When colleagues and communities co-create new approaches to inclusion , there ’ ll be positive progress and meaningful change .
t Aviva , we have six thriving Inclusion
Communities ( Employee Resource Groups ): Avivability ( disability ); Carers ( caring for family , a partner or friend ); Origins ( race , ethnicity , faith and socio-economic background ); Pride ( LGBT +); Balance ( gender ), and Generations ( age ).
Bringing our communities together is a powerful way to create inclusive change as people spend more time understanding the perspective of others . All our communities are sponsored by members of our Executive Committee — working in partnership with the community members and chairs . We encourage employees to join more than one community , whether as an ally or through identifying as a member , to build intersectionality across our initiatives .
A good example of this is an event we hosted with our partner , diversity and inclusion specialists The Diversity Practice , for around 300 colleagues , which highlighted gender within ethnicity . Entitled ‘ Different Women : 2020 : Changing Our Story , Owning Our Voice , Speaking Our Truth ’, it examined responses to inequality , discrimination and systemic racism .
Influencing representation at senior level
Last year , we also developed a bespoke ethnic minority leadership programme . This builds on the success of Aviva ’ s female leadership programme , launched in 2016 , from which 40 % of participants have progressed to new roles .
Leaders listened to their teams speak about racism and inclusion in a way that had never happened before
While all the communities and their intersections are vital , our current focus is on gender and ethnicity , two of the largest communities , supported by some key targets :
• We want 40 % of our senior leaders to be female by 2024 ( currently at 32 %).
• It is vital we capture diversity data for our employees so that we know where we need to act . In 2019 , this stood at just 10 %; today , we are at 53 %.
• We will calculate and publish our ethnicity pay gap data in 2021 .
George Floyd : catalyst for change
Ethnicity is broad , though , and the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 was a global catalyst that started a longoverdue conversation , specifically with our black colleagues . We collaborated with , and created safe spaces for , our black colleagues . Everyone within and beyond our black community shared their experiences . Leaders listened to their teams speak about racism and inclusion in a way that had never happened before .
We are a community — and we are better together when we hear and leverage diverse perspectives
Our Origins community , Executive Committee and D & I team co-created a # BlackLivesMatter action plan to support our black community by reviewing recruitment and promotion processes and creating safe virtual spaces to speak about race . This also focused on educating our people via mandatory anti-racism training , reverse mentoring and Diversity Practice webinars on race .
Beyond the workplace
To act in the wider community , this plan set out how we will devote at least 5 % of Aviva Foundation funds to organisations that support black and ethnic minority causes and 15 % of Aviva Community Fund nominations to supporting black , ethnic minority and socio-economically disadvantaged communities .
Our people needed to be a significant voice driving this action plan and we ’ re already seeing meaningful change and energy from this collaboration . We are a community — and we are better together when we hear and leverage diverse perspectives .
And while we can , and will , call out a particular community when that group needs our support , D & I is multifaceted . Everybody is intersectional . It ’ s important to seek people ’ s views , listen and understand before acting .
It ’ s a long journey to achieve the change we need to see . We must maintain focus , continually share progress with our colleagues and keep that energy for change so that people see the impact of sharing their experiences and want to collaborate more in the future .
Aviva ’ s latest update , which will be reviewed again in the summer , can be seen on www . aviva . com
Danny Harmer is group HR director at Aviva , leading its global People and Culture strategy .