Standard Chartered Commits to Being the Best Place to Work

With over 2,500 employees in Taiwan – and a female-to-male ratio of 6:4 – Standard Chartered is committed to building an organization that embraces diversity. In pursuit of this goal, the bank is dedicated to initiatives that promote the well-being of its employees and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). These initiatives not only enhance the employee experience but also align with the bank’s mission to be “here for good.”  

 “We want to build an organization with diversified talent,” says Vickie Chen, head of Human Resources at Standard Chartered Taiwan. “Building an inclusive culture is vital to our future.  We value and celebrate the diversity of our teams and all business functions so that everyone feels respected and can realize their full potential.” 

Vickie Chen, head of Human Resources, Standard Chartered Taiwan

One of the key aspects of Standard Chartered’s DE&I philosophy is to support employees in achieving work-life balance and overall health. Recognizing the importance of family, Standard Chartered has implemented a new gender-neutral parental leave policy. At Standard Chartered Bank, all new parents are entitled to 20 weeks of paid parental or adoption leave. 

“To welcome a new member into the family is a critical moment in a person’s life,” says Chen. “We want to ensure that parents take equal responsibility and that both parents get to spend that precious time with their baby. It also removes unconscious biases among hiring managers, who might otherwise choose a man over a woman due to worries that a female employee will need to take maternal leave.” 

In addition to its family-friendly policies, Standard Chartered is dedicated to promoting overall gender equality. To this end, the bank ensures that gender pay equity is maintained, regardless of gender, and celebrates both International Women’s Day and International Men’s Day, among others. This commitment also goes beyond policy – it extends to changing the organizational culture. 

Standard Chartered Taiwan’s DE&I committee, consisting of employees from various functions, actively works on various aspects of diversity and inclusion. The committee focuses on gender equality, well-being, supply chain diversity, and LGBTQ+ rights. Volunteers plan and execute activities to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace and enhance the employee experience.  

Apart from organizing activities, the committee has contributed to improving policies such as those regarding healthcare equity, which ensures that all employees are offered health checkups at the same frequency.  

Standard Chartered’s commitment to DE&I also includes improvements to the physical workspace. The bank has adopted a flexible and hybrid working model that encourages collaboration and personalization. Employees can choose whether to work from home two or three days a week, with the idea that “the office should be seen as a space for collaboration” rather than the only possible workspace, Chen says. 

“True well-being goes beyond work-life balance,” she adds. “We need to also create an environment where employees feel connected and supported. Being flexible with physical space and work hours helps us unlock everyone’s potential.” 

Standard Chartered’s cultural shift toward flexible work arrangements has been supported by robust communication, learning, and sharing initiatives. The bank invests in upskilling its employees and leaders to facilitate conversations about flexible working arrangements, trust-building, and psychological safety. 

“This is really a long-term journey for us,” says Chen. “And it requires management to be fearless and ask for honest feedback. It’s all about shifting the culture while remaining culturally sensitive.” This cultural shift has been supported by robust communication and upskilling efforts, ensuring that employees and leaders can successfully navigate the new work landscape. “We’ve been promoting continuous learning to prepare ourselves for an even more flexible future.” 

Externally, Standard Chartered Taiwan is not content with just leading by example – it aims to be an advocate for DE&I across industries and create a ripple effect that encourages other businesses to follow suit. By sponsoring initiatives and platforms that champion DE&I, the bank aims to create a more inclusive society. In addition to its internal initiatives and DE&I advocacy, Standard Chartered Taiwan actively participates in events like the Taipei Pride parade, promoting LGBTQ+ rights and visibility.  

Looking forward, Standard Chartered will continue enhancing the employee experience, with the continuous goal of being the best place to work. Future efforts will also focus on sharing lessons learned with clients and suppliers by inviting them to join activities and distributing information.  

“We want to create opportunities to include more people with different perspectives,” says Chen. “What we’ve done now is only the first step, and we’re excited to find new ways to excel.”