Elaine Arden

Chief Human Resources Officer


Home2023 SpeakersElaine Arden

Speaker Bio

Elaine Arden is Chief Human Resources Officer at HSBC, Europe’s largest banking group, with a market capitalisation of $120bn. HSBC has 220,000 people across 60 countries, with a strong presence in the UK, Hong Kong and across Asia. Elaine joined HSBC in June 2017, having been Group HR Director at RBS (now NatWest) from 2010 through the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Elaine’s career has spanned a number of roles in Financial Services Human Resources. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, she now lives in London with her husband and their two teenage boys.

Speaker Sessions


Social Mobility: The Opportunity

30 mins
  • Track - Keynote
  • Elaine Arden

    Chief Human Resources Officer


Social mobility has long been on the agenda, but only now are organisations starting to give it the same strategic prominence as they are for other diversity strands such as gender, sexuality or ethnicity.

Drawing on her experience of growing up in a working-class family in Glasgow to becoming Group Chief HR Officer at HSBC, Elaine will talk about the challenges that people from lower socio-economic backgrounds face, the strategies that can be put in place to address these obstacles and the benefits that organisations can realise as a result.

Session Key Takeaways:

  • Socio-economic background is the strongest predictor of whether someone will reach a leadership position
  • Women from lower socio-economic backgrounds take 21% longer to progress to senior roles than women from higher socio-economic backgrounds – a gap that’s much larger for women than it is for men
  • Organisations can take simple steps to improve social mobility at all stages of a person’s career

This session is for anyone…interested in inclusion and helping yourself and others to get ahead at work.

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