Our colleagues are key to our long-term success. Their continued dedication and hard work is what gives PFG its unique character and culture, which enables us to deliver the best service to our customers. Providing an encouraging, supportive and inclusive workplace culture is therefore vital to the happiness of our colleagues and the sustainability of our business.
Improving female representation at senior management and director level is extremely important for the long-term sustainability of PFG. We have a yearly EDI strategy to help assess and progress our colleague gender diversity levels.
As of 31 December 2020, we had 27% female representation in our senior management population, as defined by virtue of being a Women in Finance Charter signatory.
We believe we're on track to meet our overall target of having 40% female representation in this population by December 2024. Over the course of the past 12 months, we’ve 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 support the work to improve our gender diversity performance
- delivering the Next Generation Women’s Leadership Programme to 21 high potential women from across Provident Financial Group (of these, 24% have gained promotion)
- and reviewing our external recruitment process to ensure a 50/50 gender balance in shortlists for all Senior Leadership vacancies.
We're committed to supporting diversity and creating an open and inclusive culture where everyone feels valued. We also recognise that PFG has a role to play in closing the gender pay gap across the financial services sector. You can read more about Gender Diversity at PFG here.
Our ambition is to create a truly diverse workforce, one that reflects the broad diversity of our local communities and the customers we serve. That diversity comes through having a culture of inclusion and providing equal opportunity.”
Inclusion and Diversity Executive Sponsor
Training and development
Making sure our colleagues undertake continued professional development (CPD) is an important contributor to the viability of our business. We place strong emphasis on supporting our customer-facing colleagues by equipping them with a broad range of skills so they’re well placed to support all customers, especially those in vulnerable situations.
In 2021, we’ll create a framework through which we can collect and analyse learning and development data, and encourage our managers to review their teams’ CPD.
Health and safety
We are committed to protecting our colleagues and self-employed agents in the ROI, as well as contractors, suppliers and customers. We do this through our PFG Health and Safety policies, which enable us to comply with national health and safety legislation.
Our operating divisions also have additional policies on a range of health, safety and wellbeing issues that reflect factors unique to their businesses. To help colleagues work safely at all times, these policies are available to colleagues through their local intranet sites, colleague handbooks, induction programmes and mandatory training. Across PFG, we offer programmes to support colleagues’ physical and mental health. These range from discounted gym memberships to free counselling and nutritional wellbeing courses.
Thriving at work
Since 2020, we have been using the Thriving at Work standards as set our by the Stevenson Farmer review of mental health and employers. This allows us to monitor our commitment to mental health and wellbeing support in the workplace. We complement this by regularly checking in with colleagues who support our customers, especially those in high-risk, vulnerability-focused roles.
Thriving at Work core standards
- Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan that promotes good mental health of all colleagues and outlines the support available for those who may need it.
- Develop mental health awareness among colleagues by making information, tools and support accessible.
- Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when colleagues are struggling. During the recruitment process and at regular intervals throughout employment, offer appropriate workplace adjustments to colleagues who require them.
- Provide colleagues with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work–life balance and opportunities for development.
- Promote effective people management to ensure all colleagues have a regular conversation about their health and wellbeing with their line manager. Train and support line managers in effective management practices.
- Routinely monitor colleague mental health and wellbeing by understanding available data, talking to them and understanding risk factors.
By 2024, we are committed to ‘excelling’ at all six of the core standards across PFG.
Mental health first aid
We have partnered with a variety of leading mental health charities to establish a Mental Health First Aider network. Our Mental Health First Aider network is made up of 53 colleagues across the UK and ROI.
Mental wellbeing and innovation
Colleagues across PFG have access to the award-winning, NHS-approved Thrive app, which provides encouragement and support in managing thoughts and feelings. The app features more than 100 hours of mental health and wellbeing content at the touch of a button.
Working for a company that supports mental health is great. If your team isn’t mentally fit to do the job, then they can’t deliver 100%. I’m proud that PFG has approached the mental health aspect of work.”
Mental Health First Aider