Creating an inclusive workplace
Provident Financial Group is committed to creating and maintaining a fair, diverse and inclusive culture for our colleagues and other stakeholders. We use annual gender pay gap reports to help us track our performance in this area. It also forms part of our formal reporting in line with The Equality Act 2010.
Set out below are the gender pay gap statements we are required by Government to publish, which cover all colleagues employed by Provident Financial Management Services Limited, Provident Personal Credit, Moneybarn and Vanquis Bank (the legal entities of Provident Financial Group that are covered by the Gender Pay Gap Regulations):
This year, for the first time, we have also published the gender pay gap numbers for those parts of Provident Financial Group that currently fall outside the scope of the gender pay gap reporting Regulations (ie the Provident Financial corporate office and Cheque Exchange Limited). These have been included in our 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report which can be accessed here.
Across the Group, we know that our gender pay gap is driven by the structure of our workforce where there is a much greater representation of men in senior roles, earning higher salaries. However, we also know that we need to have a greater gender balance across senior levels so that we can lessen the gender pay gap and further promote equality and inclusivity. To do this, we need to put more focus on how we attract, develop and retain female talent in order to get a better gender balance in our senior leadership population. In support of this, we signed up to the Woman in Finance Charter in March 2019 and set a target to have at least 33% female representation in the Group’s senior leadership population by December 2020 and 40% female representation by December 2024.
We have also undertaken a range of activities throughout 2019 to ensure that we do more to create a talent pipeline of future women leaders within our business. This has seen us deliver a ‘Next Generation Women’s Leadership Programme’ to the first cohort of female colleagues at the middle/senior management level (a second cohort is currently on the programme for 2020). We also delivered ‘speaker series’ sessions at our Bradford, Chatham, London and Petersfield offices to encourage colleagues to think about how we can better nurture and celebrate a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) across all our businesses. Finally, to further support the EDI agenda throughout 2019, we have published a new corporate EDI Policy and rolled out a mandatory e-learning module on EDI to all colleagues.
HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter
We signed up to the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter in March 2019. The Charter is a government initiative to improve gender diversity in senior positions within the financial services sector.
When we became a Charter signatory, we set ourselves a target to have 33% or more female representation in the Group’s senior management population by December 2020 and 40% female representation in the Group’s senior management population by December 2024. At the time we signed up to the Charter, we had 30% female representation in our senior management population.
As of 30 September 2020, we have 27% female representation in this population. Despite this percentage going down, we believe we are on track to meet our overall target of having 40% female representation in the Group’s senior management population by December 2024.
Over the course of the past 12 months, we have laid the foundation that will enable us to work towards meeting our targets. This has included:
- Restructuring our Group Executive, which has enabled us to confirm the direct reports that are included in our defined senior management population, and creating a talent pipeline into this population;
- Initiating work to review and update the HR policies and processes that will enable the Group’s businesses to consistently to support the work to improve our gender diversity performance;
- Starting work to update our HR management systems to collect consistent information from our colleagues on: their ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, disability status, caring responsibilities and gender identity;
- Delivering the Next Generation Women’s Leadership Programme to 21 high potential women from across Provident Financial Group (of these, 24% have gained promotion);
- Reviewing our external recruitment process to ensure a 50/50 gender balance shortlists for all Senior Leadership vacancies; and
- Launching a gender balance affinity group as part of our group-wide inclusion community which is sponsored by two executives.
Colleague engagement and involvement
It is essential that we consistently and effectively engage with our colleagues so that they understand the Group’s purpose and how they can support its delivery, which we believe helps our customer base. Maintaining high levels of colleague engagement also plays an important role in enabling us to attract, retain and develop the talent we need to help us deliver our purpose, ensuring that we provide a stimulating and rewarding working environment, and supporting the development of a diverse, open and inclusive workplace culture where everyone is a valued member of Provident Financial Group. We engage with and involve our colleagues by:
- Conducting a Group-wide colleague survey every year.
- Designating a Non-Executive Director to lead on Board engagement with colleagues to understand their views and interests.
- Convening workforce panels within each division to consult with colleagues and report up to Group Executive Committee and Board.
- Consulting with the Consumer Credit Division’s Area Managers and Development Managers in the Republic of Ireland through the trade union, Unite, which is recognised by the Division.
- Using a variety of colleague communication and engagement mechanisms to ensure that colleagues are kept fully informed of the financial and operational performance of the Group and the divisions, and also in relation to our Blueprint.
- Using the new Group recognition platform, ‘Better Everyday’, we launched in 2019.