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 listened to our people who shared their personal experiences and thoughts. The Origins Community, one of our employee-led networks that celebrate cultural differences, helped develop an action plan to build on what Aviva was already doing.

Our three areas of focus were support, educate and act. 

1. Support Black colleagues

  • Thoroughly reviewed our recruitment and promotion processes. Took positive action to promote opportunities to the Black community. 
    • For some hires, we continue to use search partners who specialise in diverse talent. 
    • We continue to promote our job opportunities through broader external recruitment channels that are more effective at reaching Black talent. 
    • Introduced ‘licence to hire’ training so that all our managers and recruiters get extra diversity training before they hire new colleagues.  
  • Committed to having at least one ethnically diverse 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.
  • Actively promoted SpeakUp as a confidential way for colleagues to raise race issues.
  • Ran quarterly Safe Space sessions for Black colleagues with the help of external experts, The Diversity Practice. We also piloted ‘Brave Race Conversations’ workshops. These provided a safe space for teams at Aviva Investors to discuss race-related issues freely. 
  • Took part in #10000 Black Interns in the summer of 2021 - helping Black students across the UK kickstart their career in investment management. This led to three Black interns joining us on the Aviva Investors Summer Internship programme. 
  • Our Aviva Internship Programme, for those with lower socioeconomic background, secured 26 Internships across all our businesses and functions.

2. Educate our people

  • Launched our Reverse Mentoring Programme in April 2021, partnering members of the Aviva and Aviva Investors Executive Committees with Black colleagues. 
  • Introduced annual mandatory anti-racism training for all our UK employees in February 2021. 94% of our colleagues had completed the training by December 2021.
  • Dawid Konotey-Ahulu of #10000 Black Interns hosted the first annual inclusion training session for our Board and Group Executive Committee.  
  • We continue to run Webinars hosted by The Diversity Practice on race and external insight for all our people. 
  • Appointed two independent external experts to join, and advise on, our Global Inclusion Strategy in 2020 - The Diversity Practice and Dawid Konotey-Ahulu of #10000 Black Interns. 

3. Act wider than Aviva

  • Awarded £4.1m from the Aviva Foundation in 2020, including a £2.5m donation to the Red Cross COVID-19 hardship fund. Over 70% of these donations benefitted ethnically diverse communities.
  • More than 15% of Aviva Community Fund nominations supported ethnically diverse and lower socioeconomic communities by 2021.
  • We continue to honour our pledge to the BlackNorth initiative by committing to the removal of systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians.

Diversity data

Better understanding how diverse our organisation is will help us take more decisive and targeted action. As at October 2023, 90% of our people opted to complete their race/ethnicity data.

In the UK, we conducted ethnicity pay gap analysis and published our findings in a combined 2021 pay gap report. We also published our targets to increase representation of ethnically diverse senior leaders to 13% by 2024. 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.

Aviva continuously work to engage and improve upon our race action plan to attract diverse employees. Since May 2020, following the death of George Floyd, Aviva have continued with our momentum to make our company be better and do better. We’re no longer where we were a few years ago and have grown with how we support, educate and engage our colleagues by improving our communication channels. We will continue to discuss and learn, and listen and reflect, to ensure we remain consistent in our commitments.
There has definitely been progress here at Aviva. From being the only black person within my department to now being part of the black community within my location is very enlightening. Great progress with room for growth! Having the opportunity to be part of the Ethnically Diverse Leadership Programme in 2023 has also cemented the progress Aviva has made to support and educate.