Gender balance

Women around the world are transforming society. Here are just two examples:

  • 30% of global private wealth has been held by women since 2015 (Boston Consulting Group: Navigating the client landscape, Global Wealth 2016)
  • 85% of women manage day-to-day expenses equally or more than their partners / spouses (UBS Investor Watch Global Insights / 2019 Volume 1)

At UBS, increasing our gender diversity is a strategic priority. We want to support and enable more women to build long and satisfying careers here, and we're especially working to increase the representation of women at senior management levels. Here we take a multi-pronged approach, examining the process, culture and organization design elements around hiring, promoting and retaining women at all levels across the firm.

Our award-winning Career Comeback program is instrumental in increasing our pipeline of female senior leaders. Professionals looking to return to a corporate job after a career break are hired into permanent roles and supported with specialized onboarding, coaching and mentoring. Since its launch in 2016, Career Comeback has helped almost 200 professionals (and counting) relaunch their careers. See for more information.

For country-specific information, see the UK Gender Pay Report or the French gender equality index for the latest available year of reference.

In partnership with the Centre for Economic Policy Research, Women in Economics is a global initiative focusing on economists who are making a major impact in their fields. With fresh thinking and diverse perspectives, they are paving the way to influence the current and next generation of leaders and economists.

We signed up to the UK Women in Finance Charter in 2018 as the aims of the charter mirror our global strategy for gender progress. This is part of a broader cultural transformation agenda at UBS. We first set aspirations to increase our senior representation of women to 25% by spring 2020, which we are proud to have met in the UK. To build on this progress, we have set new aspirations to grow our representation of women at Director level and above to 30% by 2025.

UBS is committed to hiring, retaining and promoting more women at all levels across the firm, and this is reflected directly in our strategic plan to "hire more, promote more and lose less" women, focusing particularly at our senior levels. In our 2015 Group Annual Report we first publically committed to increasing the ratio of women in management roles, and since then UBS continues to focus on this aspiration globally. UBS has embedded management accountability for supporting this goal and continues to develop career support, HR processes and technology solutions to help better attract, develop and retain women at all stages of their careers.

UBS is committed to hiring, retaining and promoting more women at all levels across the firm, and this is reflected directly in our strategic plan to "hire more, promote more and lose less" women, focusing particularly at our senior levels. In our 2015 Group Annual Report we first publicly committed to increasing the ratio of women in management roles, and since then UBS continues to focus on this aspiration globally. UBS has embedded management accountability for supporting this goal and continues to develop career support, HR processes and technology solutions to help better attract, develop and retain women at all stages of their careers.

Below are some examples of what we are doing. Additional UK initiatives are detailed in our Gender Pay Gap report.


Sponsored by Beatriz Martin, UK CEO, each UK business leader is accountable for their divisional progress, supported by divisional diversity and inclusion councils. A Group Diversity and Inclusion Council shares best practices with the firm's business leaders and is accountable for UBS's overall diversity and inclusion strategy.

Hire more

Diverse candidate shortlist

Female representation in candidate shortlists is tracked as a key performance indicator for recruiters and hiring managers.

Our focus on hiring has created impact with 27% of senior UK positions filled with female candidates compared to 17% in 2018. Of all UK open positions, 34% have been filled by women in 2020 up from 33% two years ago.


Recognising the impact of intersectionality, we have set UK ethnicity aspirations this year to grow our BAME population by 40% by the end of 2025, with a double-down on our Black employee headcount. We capture voluntary ethnicity disclosure in recruitment, which helps us to identify gaps in attraction and hiring of different ethnic groups. As a result, we have formed a partnership with UK Coding Black Females to support women in building their career in Technology, as well as SEO London. In early 2021, we will begin collecting self-disclosure on sexual-orientation, disability, gender identity and veteran status.

Gender-balanced pipeline

The gender balance of our UK graduate population for 2020 was 42% female and our School Leaver Apprentice programme 52% female.

Career Comeback

Our award-winning UBS Career Comeback programme, which now hires into US, Switzerland, UK, Poland and India, offers permanent roles to professionals wishing to return to corporate jobs after a career break of two years or more. Returnees are supported with remote onboarding, 1:1 executive coaching, group coaching, regular education and development sessions and peer support - all of which have been effectively delivered virtually this year. We aim to bring people to UBS at a mid-senior level role, to date Career Comeback has helped over 180 people relaunch their careers. Read more.

Remote onboarding

At the start of the global pandemic, a team was created to facilitate onboarding of new joiners whilst avoiding unnecessary travel to on-site locations for onboarding, mitigating risk to our people.

Diversity recruiter

UBS committed to hire a diversity recruiter in each region by the end of 2020, whose role is to build on our external partnerships to identify opportunities for creating a more diverse candidate pipeline as well as work closely with our Internal Mobility team to support our internal talent in growing their career while staying at UBS.

Promote more

We are committed to a promotion process that is fair, equal and unbiased. Gender metrics are tracked throughout each step of the promotion process and promotion to our most senior rank of MD and GMD is subject to competency based interviews aligned to our House View of Leadership with a diverse panel of assessors.

UK Gender Pay Gap

Our Gender Pay Gap report in the UK includes a number of initiatives which demonstrate our strong support for women's career progression at UBS. Read more.

Key talent development

We have added a gender lens to our Key Talent cycle that identifies both high potential individuals and potential successors for leadership positions and we run development programs to support those key talents in reaching their potential.

Employee Networks

Our gender network runs a number of development sessions for their members, including one which focused on ‘how to get promoted in a virtual environment’. In 2020, we launched a Male Allies program to encourage more men into the gender conversation.


UBS is a global and platinum member of 100 Women in Finance. Through engagement, philanthropic and educational initiatives, it’s 15,000 members connect and create opportunities to advance careers and strengthen our field, which our employees get access to. We also have a gold membership with Women on Boards - currently 700 UBS employees are actively engaged with their Board vacancies, podcasts and 1:1 support and two achieved a Board position in 2020.

Through 2020, no fewer than six senior women at UBS were recognised externally for their excellence within their field, four of whom were shortlisted for Investment Week “Women in Investment Awards 2020” which honor the achievements of women across the investment industry.

Lose less

UBS conducted a global attrition study to identify the root causes leading to senior female attrition. A key finding from the study was that we need to do more to support women’s career development. In tackling this issue, we have not only supported women but all our employees by:

Internal mobility strategy

Target setting—we have set aspirational targets to increase the percentage of our roles being filled by existing employees to 60% for our most senior positions and 40% at Director and below.

Career Aspirations—we invited all our employees to record their career aspirations in our HR management system, this forms part of each employee’s mid-year performance discussion with their manager and also leveraged by our internal recruitment team before they start an external search.

Career Navigator—our proprietary software platform enables employees to take charge of managing their career, by self-assessing skills and competency gaps between where they are now and where they want to be, suggesting training and development programmes, flagging open positions of interest and connecting employees to other colleagues who have made similar moves.fv

myCV@UBS—we provided a quick and simple way for employees to upload their CV to recruiting, thereby feeding candidate pools for open roles.

Internal Mobility Lead—the UK has a designated Internal Mobility Lead and all regional recruiters have been trained in mobility coaching. In addition to a number of panels and education sessions being run, employees are invited to directly approach the mobility lead for guidance.

Inclusive Leadership

Training—we have invested in the development of our people managers including; required training on how to fairly assess performance and compensation decisions for employees who have taken Parental Leave, active bystander behaviour training and mandatory respect at work training. An Inclusive Leadership curriculum was created and has since been made available to all global employees to attend—from Basics through to Advanced.

D&I Ambassadors—Ambassadors were identified early in the year as inclusion champions, to provide a safe space for colleagues to share or discuss their ideas or concerns connected with their diversity. Nearly 100 UK Ambassadors have been trained (and almost 250 globally), which includes deep-dives into race and ethnicity, sexual-orientation and gender identity, disability and mental health and wellbeing

Harassment Guardian

UBS take a zero-tolerance approach to harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment and now has a global employee hotline for confidential reporting and a Harassment Guardian who provides an independent view of the firm’s set-up, procedures, expertise and behaviors for prevention of harassment and sexual misconduct.

Parental support

UBS offers 26 weeks full pay for both maternity leave and shared parental leave (SPL). Paid SPL can be taken at any time in the first year of the baby’s life. Expectant parents are offered parental transition coaching and we have a parental buddy system in place; people managers are also given coaching on how to support their staff member through the parental transition. We offer emergency back-up childcare for all employees to provide cover when normal childcare solutions aren’t available.


Throughout the pandemic, there’s been a greater burden placed on our carer community, which we know is dominated by women. UBS has an Employers for Carers membership to support them and a number of tailored webinars have been run. UBS also offers emergency eldercare through My Family Care as well as a host of resources.

Safeguarding mental health and wellbeing

Over 200 health and wellbeing webinar sessions were run to support our employees in remote working, especially through the pandemic. We expanded the scale of our Mental Health Champions (all of whom are trained Mental Health First Aiders) and raised awareness of their availability, even while remote. We also partnered with Headspace, an app-based solution for guided meditation and mindfulness, to provide all global employees with an account (available in five languages).

Transgender Support

In 2019, we published our first guide for people managers and employees to help them understand gender identity and provide practical suggestions, information on terminology and personal stories to help us continue to build a culture of inclusion and belonging. We also worked with Aviva to amend our UK health insurance benefit to provide access to specialist support for employees with gender dysphoria, including counselling and hormone treatment.

Menopause Support

We recognise that the menopause is in the natural arc of a woman’s life and with the average age of menopause at 52 and peri-menopause symptoms occurring years before, we know that a percentage of our female employees will be impacted. In 2020, we introduced menopause clinics via our onsite GP Service and ran all-employee sessions to demystify the menopause.

Every three months, we offer menopause workshops for our female colleagues, to explore menopause in more detail, and these have received outstanding feedback. We have also published a guide for people managers

French Gender Equality Index

Complying with the Avenir law (September 5, 2018), UBS (France) S.A. publishes its gender equality index. This law aims to eliminate all gender pay disparities in France. Read more.