employee Assistance Programme), a 24/7 confidential advice service which offers support for all sorts of matters including health & legal advice, debt management, and bereavement support.

Our 2020 inclusion strategy

We've defined a strategy for 2020 that uses the data we have to design new initiatives to increase diversity and inclusion in the company.

To make a bigger impact, we have 3 key themes:

✨Engage: we want to engage people in our diversity and inclusion journey, with transparency at the heart of everything we do.

🤝Retain: we want Monzonauts to grow, thrive and succeed by reaching their goals through their work at Monzo. We want to provide an environment where our people can do the best work of their lives.

🌱Grow: we want to provide an environment of learning to all our people (especially senior leadership). We want to give a clear understanding of how to be inclusive in your day-to-day, alongside regularly challenging our own bias and perspectives.

Through these themes, we’ll do different initiatives. Here are some of them.

A new diversity and inclusion section on our website 

Sharing our mission, showcasing some of our fantastic Monzonauts, and more. 

Launching an anonymous applicant tracking system

To show us what backgrounds our applicants are from, and if they are dropping out of our processes at certains stages. This will let us have very honest conversations about any potential biases that exist.

Rolling out mandatory inclusion and privilege awareness training 

That’s things like inclusive interview practices and privilege awareness for leadership, as part of progression here at Monzo.

Rolling out regular level, collective and discipline level reporting for diversity and inclusion

So we have a constant view of where we are in those different areas and understand if we need to launch different tailored initiatives.

Kicking off an engineering sponsorship programme

This will pair junior and mid-tier engineers and engineering managers with someone from senior leadership to give people more constructive feedback, and aid visibility in the organisation. In the pilot, we’ll focus on sponsees who are women and people of colour because these groups are underrepresented in Monzo’s Engineering discipline. We’re working to provide an equitable environment for all to succeed here.

Create Monzonaut community groups

To encourage all folks at Monzo to find a sense of belonging with folks who are similar to them, whilst also empowering the leads of these groups to contribute to the inclusion strategy.

Continuously review our processes

We’ll actively seek out to challenge any bias or unfairness.

Define leadership values and incorporate these into progression frameworks 

Leadership at Monzo is a privilege and we should be empathetic, collaborative and respectful in how we lead here.

Create partnerships with different organisations, dedicated to inclusion 

We want to partner with organisations that share our mission of making money work for everyone. We’ve worked with many amazing organisations in the past, like Women Who Code, Pride in Stem, Coding Black Females, Code Bar, Royal Association for Deaf People, I Can Be and more. We’ll keep doing this and get involved in these different communities.

Appointing new inclusion ambassadors across all of our collectives and disciplines 

We want to understand the different strengths and growth areas around inclusion in different parts of the business. We’ll do this by hearing regularly from those who work in those areas every day.

A new Monzonaut buddy framework 

We want all of our new Monzonauts to feel welcome. The buddy framework aims to create a sense of belonging and create connections whilst they transition into their new role with us.

Our 2020 strategy

As we evolve our thinking, we’ll change our actions. Our goal in 2020 is to build on our strong foundations. We’ll continue moving towards an equitable, high-performing workplace which provides people from all backgrounds the support they need to thrive here.

Imagine the final goal of inclusion was a new, beautifully furnished house. Well this year, we’re building on some great foundations, like putting up walls and installing plumbing. Then next year - we continue to build on those foundations and then… we decorate!

We’re excited to continue to go on this journey with you all. And we’d love to hear what you think. If you have any feedback, suggestions or questions, please share them with us!