We are committed to valuing all genders equally, while recognising the need to tackle barriers and experiences unique to women, non-binary and gender non-conforming people.
We know that we have an equal gender balance up to senior manager, but after that the percentage of women, non-binary and gender non-conforming people in leadership roles decreases. We are, therefore, focusing our efforts on tackling the barriers to progression that our people tell us they face.
Our vision is to remove gender disparity and optimise the lived experience of all our people. We know that gender balanced leadership teams are better for business and diverse decision-making.
For women, non-binary and gender non-conforming people, gender equity means:
Our gender equity initiatives positively impact all genders by seeking to provide tailored tools to identify and address inequality, opportunities to challenge typical gender stereotypes, and the balancing of family care responsibilities and the ability for everyone to work flexibly.
We have a 2025 gender strategy which includes stretching targets to increase our representation of women, non-binary and gender non-conforming people at senior levels. Our focus is on addressing the challenges to progression and building a gender-balanced pipeline of talent to lead our firm in the future.
We know that women, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people can’t solve gender equity alone. The only way we will ever reach gender equity is to encourage more men to be engaged in the conversation, enabling those in leadership positions to influence change. Therefore, we are also focusing our efforts on educating men on the importance of gender equity and how they can get involved to help promote change.
We have committed to the Women in Finance charter and are proud to have been recognised as a Times Top 50 Employer for Women 2022; the Northern Power Women’s Large Organisation of the Year 2022 for advancing gender equality; and a Top 10 Employer for Working Families.
We have an established gender equality network, which is open to all genders. The network provides our people with a space to connect, share experiences and support each other. The network hosts a series of planned events throughout the year, aimed at promoting an understanding of the barriers that women, non-binary and gender non-conforming people face in the workplace and providing guidance on how these challenges can be addressed.
We run two development programmes for our female, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals. “Elevate” is aimed at senior manager/associate director level and “Breakthrough” is aimed at directors. Both programmes include access to qualified coaches, partner advocates and a support group.
We have started a male allyship programme to help educate men on the importance and benefits of gender equity, highlighting the crucial role men have to play in achieving gender equity.
We introduced enhanced family leave policies. For example, our new paternity policy enables non-childbearing parents the ability to take up to six weeks paternity leave at full pay or a maximum of 12 weeks paternity leave at half pay (inclusive of statutory pay) and the flexibility to take paternity leave in up to three blocks, within the first year.
We are working on improving the family leave lived experience by implementing key enhancements to the processes prior, during and on return from family leave. Individuals are also benefiting from an increased return-to-work support offering, including the provision of coaching and mentoring, thereby helping to ensure a smooth transition back to work.
We introduced a ‘how we work’ framework when we returned to offices after the pandemic. This framework encourages all our people to work in an agile way as it best suits them, their team, and their clients. This supports individuals to achieve a healthy, work/life balance by allowing flexibility in where and when they choose to work, facilitating activities such as school pick-ups, carer responsibilities, gym classes or volunteering, within the ‘traditional’ working day. Flexible working options, such as part time, annualised hours and job sharing are also available and promoted, in order to retain and attract gender-balanced talent.
We have partnered with a company called Peppy, which provides our people with access to expert support and advice when going through the menopause transition.
Our people have access to Work-life Central resources, which provides webinars, information and support in relation to career development, wellbeing, family and inclusion.
We are working to eliminate the gender pay gap, which we recognise exists as a result of systematic cultural barriers to progression.