In EMEA we have made good progress in improving diversity and inclusion as a whole and gender representation in particular. We know the financial services sector has work to do and we are committed to achieving lasting change.
Our Diversity and Inclusion Group has been in place since 2013. The Group, reporting to the CEO and regional Executive Committee, champions best practice to ensure a workplace culture that reflects the diversity of our clients and employees. Over the past five years it has successfully driven change, with the following initiatives now embedded:
- Education and training, including unconscious bias training for all hiring managers
- Recruitment guidelines to ensure both male and female representation on candidate lists and advance more qualified women to the interview phase
- For senior hires, at least one woman must be part of the interview panel
- All recruitment, by gender, is reported to the regional Executive Committee each quarter
- Improved flexible working, maternity and paternity policies
- Active promotion of shared parental leave, encouraging male employees to take advantage of the opportunity
- Flexible working arrangements, for example best practice guidelines for working from home
- The ability to purchase additional holidays, supporting more flexible working
- Mentoring to support career progression for more junior and mid-level employees
- Support for and participation in industry-wide returners programmes
- Regular employee events with internal and external speakers to showcase successful, diverse role models.
The Diversity & Inclusion Group and the wider firm have taken a number of positive steps to improve diversity in our business, including holding a quarterly series of "Women in Leadership" discussions for employees. The aim of the series is to hear from a wide range of successful and inspiring female leaders about their stories. Speakers in 2017 & 2018 have included:
- Kay Swinburne, MEP
- Dame Cilla Snowball, Group Chairman and Group Chief Executive of AMV BBDO
- Debbie Hewitt, Non-Executive Chairman of Moss Bros Group plc, The Restaurant Group plc, fashion retailer White Stuff Limited and Visa UK
- Dame Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV
- Vin Murria, DBA, MBA, Partner at Elderstreet Investments Ltd
- Lucy Perman, MBA, CEO of Clean Break
Women in Finance Charter
Columbia Threadneedle was one of seven founding signatories of HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter and the first asset manager to sign, pledging to support the progression of women into senior roles by setting concrete targets and deliverables. See Policies/Reports in the left hand column for our annual progress reports under the Charter.
When we signed the Charter in 2016, we set target ranges for 2018 and we tracked our progress on a quarterly basis. At the end of 2018 we had met or exceeded the range minimum for four of these target categories. Since then we have updated our targets as reflected in the table below. While we understand that sustainable change across our broad employee population will take time, our long-term ambition is to achieve gender parity throughout our business.
| ||2021 target range||Dec 2018||Dec 2017||Dec 2016||Dec 2015|
|% women on company Board*||35% - 45%||45%||40%||33%||22%|
|% women on Business Management Committee (Exec Co)||35% - 50%||42%||40%||29%||24%|
|% women in senior management (Executive Director level)||30% - 40%||20%||17%||20%||19%|
|% women employees in total||40% - 50%||37%||36%||36%||37%|
*Threadneedle Asset Management SARL
In 2017 we partnered with the think tank New Financial to produce the research report Counting Every Woman 2017. We were particularly pleased to see Columbia Threadneedle come top of the asset management sector for women on executive committees (at 40% representation), and among the top five for board level representation (with 33%) in the Counting Every Woman report.
We are proud to have received a number of awards recognising our efforts to improve diversity, including Diversity Initiative of the Year in 2018 at the Insurance Investment Exchange Awards, Employer of the Year 2017, Women in Finance Awards and Supporting Excellence Award from Investment Week’s Women in Investment Awards 2017.
UK gender pay gap
March 2018 saw Columbia Threadneedle publish our first gender pay gap report under new UK legislation. We support gender pay gap reporting, recognising that disclosure is an important step towards improvement.
Our gender pay gap data reflects the fact that women hold fewer senior positions at Columbia Threadneedle, including in higher-paying specialist areas such as Investments and front-line Sales.
It’s important to emphasise that gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay (which has been a legal requirement in the UK since 1970). Having undertaken thorough analysis of our data, we are confident that men and women across our business are paid on an equivalent basis for doing equivalent jobs.
Our 2018 Gender Pay Gap report can be found under Policies/Report in the left hand column of this page.
Focus on inclusion
We have an active Pride and Allies Network, an inclusive initiative for the LGBT+ community and their allies.
We also supported the Lord Mayor’s campaign during Mental Health Awareness Week each year, providing mental health training for senior managers, lunchtime talks from support organisations and promotion of support services and policies.
We are active members of a number of networks and external organisations. We continue to support Investment 2020, an initiative by leading UK investment firms to offer hundreds of young people from diverse backgrounds a first job in the City. Since 2013 we have welcomed 27 trainees to the firm via i2020. We also partner with SEO London to source talent from ethnic minority and low socio economic backgrounds.
We are a member of The Diversity Project, an industry initiative to achieve a truly diverse and inclusive UK investment and savings industry with the right talent to deliver the best possible results for our clients and to reflect the society we serve.