Insurer Zurich has published its ethnicity pay gap data for 2021 alongside a series of interventions as part of a pledge to make its workforce more representative of 21st century Britain. This follows a major programme launched last year with equality research experts, Behavioural Insights Team, to identify and address issues around career progression, pay gaps and ethnic minority representation across its UK workforce.
Interventions include: switching to head-hunters with a focus on diversity, diverse interview panels and more reliance on technical assessments and standardised scoring to ensure rigorous and fair recruitment. All of Zurich’s hiring managers are undergoing training in best practice recruitment techniques. All applications from black and ethnic minority recruits will be tracked to ensure that enough diverse applicants are applying for roles at the company.
As well as its work with BIT, Zurich is a signatory of the Race at Work Charter committing to five principles to tackling any barriers to the recruitment and progression of ethnic minority employees. These include capturing data and publicising progress, taking action to support career progression and making equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers.
Almost nine out of ten (87%) employees at Zurich share information about their ethnicity – 7.7% of which declare themselves as belonging to an ethnic minority. Its pay data for 2021 shows a mean pay gap of 10.2% which is up slightly from 9.8% last year due to staff turnover.
Zurich’s bonus gap stands at 37% up from 19.6% in 2020. These increases have been driven by the fact that there are fewer Black and ethnic minority employees in senior roles.
Tim Bailey, Zurich UK’s CEO said, “This announcement is just part of the journey we’re making to ensure our business accurately reflects the society we live and work in. At no point should ethnicity be a barrier to success.
“The input into this work from our Cultural Awareness Network has been critical, as well as listening and having open and honest conversations with our people. These interactions have helped to inform our interventions and other initiatives, such as the launch of our first cohort of ‘Inclusion Allies’. This is in response to feedback from employees from ethnic minorities who have said that they would welcome someone they can speak to on a confidential basis about any issues they are facing.
“Our data shows that we have more work to do to close pay gaps and appoint more diverse candidates at all levels of the business. We remain committed to doing everything we can to action meaningful change.”
Kevin Anang, Co-Chair of Zurich’s Cultural Awareness Network (CAN) said, “I’m proud to be representing CAN in these important discussions and of the role the network has in helping to shape and inform Zurich’s approach to being a more inclusive place to work.
“Getting buy-in and support from all levels across the business is key to what we do and there is a genuine desire to do the right thing, both for current and future employees.”