Aegon UK’s commitment to the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter

At Aegon UK, we're committed to creating an inclusive workplace and to embrace diversity in all its forms. We’re passionate about developing a purpose-led culture and we believe that our colleagues are critical to our success.

We’re working hard to create a diverse, high performing workforce – where our purpose (to help people achieve a lifetime of financial security) is deeply embedded. Our environment also provides equal opportunities, empowers our colleagues to be the best they can be and drive better outcomes for our customers.

Women in Finance Charter

When we signed up to the Women in Finance Charter in February 2019 we had 30% female representation in our CEO-2 population1.

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.

Since signing the Charter, we’ve seen both positive and negative movements in our female representation. We’re pleased to see that female representation in the CEO-2 population has improved from 27.9% to 31.9% in the past 12 months. 

We remain fully committed to improving the position by the end of 2021 and beyond, and we will further report on this in early 2022.

Meeting the Women in Finance Charter targets is a strategic objective for our organisation and we’re committed to achieving this goal.

Our Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) Programme

We’ve refreshed and expanded our Inclusion & Diversity programme during 2020. The overall programme has executive sponsorship from our Chief Risk Officer, and we now have five Inclusion & Diversity Communities, each with their own executive sponsor:

  • Women @ Aegon Community – sponsored by our Chief Internal Auditor. 
  • Aegon Proud Community – sponsored by our Chief Finance Officer.
  • Wellbeing Community – sponsored by our Operations & Customer Service Director.
  • Race & Cultural Diversity Community – sponsored by our Chief Distribution Officer.
  • Age Community – sponsored by our Chief Technology Officer.

We've also enhanced 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.

In 2021 we have refined our I&D Programme, with clearer accountabilities, more robust and forward-looking planning to improve processes and delivery.

Our two key corporate priority development areas for 2022 are:

  1. Enhancing our I&D Data, MI & Analytics – to provide better insight into the profile of our workforce and to enable analytics that will help us to tailor our activities and inform future strategy.
  2. Embedding I&D into our Talent Acquisition and Management strategy – which will allow us to review our approaches to candidate attraction, shortlists, interview panels, talent pipelines, personal development, leadership development and mentoring/sponsorship.

We’ve ensured that Inclusion & Diversity is firmly on the executive agenda – as each member of our executive committee has personal performance objective linked to their efforts, to improve inclusion and diversity, with particular focus on gender diversity. Executives having personal performance objectives also ensures that their remuneration is linked to their contribution on inclusion and diversity matters.

We're committed to achieving a true gender balance

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:

  1. We’ve improved our shared parental leave policy to bring enhanced shared parental pay into line with our enhanced maternity pay, and also increased our paternity pay to better support the equal sharing of child caring responsibilities.
  2. 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’ve made unconscious bias e-learning available to all employees.
    • We've introduced a new approach to performance management and development, 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.
    • 12 of our senior female colleagues attended the highly regarded Leadership Summit development programme run by the Pipeline consultancy during 2019 and now they offer support to colleagues through the internal alumni network.
    • We've introduced a new mentoring scheme to help colleagues develop personally and professionally.
    • We’re sponsoring, on a yearly basis, several of our current and aspiring female leaders through Women in Banking and Finance membership and a mentoring programme offered as part of it.
  3. We're a founding partner of the Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF) Accelerating Change Together research programme. The first year of the programme focused on the ‘Missing Middle’ to identify potential causes for a lack of pipeline into senior positions. The research analysed actual behaviours and sough to bust some myths about what the real drivers and barriers were. From the analysis, the recommendations on potential practical interventions were created in the Good Finance Framework. As a founding partner we will test and validate these interventions.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been able to engage successfully with our female colleagues and male allies by making use of online collaboration tools, and we’ve 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’ve 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’ll continue to develop this approach in 2022 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.

1 CEO, direct reports of CEO, and direct reports of CEO’s direct reports, with exclusion of PA’s or ‘non Aegon UK’ employees.