Aegon UK’s commitment to the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter
At Aegon UK, we're committed to creating an inclusive culture, ensuring equal opportunities in our workplace, and firmly believe we're more likely to be sustainable and successful as a company if we help everyone to be the best they can be.
Our Gender Pay Gap report clearly shows that we need to do more to encourage and enable female representation in senior, higher paid roles in our company. Therefore, in February 2019 we signed the Women in Finance Charter and we committed to achieve an aspirational gender representation target of 33% female representation in our CEO-2 population by the end of 2021. On top of this we made an additional commitment that all candidate shortlists for appointments to the Board and CEO-2 population will contain at least 33% from either gender. At the time of setting these targets, 30% of our CEO-2 population and 50% of our CEO-3 population were female.
We're committed to achieving a true gender balance at all levels of the organisation and therefore we've undertaken a number of actions to achieve this, including:
- We’ve enhanced our shared parental leave policy to bring enhanced shared parental pay into line with our enhanced maternity pay, and also enhanced our paternity pay to better support the equal sharing of child caring responsibilities.
- We're placing a particular focus on personal and leadership development at all levels of the organisation to create a sustainable pipeline of female leaders. This includes several initiatives – for example:
- all of our Senior Leadership Team have participated in Inclusive Leadership and Unconscious Bias training and we have made unconscious bias e-learning available to all employees,
- we've introduced a new approach to performance management and development during 2020, with much greater focus on feedback and personal and professional development. We now ask all of our employees to set development goals and have taken steps to ensure that great development conversations are taking place at all levels of the organisation,
- twelve of our senior female colleagues attended the highly regarded Leadership Summit development programme run by the Pipeline consultancy during 2019, and
- we've introduced a new mentoring scheme during 2020 to help colleagues develop personally and professionally and we are also sponsoring several of our current and aspiring female leaders through Women in Banking and Finance membership and a mentoring programme offered as part of it.
- We're a founding partner of the Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF) Accelerating Change Together research programme. The first year of the programme is focusing on the ‘Missing Middle’ to identify potential causes for a lack of pipeline into senior positions. This will focus on actual behaviours and seek to bust some myths about what the real drivers/barriers are. From that analysis the recommendations on potential practical interventions will be identified and made. As a founding partner we will test and validate these interventions.
We're also enhancing collaboration between our Inclusion and Diversity Communities, by creating an ‘Inclusion and Diversity Council’, to help our various I&D communities to work together in order to ensure that intersectionality and diversity of thought is considered in our initiatives.
At the time of the interim reporting in August 2020 our female representation in the CEO-1 population has improved from 20% to 25% but we have seen a reduction in our representation of women within the wider CEO-2 population to 28%.
These movements are partly the result of restructuring activity, in which some reporting lines have changed, other roles have become redundant and other roles have been created. The size of the CEO-2 population means that one or two headcount changes can create significant variance in the male/female representation %. Appointments into all new roles have been subject to diverse candidate shortlists, with appointments made on merit and we have a particular focus on improving the representation of women in our talent pipeline for future appointments.
During 2020 we re-launched our gender diversity community as the Women@Aegon community with a new Executive Sponsor. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic we have been able to engage successfully with our female colleagues and male allies by making use of online collaboration tools, and we have hosted a number of virtual events focused on personal development, targeted at our female colleagues.
In addition, we've increased our paid dependant’s leave to support employees with caring responsibilities and we have conducted regular employee insight surveys to understand the impacts of the pandemic and to inform action plans. We're pleased to have maintained employment and to have avoided use of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme. We've adapted to a new and much more flexible way of working, whether in terms of work locations or work patterns and we will continue to develop this approach in 2021 and beyond.
We're determined to embrace diversity in all its forms and to create an inclusive workplace where every employee can fulfil their potential. We're proud to support the Women in Finance Charter and we're committed to improving our gender diversity among senior management.