Workplace culture has changed hugely since the start of the pandemic. In this piece Donna Richards (pictured) talks gender diversity and pay parity at Carpenters Group;
“Our gender pay parity and diversity has been a very organic result of the culture we have fostered, we are so very proud of what we have achieved”
At Carpenters Group, like any other business, we have always wanted to be a sustainable, profitable and successful business. From our early beginnings we had a real belief and a fundamental understanding that diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity were important to the success of our business and to society as a whole. The reality of the world (now more than ever) is that we need to support and help each other out where we can, it’s the only way forward. The business that we have grown has always understood and recognised the importance of what this brings to the table not only for our people, but also our communities and clients.
Our gender pay parity and gender diversity at all levels wasn’t necessarily a strategic objective, it has happened as a direct result of the culture we have created, by bringing in the right people for the role regardless of their gender. We are incredibly proud of the fact that this year we have all but achieved gender pay parity with 0.1%. We also have gender representation across all levels which is integral to our culture of supporting and developing women. 55% of our people who have the highest salaries in our business are women. This really should not be underplayed and is highly unusual for both the insurance and legal sector. It ultimately really demonstrates our strong support and commitment for progressing career pathways for everyone.
We have complete gender parity at Executive Board and Operations Board level, our senior women are an integral and essential part of our leadership team, as are our men! This means that all of our decisions and discussions have a balanced perspective. As a business we work together cohesively so that we better understand what our colleagues and clients need and want.
NO GLASS CEILINGS
Our ambition is to continually improve, creating a workplace which is truly inclusive, where difference is celebrated and most importantly, where everyone can be themselves regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, socio-economic background, sexuality, religion and belief, age, disability, caring responsibilities or health challenges. Our objectives and aims around diversity, inclusion and equality continue to grow and evolve. We are also acutely aware that gender equality and diversity is not just about our women, it’s about our men too and that’s why we always ensure we have equality of opportunity for all.
Over the past 12 months we have been focussing on developing our people at all levels, through our apprenticeship programme, mentoring, career coaching and also with a formal management development programme for all existing and aspiring managers. We are committed to supporting and working alongside our external partners including the 30% Club, the Women in Finance Charter, Women in the Law, 10,000 Black Interns, Elevate and our numerous apprenticeship providers, schools and universities to promote progression and opportunity within our profession.
We also continue to promote equality of opportunity in our recruitment and promotions practices, ensuring that the right person is successful, regardless of gender or background. We are diversifying our recruitment pipelines and processes in order to attract new and more diverse candidates and are using including the use of an applicant tracking system that will enhance our ability to remove unconscious bias from the recruitment process. Other things that we are conscious of as a business are around how we conduct our salary and bonus review and calculation, our main ambition is to be truly certain that this process is completely fair, consistent and transparency.
CHANGING CULTURE MEANS A GROWING BUSINESS
Whilst our results are exceptionally pleasing within gender equality we want to continue to make positive changes across all elements of our diversity and inclusion agenda. Our understanding of diversity and inclusion continues to evolve and it is very much a key focus for our business. We will continue to have discussions and set objectives about how we should celebrate difference, whilst ensuring equality of opportunity across all of our business practices and policies.
We believe in employing the best people for all of our roles regardless of their gender, background or circumstances. By removing barriers to entry, investing in the tools to support progression and creating the right working environment, we have been rewarded with some fantastic results. We will endeavour to maintain this position as we continue to grow our business.
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