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At the PPF,  it’s everyone’s responsibility to build an inclusive culture, tackle racial inequality and work towards our goal of increasing ethnic minority representation.   

On reflection of Race Equality Week 2023 last week, Katherine Easter, our Chief People Officer, shares what our Board and Executive Committee are doing to ensure we’re addressing racial inequality.

Maintaining a zero-tolerance policy to racism 

As outlined in our policies and strategy documents, we have zero tolerance when it comes to racism and any behaviour of this kind will result in dismissal.  

We provide focused training and events throughout the year to raise awareness of racism in the workplace, including teaching employees about microaggressions. This is helping to ensure everyone is aware of the impact microaggressions have on ethnic minority colleagues, and to actively challenge discriminatory behaviours and attitudes.

Our internal Race Action Group was created by colleagues as a safe space for employees to share their perspectives, insights, and proposals for a more inclusive organisation. Members of the Board and Executive Committee engage with the group on a regular basis to create a feedback loop on issues of racial inequality and monitor data to see if we’re progressing towards our goals. The group also facilitate our reverse mentoring scheme, which many of our senior leaders take part in. This builds awareness of the barriers faced by ethnic minority employees, fostering a culture where all experiences, skills and ideas are leveraged.

Professional development for ethnic minority employees   

We use a succession planning framework and ask for written development plans to ensure we’re developing all colleagues for future promotions. We’re proud that our last employee engagement survey showed that 86% of people identifying as an ethnic minority had development plans in place, compared to 72% of all employees. 92% of ethnic minority respondents agreed with the statement that they were being supported in their career development.

I’m personally committing to increasing our focus on both formal and informal opportunities to those who have traditionally faced barriers and encouraging managers  to consider and reflect on who they’re supporting and sponsoring. 

Ensuring fair pay and recognition 

Monitoring our pay gap is an important part of creating a workplace where everyone feels respected and valued. We want to make sure that colleagues are paid and rewarded fairly. We annually publish our Diversity Pay Gap report to keep ourselves accountable for the targets we set each year to achieve racial equality. We’re due to publish our latest report before the end of March 2023. 

Our ethnicity pay gap - the difference in median hourly earnings between the white ethnic group and all ethnic groups combined - decreased from 23.15% in 2020 to 15.6% in 2021. The proportion of ethnic minority colleagues receiving bonus pay increased from 57% in 2020 to 78% in 2021.  

We actively remind managers of the role unconscious bias can play when making bonus pay decisions. Although we have a long way to go, it’s positive to see improvements in these figures.  

I continue to be proud and inspired by colleagues sharing information proactively and being part of the conversation. Last week it was great to see resources being shared on our internal channels and to hear from one of our Race Action Group leaders in our organisation-wide monthly meeting. There is continual learning and sharing taking place, which shows me that we’re really embedding and working towards change.