Inspiring women at Aviva
The UK government’s Women in Finance Charter commits financial services firms to support women’s progression into senior roles.
Taking on the role of Women in Finance Charter Champion is a huge honour but also a huge responsibility. Ensuring women have as many opportunities as men in financial services is critical. It’s critical for women. It’s critical to the future of UK financial services. And a successful, inclusive, financial services industry is critical to a revitalised UK economy.
There are still far too many barriers blocking women’s progress in financial services. We’ve got to work quicker and harder. Now is the time for less talk, more action.
Women in Finance Charter signatories agree a diverse workforce is good for business – it is good for customers, profitability, investors, and workplace culture.
However, building diverse workforces can be hard and leading financial services (FS) organisations have recognised a fundamental shift will be necessary to move the needle on gender representation.
Amanda Blanc has worked with Bain & Company to design an industry-first blueprint PDF (15MB) with practical recommendations and a toolkit of ideas.
The blueprint is based on interviews with leading FS CEOs, Bain IP, academic research, cross industry case studies and a survey of 100+ signatories.
It is structured into four reinforcing pillars:
2. Retention & Promotion
3. Culture & Behaviour
4. Embedding DE&I
While the blueprint focuses on gender representation, it can be leveraged by organisations of any size as they take action across the whole diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) agenda.
The time for talking about gender equality is over. Now is the time for us to act and to act decisively and this blueprint is the first step towards doing that.
Of course, not every organisation will or can approach this issue in the same way, so the blueprint is designed to be tailored and adapted to your organisation’s needs. It gives businesses a clear idea of where they are on their journey to gender parity, how mature their initiatives are and what still needs to be done to get us where we want to be.
With this blueprint, we all have a roadmap that will guide each of us towards the ultimate goal of genuine, lasting gender parity.
Our commitment to be a responsible organisation ties in well with the aims of the Charter. We’re delighted that we’ve already achieved our initial targets as a charter signatory:
- For women to make up at least 30% of our Group Executive Committee (consistent with our 30% Club commitment in 2016).
- To establish the Women in Leadership programme as a key initiative for developing a pipeline of leaders at Aviva who are women. 40% of participants have progressed into new roles since we launched in 2016.
In 2022 we continue in our commitment to support and advance women’s careers using mentoring and sponsorship to strengthen our pipeline into senior leadership roles.
As at 31 December 2021, we have successfully increased our female leadership* to 33.7% from 31.99% when we first joined the Charter, and we believe that increased gender diversity not only lends us business benefits but also has a wider impact on society and the economy.
* Leaders are defined as Head of and above.
- In 2021 we launched Aviva University which empowers colleagues to educate themselves and progress their learning to develop their career in a way that satisfies their own ambitions.
- Aviva Investors have implemented a structured mentoring programme. This initially focused on senior female leaders, and later expanded to the broader population.
Leadership lessons: have confidence in yourself
Amanda Blanc, Group CEO, shares some leadership advice with Marta Stawski from Aviva Canada in this short film.