How our Diversity and Inclusion strategy is evolving

In 2017, we set up our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) steering committee, formed of eight leaders from across the business. They began by identifying key initiatives that would have the greatest impact in aid of our four focus areas of Gender, Ethnicity, Unconscious Bias, and Inclusion.

We then set up our D&I network at our London based headquarters, followed by new networks in our Nottingham and Sunderland offices. D&I at Pentland is a global effort, so we also have a passionate team in our Hong Kong office that help raise awareness of the four focus areas across our Asia Pacific region.

The networks raise awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion within the business and, with the support of passionate individuals across the business, we’ve been able to evolve our networks to empower our colleagues and affect change from within.

With the committee and networks working side by side, we’ve started the process of removing unconscious bias from our talent process. We’ve also identified opportunities to improve our recruitment processes by ensuring we have gender balanced interview panels, fair gender representation on all vacancies and having skills/behaviours-based assessment criteria for all interviews. Our graduate assessment process has been realigned against our gender guidelines, to encourage diversity of thought as well as of university pedigree.

Dominique Highfield, Business Manager, who became our first ever D&I chair in 2017 says: “‘Diversity is being invited to the party; Inclusion is being asked to dance’. It’s that sentiment that made me want to take an active role in the D&I Network.”

“What I love most about Pentland is that you can celebrate who you are and what makes you different, whilst simultaneously being acknowledged for the great work you deliver.”

Dominique described their biggest achievement as simply “kicking the network off and growing it as fast as we did!”

Cue Louis Kwong, IT Lead Analyst, who took over from Dominique earlier this year. When asked why he wanted to become Chair, he said: “Because I think it’s more important, now than ever, to stand firmly behind what I believe in – a world that embraces differences and celebrates diversity.

“Having a network at Pentland means having an employee voice about D&I. We’d never had anything like this before so it’s a great opportunity and a challenge to start something new and set Pentland up for the future.

“A lot more people need to be made aware of their own biases and be trained on it. We have a responsibility to promote D&I and how we present ourselves to the world is extremely important and awareness on our own unconscious bias is the key to getting this right.”

Diversity and Inclusion is no longer something we feel we’re always having to consciously think about, but something that’s becoming integral to our way of thinking at Pentland. There is always work to do, and this is just the beginning for us as a business. As our manifesto says, we believe that ‘like the great athletes and ambassadors we have the pleasure to work with, we’re a constant work in progress, an evolving story’.