D&I moves to the top of the agenda at Lloyd’s and KPMG

Lloyd’s and KPMG have this week underlined their commitment to promoting diversity & inclusion (D&I) in the workplace with the publication of ambitious targets for more inclusive representation.

Delivering an encouraging set of first half results for 2021, which revealed a profit of £1.4bn and a combined ratio of 92.2%, representing an 18.2 percentage point improvement on the half year 2020 combined ratio, Lloyd’s CEO John Neal (pic) reiterated that one its key priorities is the culture.

“We have made good progress on our cultural priorities, focusing on wellbeing, gender and ethnicity,” he said.

“Our market gender target of 35% females in leadership positions is set and we have already achieved gender parity within the Corporation,” he added, setting out the market’s recruitment ambitions:

“Going forwards, we will set a market ethnicity target; a third of all new hires must be from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. Whilst progress has been made, there is still more to do in order to forge an inclusive, innovative culture at Lloyd’s; one that attracts, retains and develops the best talent.”

Lloyd’s ethnicity targets come in the same week that KPMG in the UK published its socio-economic background pay gaps for the first time as part of the firm’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) plan.

Significantly, the firm said it aims to see 29 percent of UK partners and directors come from a working-class background by 2030.

As such, KPMG in the UK has become one of the first organisations to publish its socio-economic background pay gaps and set out ambitious targets to increase the number of senior employees from working-class backgrounds.

The new data measures pay gaps between colleagues from different socio-economic backgrounds by looking at their parental occupation.

This method of measurement is recommended by social mobility experts, such as the Bridge Group, as the most robust and reliable indicator of socio-economic background.

KPMG claimed that publication of this new data builds on the firm’s work to improve transparency around pay gap reporting, which it has published voluntarily for a number of years – earlier this year revealing black heritage, sexual orientation, and disability pay gaps for the first time.

When analysing the data of colleagues from different socio-economic backgrounds (including partners) the firm recorded overall pay gaps of:

  • Professional versus working class background: median 8.6 %; mean -1.1 %
  • Professional versus intermediate background: median 2.2 %; mean 3.2 %
  • Intermediate versus working class background: median 6.6 % mean -4.5 %

Analysis of the data revealed that while KPMG’s senior and junior colleagues are its most socio-economically diverse cohorts, working-class representation in middle management grades is comparatively lower and this is contributing to the pay gaps.

To address this, KPMG said it will focus on colleagues’ pathway into and through the organisation, from recruitment to progression – removing any potential barriers facing those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. This work will include:

  • new recruitment programmes dedicated to bringing in talent from lower socio-economic backgrounds at middle management and senior levels;
  • the introduction of mandatory training to all colleagues on socio-economic background;
  • a talent development programme aimed at colleagues from lower socio-economic backgrounds; and
  • using parental occupation as a key measure within HR processes.

Bina Mehta, chair of KPMG in the UK, said: “The publication of this data builds on our concerted efforts over a number of years to track and measure the socio-economic make-up of our workforce.”

“It’s only through this focus and level of transparency that we’re able to hold ourselves to account to take targeted action that will help create a fairer and more equitable society.

“I’m a passionate believer that greater diversity in all its aspects improves business performance. Diversity brings fresh thinking and different perspectives to decision making, which in turn delivers better outcomes for our clients.”

 “The publication of this data builds on our concerted efforts over a number of years to track and measure the socio-economic make-up of our workforce.”

Bina Mehta, KPMG

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