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.
The UK government’s Women in Finance Charter commits financial services firms to support women’s progression into senior roles. Our commitment to be a responsible global 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, which was for women to make up at least 30% of our Group Executive Committee (consistent with our 30% Club commitment in 2016). Consequently, we have set ourselves the targets to have females make up 40% and ethnically diverse individuals make up 13% of our senior leader population by 2024. As at October 2022, we achieved 36% female representation in our senior leader population and are on track to meet our target.
In 2022, we continue our commitment to develop programmes which will help advance women at all levels, thereby strengthening our talent pipelines to senior management. We launched a second cohort of Sponsorship programme, expanding this to more levels across the organisation as we understand and see the benefits of this. We launched Aviva University in 2021, empowering colleagues to educate themselves and progress their learning to develop their career in a way that satisfies their own ambitions. We have used this platform to roll out Aviva’s Inclusive Behaviours training for all colleagues too. Additionally, we have been running the Ethnic ALIO programme and central reverse mentoring programme, which have both been of immense support to encouraging gender and ethnicity-specific conversations in the workplace.
Increased gender diversity not only lends us business benefits but also has a wider impact on society and the economy.