Employee and stakeholder engagement
Employee engagement is key to the responsible management of human capital, and therefore forms part of our sustainability strategy. We are proud to have high levels of employee engagement. In our most recent employee survey, 95 per cent of people agreed that the PPF makes a positive difference to the world we live in, and 87 per cent said they feel proud to work for the PPF.
In January 2023 we launched our new intranet, Connect Online, which aims to improve employee engagement further through the sharing of news, comments, personal stories and praise, and is a particularly important way of connecting people in our hybrid working model.
Our Employee Liaison Committee (ELC), which represents colleagues’ views, gives feedback on key areas, such as hybrid working. The ELC also plays an important role in the social life of the organisation.
We also work hard to build and maintain strong relationships with external stakeholders including our members, levy payers, parliamentarians, regulators, trade bodies and industry groups. Through two-way communication with these groups, we understand the issues that matter to them and our effectiveness in fulfilling our role. We met with our Member Forum, which includes PPF and FAS members, in October 2022 to discuss topics including our digital services and responsible investment.
A diverse and inclusive workplace
Making sure the PPF is an inclusive place to work remains a priority. Our aim is to create a diverse and supportive culture that enables everyone to be themselves and feel valued. We’ve focused on investing in future leaders by bringing in more people from under-represented groups in junior roles and promoting internal talent. Over the year, we’ve seen an increase in representation of several under-represented groups.
With a year-on-year increase of employees from an ethnic minority background from 23.7 per cent in 2021 to 26.1 per cent in 2022, we’ve made steps in the right direction towards our target to increase ethnic minority representation across the organisation to 30 per cent by December 2023. Overall, our progress on narrowing our ethnicity pay gap is slow, partly due to our low levels of staff turnover. We know that the reason for our pay gap is that most of our senior leaders are white. Also, ethnic minority employees are still underrepresented in business areas that command higher pay and bonuses, such as investment and technology.
The Race at Work Charter
As part of our commitment to create a representative organisation and to tackle barriers that ethnic minority employees face in the workplace, we signed the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter in 2019. We’ve continued to apply its seven standards across the organisation.
We have an employee-led Race Action Group that provides a safe space for employees to share their perspectives and proposals for building a more inclusive organisation. The group has led our reverse mentoring initiative, which enables employees, often senior leaders, to be mentored by colleagues from an ethnic minority background. This builds awareness of the challenges faced by ethnic minority employees, fostering a culture where all experiences and ideas are valued.
“The Race Action Group is a breath of fresh air. The engagement is passionate and those that head up the group really target the issues that need to be openly discussed.” - PPF employee
Increasing female representation
Improving representation of women in senior management and higher-paid positions is one of our key D&I objectives. We’re nurturing our future female leaders through mentoring, coaching, and internal development programmes.
We remain positive that we’ll reach our Women in Finance Charter target to have women in 45 per cent of senior roles by December 2023. Women make up half of our Board and Executive Committee.
While we have a long way to go to close our gender pay gap, we’ve made progress on reducing the gap since we started reporting it in 2017. In order to be an employer of choice for women, we support flexible working wherever feasible. We’ve introduced even more flexibility with hybrid working and flexible working hours. We’ve also focused on creating a menopause-friendly organisation and promoting male allyship.
“I believe that the PPF is fully committed to diversity and inclusion, and I am confident that will stay the case.” - PPF employee
Supporting employees with disabilities
We are committed to being an employer of choice for people with disabilities, and to make sure we’re doing all we can to support our employees with disabilities. This year we went beyond statutory requirements to report on our disability and long-term health condition pay gap for the first time.
As a Disability Confident Leader, we’re attracting a more diverse candidate pool for our vacancies and we’ve seen an increase in applicants who disclosed a disability or health condition during the recruitment process. All our external vacancies are advertised on the job board of disability equality charity Scope.
Over the course of the year we’ve made practical adjustments to our head office, workstations and IT software to support our employees with disabilities with their work and to enable easier access to open plan office areas and meeting rooms.
Mental health support
Understanding mental health issues and promoting openness surrounding these issues within our organisation is crucial to supporting our employees. All managers have mental health training within their first six months of joining the PPF or becoming a line manager. This training is designed to provide them with the tools they need to promote open communication with their team members.
We also have eight trained Mental Health First Aiders who are on hand to advise our employees on where they can find the appropriate support for their individual needs.
We believe that apprenticeships benefit our organisation by improving the diversity of our workforce and developing skills that meet our future needs. We’re proud to provide a range of apprenticeships across the business, including a partnership with Investment20/20, a scheme designed to bring talented young professionals from all backgrounds into the investment industry. We also work with a local college in Croydon, where our head office is located, to provide insight into what a career in investment looks like.
We know that the rising cost of living has been challenging. We want to continue to attract and retain talented people. We continually review our reward strategy and benefits package to make sure we can do this, and we commissioned an independent review of our reward strategy. We’re comfortable that the total remuneration we pay is competitive for the roles, responsibilities and location.