We believe that society has been bound by preconceived ideas about what people can and can’t do for far too long. Factors such as gender, social backgrounds, ethnicity and ‘who you know’ have had a greater impact on the professional world than most are ready to admit.
At Schroders, we know that these stereotypes within our business and corporate world need to change, and we’re working to break them down and replace them with more inclusive perspectives. But there’s a long way to go before business can truly reflect the societies we all live in. To us, the answer is clear - developing a diverse, inclusive workforce across all our locations is about more than corporate responsibility, it’s a business imperative and it requires a long-term view.
We are going a step beyond saying that the gender pay gap is important. We have taken a holistic approach to gender, diversity and inclusion as well as social mobility. Because to us, they are all interrelated and they all contribute towards making us a market-leading, dynamic and socially reflective business.
At Schroders, we are committed to creating an inclusive culture where everyone can thrive. We are proud of the people that are helping us make positive changes to enhance our future. With their help, we have set out to #rethinktheroles and #rewritetherules.
We are committed to fostering an inclusive culture of diversity across our global workforce. This is led by our Group Chief Executive, Peter Harrison, who highlights why this is so important to him personally:
"In addition to being the Group Chief Executive for Schroders, I chair the Investment Association, sit on the Takeover Panel, and on the advisory boards of the Diversity Project, CFA UK and CityUK. I’m fortunate to be in a position to help drive change and I believe diversity of thought provides immeasurable benefits, both to our business and to greater society. That said, it’s important to note that collectively we face an uphill battle.
It is widely known that the finance and asset management industry has historically suffered from poor levels of diversity and still does today. Across the industry, the main challenges are in both attracting and retaining diverse talent and, whilst I am pleased that at Schroders our retention of female talent is positive, we still face an industry-wide struggle in attracting women to our business. Our efforts to change this cannot be independent of these sectoral issues, which is why we have a broad view of diversity and inclusion that reaches beyond our business.
Our gender pay gap at Schroders
I’m proud that Schroders was one of the first companies to sign the Women in Finance Charter and that we voluntarily chose to communicate our gender pay gap ahead of statutory requirements. However, I am not proud of our gender pay gap figures, at least not yet.
Our gender pay gap is driven by a lack of women in senior management and other higher paid roles, particularly in the investment side of our business. What are we doing about this, you may ask? Last year we increased our target percentage for women in senior management roles to 33%, and set our timeline to achieve that as the end of 2019. At the end of February 2019 we were just 1% off this target, with ten months to go. Our 7% increase in this level of female representation since the end of 2015 is a real example of our persistent steps towards greater diversity.
We are actively working to address our role representation gap, as well as diversity and inclusion more broadly, through new recruitment methods, better policies, unconscious bias training, clear targets and employee-focused business changes like flexible working, regardless of gender. We have 12 employee resource groups that thrive across our business, focusing on gender equality, sexual orientation, disability, mental health and multi-cultural groups. They are a key feature of our identity as an inclusive place to work. Through all these improvements, the firm has the tangible support and commitment of the executive team and the Board.
What else can we do to be sure that these steps continue, and that the future of Schroders sees more women still enrolled in senior positions? By linking it to incentives. Our diversity targets are linked to individual pay outcomes for senior management. We have set targets for each Group Management Committee member and their respective business areas. To meet our targets, we are pushing for increasing accountability both as a business and on an individual basis.
The actions we are taking today may seem minor when measured by the gender pay gap but, although we must continually strive to do more, the cumulative impact of our efforts to date is having a positive effect on our business. In the long-term, we gain more confidence that every action we take now will make a long-term difference to our business and society."
We value transparency, it helps us to make the right choices for the benefit of our people and greater society. Having made great strides towards developing a more inclusive culture, our focus in 2019 will be on enhancing transparency by collating more diversity profile data from our people. We currently have ethnicity data for 40% of our global employees but are targeting 80% by the end of 2019.
We recognise that this is an ambitious target, but it is vital information for progressing our diversity and inclusion strategy to the next level. In return for trusting us with their data and submitting information in our employee profiles, Schroders commits to publishing an ethnicity pay gap report and various others on other diversity targets as soon as we reach our diversity profile completion target. Better information supports our journey, giving us insights that help us to #rethinktheroles and #rewritetherules.
Our long-term goal of reaching full gender pay parity is a key element of our broader Diversity & Inclusion strategy which, in its very nature, is inclusive and involves all of our stakeholders. For us to effectively rethink the roles and rewrite the rules, we want to engage and work with people and organisations that share our goals, and together we can take steps to create a workplace, industry and society that celebrates and rewards everyone.
Through our ongoing work to #rethinktheroles and #rewritetherules, we will be attempting to bust some of the myths behind the challenges of diversity and inclusion, communicate more and deeper information about Schroders' policies and performance, and provide a platform for future engagement. We look forward to tackling these challenges together.