Hermes is committed to supporting the Women in Finance Charter, as well as supporting all forms of change that encourage a more diverse population across our business.
Hermes recognises the value a diverse workforce brings to the business and in particular the benefits of having a diversity of experience amongst senior management. As a forward-thinking organisation we have been active members of the 30% club in the UK, supporting the goal of achieving a minimum of 30% women on FTSE 100 Boards through our engagements with investee companies and more than meeting that level ourselves. We recognise the need to maintain the positive momentum generated from initiatives such as Lord Davies’ Review and in particular nurturing and growing the pipeline of female talent in order to support the progression of women into senior roles.
Gender diversity targets
Hermes will continue the positive work it has accomplished to date with the ultimate ambition of achieving gender parity across the whole business.
|2018 target range||Sep 2017||Sep 2016|
|Senior management level||25-40%||23%||24%|
2017 update on progress
We are happy to be able to note that we have made real progress against our firm-wide gender diversity targets, the increase towards 40% is, we believe, evidence that our efforts to date are having a positive impact on the gender balance across our business. In more senior areas progress has been slower than we would like. For example, while the absolute number of women in senior positions in the firm has increased during the year the relative percentage has remained essentially static. This to a large part reflects the heavy gender bias within some areas of our industry. We recognise that this issue is one that will require concerted cross-industry efforts to increase the number of women entering investment management - something we are more than happy to play our part in supporting. Through our Corporate Citizenship programme which promotes a number of initiatives with local primary and secondary schools, we continue to work at breaking down barriers at an early age with the hope that this will bear fruit in the future talent pipeline.
Promoting an open environment for people to be themselves
Hermes is committed to treating everyone with whom we work fairly and with dignity and respect. To that end we have set up an internal working group to promote an inclusive culture which allows everyone to grow individually and also together as a strong and innovative organisation.
In 2017 our Unity working group held a week-long event entitled HerStory during which we celebrated the achievements of some of our talented female colleagues and took inspiration from a number of external female speakers, successful in predominantly male sectors. This focused week also allowed us to promote many of the support networks and services that we provide to all staff to help with the balance of home life with a progressive career.
Key activities during the year
- Training: Our Executive Committee, along with all line managers, attended Unconscious Bias and Employee Relations training in order to better understand and mitigate decision-making risks.
- Retention: We are introducing a ‘returners’ programme for our staff who have been out on long-term absence, maternity, parental or adoption leave.
- Culture: In order to further build on and embed our inclusive culture, our Executive Committee members have begun leading informal group sessions to foster good relationships and to also provide a platform for our senior female Executive Committee members to engage with new junior members of the company.