Addressing our gender balance is a key focus, recognising the impact that a diverse talent pool will have on our business.
We prioritise the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5: Gender Equality, appreciating the role employers must play in removing barriers faced by women to reach success. We continue to champion this both inside our business and in our wider industry.
A particular focus for me this year, has been promoting career development for the women in our UK team. I have held fireside chats, aimed at encouraging and mentoring female talent, and have reignited our Addressing The Balance employee network. A number of our female employees have also taken time to inspire the next generation of young women to join our industry by becoming Career Ready mentors or volunteering in National Literacy Trust workshops.
We are keen to make it as easy as possible for women who have had significant periods of time off to integrate back into the business, which is why the launch of our returners programme in the UK was a hugely important step.
I know from my own experience of taking maternity leave, that returning to the workplace after a significant period of time away can be daunting, so supporting women in this situation is crucial to us not only nurturing and retaining but also accessing new talent.
Across the UK, the proportion of women in our top pay quartile has increased by 1.5 percent while our gender pay gap has decreased by 0.8 percent. In addition, our graduate intake is nearing our target for 50:50 gender split in each annual intake. This year, our global initiative, the Chairman’s Group, for example, has an 11:7 female/male ratio.
These initiatives are being replicated across the globe and are part of an integrated strategy supporting our diverse talent to thrive.
In the Middle East, we have enhanced our employment package for women, while in Asia, we have increased the number of women employed in the region by five percent. We have big ambitions to go even further: by 2025, we want to have a gender split of 40:60 women and men across the entire business.
While there are clearly business and economic reasons for embracing diversity, for us, it is simply the right thing to do. Our core strength is in recognising and embracing the diverse views and skills our employees bring, attracting and developing the very best people in the industry.
This case study is part of our Annual review 2018-2019.