How we helped Santander create a powerful proposition for Women of Colour in business

Santander approached Brand by Me, after commissioning a piece of research in partnership with PRECIOUS, the leading network and awards for women of colour.

They were keen to look at ways to support women of colour in business, but were struggling to move the research findings forward.

Brand by Me pulled out key findings from a dense and unwieldy research report, in a way that created a very clear sense of the problem and also identified potential solutions.  We then helped Santander to convene a working group of women of colour in business (at varying lifestages), and led a series of safe space listening and co-creation sessions, culminating in a workshop with the working group, senior staff from across Santander and industry stakeholders to discuss findings and create an action plan on how to better support Women of Colour in Business.  We also created a tangible report documenting the process and findings.

This project was ground-breaking for Santander and the wider banking sector.  It also provided visibility for, and was led by the views and voices of women of colour in business and Santander continue to work with many of the women in the working group.

You can see the first stage of the project here – and there is more to come!  We talked to Louise Robinson, Head of Breakthrough at Santander about the impact of our work together.

Why did you approach Brand by Me for this work?

“You were best placed to help us make sense of our research and convey it in a way that would be constructive to both women of colour and to our internal teams. Specifically I felt your authenticity would help us to reach out to the black community in ways that we couldn’t and that by doing so you could help us build trust.”

What are you hoping to achieve as a result of this work?

“Firstly I am hoping to be able to build a meaningful programme of support for women business owners of colour that is long lasting and relevant.  Secondly I am hoping that by doing this work and delivering these programmes we will also be able to influence the wider Banking Sector into also making changes which will run deeper and positively impact more women business owners of colour who are not necessarily our customers.”

Thinking about this project, what worked particularly well for the organisation?

“The Brand By Me touch made the research we had already completed usable – without that we could not have moved the programme forwards.  Your facilitation of the workshops we had was outstanding – your balance and calm nature definitely got the group to contribute but you did it in a safe way – it felt bold but never felt compromised, nor did anyone at any time felt put on the spot – crucial for the difficult topics we covered.”

What did you like most about Brand by Me’s approach?

Professional, timely, thought provoking I always felt you stuck a great balance between the members of the steering group and the banks team – as a black woman yourself you were able to add your points as well without losing the impartiality your role in this initiative demanded.”

Have you got any other feedback for Brand by Me about our work together?

“I love your creativity – your sunny approach and your strength – I want us to find ways to work together next year!”

Find out how we can help you build a more inclusive brand here