Creating a thriving workplace

Our ambition
Our ambition

Our ambition

We aim to be the place where all our colleagues feel they belong and are supported to succeed by prioritising Inclusion and Wellbeing in all that we do.

Embedding Everyday inclusion
Through our everyday inclusion strategy, we celebrate diversity and create a culture where everyone can learn, grow and succeed. We believe in doing the right thing, contributing to positive change in society by championing inclusion for all and speaking out against all forms of discrimination.

We recognise that we have a way to go to be a truly inclusive organisation, but we are committed to understanding the gaps that exist and constantly striving to do better. For more on our strategy, initiatives, partnerships and recognition, as well as our Diversity Pay Gap report, visit

Prioritising Wellbeing
We prioritise promoting positive wellbeing each day while helping colleagues easily speak up when we aren’t feeling our best to receive support, spanning physical, mental, financial and social wellbeing.

All our colleagues have free access to our Thrive: Mental Wellbeing App which offers live text chat with qualified psychologists and multiple features to help maintain positive mental wellbeing, including meditation, breathing exercises and CBT training.

Partnerships and recognition
Partnerships and recognition

Partnerships and recognition

We're proud to be recognised as a Top Employer and as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces by Great Place To Work, who also commend us as a Best Workplace for Women and for Excellence in Wellbeing.


We’ve received external recognition for our approach to supporting diversity, featuring in The Times Top 50 for Women, in the Top 30 of the Social Mobility Employer Index, and proudly being awarded the Best for Mental Health and Wellbeing by Working Families. We’re also accredited as a Disability Confident Leader and a Carer Confident Employer.


We promote equality & inclusion through our partnerships including Business in the Community, Stonewall, Business Disability Forum, MyGwork, Working Families, Tommy’s Pregnancy & Baby Loss Charity, Peppy and more.

How do our colleagues feel about working for Santander?
We regularly ask our colleagues how they are feeling as we aim to be the place all colleagues feel they belong and can succeed:

86% feel we create an environment where people of diverse backgrounds can succeed.

87% feel we treat employees fairly regardless of age, gender identity, disability, race, religion or sexual orientation.

89% feel their manager supports them in having a good balance between work and personal life.


You can find out more about how our colleagues past and present feel on Glassdoor here

Working with our Unions
During 2020, we continued to work in partnership with our recognised trade unions Advance and Communication Workers Union (CWU) on our approach to support colleagues through the pandemic. We have also continued consultation with representatives on changes associated with transformation.

Attracting and rewarding talent
Attracting and rewarding talent

Attracting and rewarding talent

We know that the more diverse our workforces is, the better our business prospers and so we work with our partners to identify the best talent pools through our graduate and apprenticeship schemes.

Graduate Opportunities:
University Partnerships:
Santander has 86 Santander University Partnerships across the UK.

Each partner has a Santander University Relationship Manager who looks for opportunities to collaborate on activities around career support. This includes engagement with the Student Careers and employability offices on each campus and attending careers fairs where applicable. In addition, 55 of those universities has a Santander Branch located on their main campus, where Santander Branch staff are actively engaged with the student population and can supply guidance on where students interested in graduate opportunities with Santander should seek information (our websites as noted above):

We have been helping the future careers of widening participation students and graduates at these universities for 10+ years. 80% of our total funding goes towards supporting students from widening participation backgrounds, across 3 key areas - Education, Employability, Entrepreneurship.

Sponsorships and Partnerships:

We are a sponsor of National Student Pride which is a careers fair for LGBT+ students and their allies. Colleagues from our Embrace (LGBT+) employee resource group attend alongside colleagues from our graduate programme and members of our Early in Careers team. 

In 2021, Santander Universities UK joined forces with Finance Unlocked – a comprehensive, on-demand learning platform built specifically for financial education – to run a new learning experience for Black and Black Mixed undergraduate students in the UK. Over 1,800 students took part. Participants who scored an average of 80% or more across the 3 core modules were then entered into a pool, from which 30 lucky students were identified (at random) as winners, each receiving a £1,500 Santander Grant.

Our achievements:

Social Mobility Index Sep-19 Ranked 20th place out of 75
Target Jobs; Most Popular Graduate Recruiter Finalist
School Leavers Awards & Top 100 Employers Ranked 13th & won ‘Best Team Relationship’ Award
The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers Ranked 65th place

Apprenticeship Opportunities:

We align our apprenticeship model to the needs of our business to help develop skills for the future.

Apprenticeships are delivered across 14 schemes with each scheme offering permanent employment on successful completion of programme.

Santander has also used the levy to fund apprenticeships in both the Care Sector and Digital Apprenticeships. In partnership with the Leeds Local Enterprise Partnership, Santander has committed £1m, invested over 2 years.

Work experience opportunities:

Our Workwise schemes help young people gain knowledge and skills around CV writing, interviews, and understand routes to employment.

MoneyWise - help young people develop financial knowledge and confidence in managing money.

FutureWise - explore the world of innovation, spark debate and ideas about the future.

DigiWise - understand more about the risks and benefits of digital activity.

Our impact
Our impact

Our impact

Shared Parental leave: We are proud to be leaders in this space. Over the last few years we have:

Doubled our paternity leave pay benefit across the organisation.

Advertised flexible working adjustments on all job adverts

We have enhanced our Shared Parental Leave policy to give colleagues more flexibility and choice over when they can take their leave. This allows them to take paid shared parental leave at any time within 12 months of the birth or adoption of their child.

Gender expression Policy development:
Over the last 4 years the bank has been and is still on a journey when it comes to our Gender and expression policy. In March 2017 we saw one of our colleagues share her transitioning story with the business, and this really served as a catalyst for change when it came to our policy. From that point onwards, we have worked closely with our employee relations team and our Embrace Network to try and ensure our policies are as gender neutral as possible constantly working with our LGBTQ+ colleagues to better understand their lived experiences and how we can support them as a business.

Carers : Increased transparency of our family-friendly policies on our careers site. Launched a pilot ‘Carers Passport’ to prompt colleagues who are carers to consider how their caring responsibilities impact their role and what support they need.

Black inclusion plan: We recognise that some of our black colleagues face institutional barriers that others do not and we want to support them in navigating these barriers. To do this we developed and launched our Black inclusion plan. Three areas of focus were identified: Leadership, Allyship and Networks, with supporting measures and targets to shape our activity to Build Black Inclusion and amplify Black Voices