Whilst the finance industry has historically lacked diversity, over recent years it has taken significant steps to become more inclusive of different groups such as women, those that experience racism and other underrepresented demographics – but there’s still plenty more to be done. So, in celebration of Pride month, we’re sharing some of the things we’re doing at Redington to become a better ally to the LGBTQIA+ community.
Did you know that 1 in 5 of those looking for work over the last year encountered discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity? Or that 1 in 5 LGBTQIA+ employees have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues in the last year? These are shocking statistics.
At Redington, we want to create an environment where people feel comfortable being their authentic selves; this is evident in our values: strive for better and empower others. Uploading a rainbow-painted logo to our LinkedIn page isn’t going to help us achieve that. Instead, we’re determined to listen, learn and educate ourselves on the issues that the LGBTQIA+ community are facing. We want to find solutions to these issues, collaboratively, in order to make our industry more accessible and inclusive.
We recognise though, that much like the BAME acronym, LGBTQIA+ doesn’t acknowledge that the individuals within this community are, well, just that: individuals. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution we can implement, but we can take small steps to tackle the common challenges people who are captured by this acronym might face.
So what steps are we taking to listen, learn and educate ourselves?
We are very much believers that we can’t do everything (not at once anyway!). So this year, our I&D Committee have chosen to focus on improving the inclusivity of our firm to three underrepresented groups, one of which is the LGBTQIA+ community. As part of this, we’ve become a member of LGBT Great, an organisation working to develop LGBTQIA+ diversity and inclusion within the global investment and savings industry.
Through this membership, we’ll be partaking in their language and terminology session; a workshop that will equip us with the correct language to allow us to discuss this sensitive topic openly as an organisation.
Earlier this month, we also hosted a webinar with Global Butterflies – an organisation that aims to help businesses create a diverse and inclusive culture where every single person can excel at their career – for our employees to better understand how we, as a firm, can become trans and non-binary inclusive.
Following this session, and per the recommendations, we updated our email signature templates to encourage our employees to include their personal pronouns, where they felt comfortable to do so. The aim of which is to ensure that we address people in the way that’s most appropriate for them, without making any assumptions, as well as helping to normalise and encourage discussions around gender.
On the recruitment front, we have added multiple gender options to our application forms, with this data made accessible to system admins only. And, later this year, we’ll be making our applications completely anonymous to further remove any unconscious bias.
We’ve also made some changes to our internal policies to be more inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community:
We’re asking our employees to share their demographic data – including details of gender and sexual orientation – to better understand the makeup of our organisation and to help us ensure we have the right policies in place to meet their needs. So far, we’ve collected responses from around 60% of our employees and, while we appreciate that these things are difficult to talk about within the workplace and we’re therefore unlikely to get a response from everyone, we’re working internally to achieve a response rate of 80%+, since we believe this should give us enough data to better inform our decision-making as a company.
Policy-wise, we’ve implemented numerous changes to better support our employees. For example, we’ve reviewed and improved our shared parental leave policy, a voluntary cost to the business that’s beneficial to both heterosexual and LGBTQIA+ couples. In addition to this, we have policies in place for those that wish to take adoption leave too.
Ultimately, the people at Redington are what make us the company we are today. So we’re committed to fostering an environment that allows everyone to be their authentic self. And whilst we recognise that there’s no ‘one size fits all policy’, we believe that the steps we’ve taken, and will continue to take, will help us build a more inclusive culture – for both Redington, and the savings and investment industry as a whole.