We are committed to being a diverse and inclusive organisation but we recognise that we haven't done enough, and we are still on a journey to reach that goal.
Black Lives Matter is a call to action, and we all have a role to play in building a fairer, more just world. I’m determined that Aviva does more to create a diverse and inclusive business, which in turn can better serve our customers and our communities. We will be judged by the actions we take, and it will take every one of us to make a difference, starting with me.
Deeply rooted issues are not going to change overnight. We've been listening to our people, who have shared their personal experiences and thoughts. The Origins community, a group of our colleagues who join together to celebrate cultural difference, have helped to develop an action plan to build on what Aviva was already doing.
Our three areas of focus: support, educate and act
1. Support black colleagues
- Thoroughly review our recruitment and promotion processes. Take positive action to promote opportunities to the black community. We’ve audited our recruiters to make sure they use inclusive practices. For some hires, we use search partners who specialise in diverse talent. We’re promoting our job opportunities through broader external recruitment channels that are more effective at reaching black talent.
- Commit to having at least one ethnic minority member on the Aviva plc board by the end of 2021. On 21 October 2020 we announced the appointment of Mohit Joshi as a Non-Executive Director.
- Increase racial and/or ethnic diversity on our Group Executive Committee. Set clear and stretching targets and publish them within 12 months of making this commitment to Change the Race Ratio.
- Actively promote SpeakUp as a confidential way for colleagues to raise race issues.
- Run quarterly Safe Space sessions for black colleagues with the help of external experts, The Diversity Practice.
- Take part in #10000 Black Interns in the summer of 2021 - helping black students across the UK kickstart their career in investment management.
2. Educate our people
- Start reverse mentoring. Black colleagues will mentor our senior leaders; the programme begins in 2021.
- Introduce annual mandatory anti-racism training for all our people in the UK in February 2021.
- Introduce annual inclusion training for our Board and Group Executive Committee in January 2021, hosted by Dawid Konotey-Aluhu of #10000 Black Interns.
- Continue to run Webinars hosted by The Diversity Practice on race and external insight for all our people.
- Appoint two independent external experts to join, and advise on, our Global Inclusion Strategy. In 2020, we appointed The Diversity Practice and Dawid Konotey-Aluhu of #10000 Black Interns.
3. Act wider than Aviva
- Devote at least 5% of Aviva Foundation funds to organisations which support black and ethnic minority causes.
- Aim for at least 15% of Aviva Community Fund nominations to support black, ethnic minority and social economic disadvantaged communities by 2021.
- Honour our pledge to the BlackNorth initiative - committed to the removal of systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians.
One of the more significant risks associated with your employees is not having the right people for the role. That does not necessarily mean you have the ‘wrong’ people, rather you may not be tapping into the full spectrum of talent that you could be in order to maximise your business or avoid tripping over in a more significant way.
Better understanding how diverse our organisation is will help us take more decisive and targeted action. As at January 2021, 53% of our people opted to complete diversity data - we aim to keep increasing that number.
In the UK we will publish our ethnicity pay gap in 2021 and our targets to increase representation of people from ethnic minorities among senior leaders by 2021.
Together we can live up to our purpose to be with you today for a better tomorrow and help make our organisation, and our communities a better place for everyone.
Education is key to making change and it’s encouraging to see how Black Lives Matter has inspired Aviva to want to learn more.
By introducing targeted training and mentoring opportunities, combined with ongoing conversation, we continue to listen and learn at Aviva.