PensionBee Diversity, Inclusion and Equality Policy
PensionBee’s approach to diversity
At PensionBee our mission’s to live in a world where everyone can look forward to a happy retirement. To help us achieve this as we grow, we’ve chosen values that stand the test of time: love, quality, innovation, honesty and simplicity.
We have two main aims in our approach to diversity, inclusion & equality:
- Build a team that’s reflective of all areas of society, across all levels of the business. Not only is this a moral imperative, it also enables us to better reflect, represent and serve a diverse customer base. This supports our mission to live in a world where everyone can look forward to a happy retirement.
- Create an inclusive working environment where everyone has equal access to opportunities and is treated with fairness and dignity. Not only do we have a legal duty to protect people from discrimination, inclusivity also ensures everyone’s able to reach their full potential in line with our values of love, quality, innovation, honesty and simplicity.
In 2022, we continued working towards the following broad goals, which we reaffirm for 2023:
- Attain gender balance and representation at all levels
- Attain representation of Asian/Black/Mixed/Multiple/Other ethnic backgrounds to match the UK population across all levels
From 2022 onwards, we’ll also be working towards the goals set by the FCA requirements for publicly listed companies which are outlined further below.
Applicable standards, definitions and concepts
Discrimination is the unjust treatment of someone because of their personal characteristics. It can take many forms, including in pay and benefits, terms and conditions of employment, dealing with grievances and discipline, dismissal, redundancy, parental leave, requests for flexible working, and selection for employment, promotion, training or other opportunities.
The Equality Act 2010 recognises the following protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, gender and sexual orientation. It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on these characteristics. PensionBee recognises that this list is not exhaustive, and our code of conduct also specifically bans discrimination based on someone’s size.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 makes it an offence to behave in a way which is intended to cause another person distress, over more than one occasion.
By law, all employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that people with disabilities, or physical or mental health conditions, are not substantially disadvantaged from doing their jobs.
In order to drive change in the industry, the FCA has set specific requirements for publicly listed companies from 2022. These are to:
Report on gender and ethnicity representation at board and executive level in a standardised format using the tables provided.
Set diversity targets of at least 40% women on the board, one senior board position being held by a woman (Chair, CEO, SID or CFO) and one board member being from an Asian/Black/Mixed/Multiple/Other ethnic background.
Consider a wide range of diversity aspects including gender, ethnicity, disability, socio-economic status and sexual orientation.
Defining diversity, inclusion and equality
Diversity is about recognising and respecting the differences between us. Our customer base includes people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds, and our workforce should reflect this in order to allow us to represent our customers’ interests more fairly. Listening to a wide range of perspectives helps us to create innovative solutions which drive us towards our vision of a world where everyone can look forward to a happy retirement.
Inclusion involves making sure that everyone working for PensionBee knows that their differences are valued. Every PensionBee employee deserves to feel as though they can be successful as themselves, that their contributions matter, and that they’re supported in reaching their full potential.
Equality means that we want to treat every employee fairly. In some cases this means making sure that we hold each employee to the same standard, and that we administer pay, benefits and disciplinary action consistently and in an evidence-based manner. However, we must also recognise that systemic inequalities mean that rather than equal opportunities we should provide equal access to opportunities, and support every member of our team in developing the skills they need to succeed.
Our policy in practice
1. We have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying, harassment, victimisation and discrimination
We have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying, harassment, victimisation and discrimination against colleagues, customers, suppliers and the public. Any reports of these acts will be investigated as misconduct following the investigation and disciplinary procedures outlined in the accountability section of our Talent Handbook, and appropriate action will be taken should the complaint be upheld. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice.
Each member of staff working at PensionBee could be held individually liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination in the course of their employment. Further information on recognising and avoiding these behaviours can be found in the inclusion commitment section of our Talent Handbook.
We encourage people to speak up if they experience or witness bullying, harassment, victimisation or discrimination either through giving direct feedback, speaking to a manager or raising a grievance. Further information can be found in the speaking up section of our Talent Handbook.
Our annual Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement Survey and bi-annual managers survey ask questions to help us track the scale of unreported bullying and harassment behaviours, as well as people’s comfort reporting these to their manager, and the efficacy of any support they received. The results of the survey are used to guide where improvements can be made to further support inclusion and a respectful working environment.
2. We train all employees on promoting diversity and inclusion
The whole company must complete an annual compliance test, which includes sections on diversity and inclusion. This reminds our team of their rights and responsibilities, including helping the organisation provide equal opportunities in employment, and working to actively prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and discrimination.
When employees first join the company they are enrolled in the compliance test, which covers the above. They also take part in an induction session which covers our values and a read through our Talent Handbook which further outlines our culture code, inclusion commitment, speaking up and accountability processes.
New managers are enrolled in our Bee A Leader training program when they first start the role which includes sessions linked to inclusion such as: values, emotional intelligence, feedback, coaching, happiness and reasonable adjustments. From 2023, this will be further updated to include sessions on resolving issues informally and formally, and using our disciplinary and performance management procedures appropriately.
Across 2022, the Head of Culture, Inclusion and Wellbeing organised eight interactive company-wide training sessions as part of the culture program to:
- Increase confidence and awareness of informal ways to resolve issues such as giving feedback.
- Increase confidence and awareness of formal ways to resolve issues such as speaking to a manager, raising a grievance or taking disciplinary action.
- Increase awareness of non-inclusive behaviours and how to address them.
This training will be refreshed regularly, particularly in advance of large events.
In 2022, our team of Diversity Champions also arranged ad hoc sessions throughout the year from both PensionBee employees and external third parties with an aim to increase awareness on important diversity and inclusion topics.
From 2023, this program will be further expanded to include involvement from Executive Sponsors, allies and volunteers. This commitment will form part of each Executive’s performance objectives which are linked to remuneration.
3. We regularly monitor our progress, take on board feedback, and develop initiatives to improve
To build a diverse and inclusive organisation, we know that we need data to better understand representation and experiences within our team, and hold ourselves accountable to our commitments.
Diversity data collection
We ask everyone to complete the diversity data section of their HR profile and to let us know whether they consent to this data being used for anonymised reporting.
We gather data on gender, gender identity, ethnic group or background, disability, neurodivergence, social mobility, education, sexual orientation, care taker status, religion and language.
This data is used for anonymised reporting to help us build a diverse organisation, and monitor progress against our aims.
Annual diversity, inclusion, equality & support survey
We ask everyone to complete an anonymous annual survey to answer questions about how they feel about diversity, inclusion, engagement and support at PensionBee.
The questions are predominately rated on a 5 point scale with space to provide detailed written feedback.
This data is used for anonymised reporting to help us better understand employee experiences, what’s going well and where we need to focus our improvements.
Other qualitative feedback
We collect a variety of feedback throughout the year in formats such as focus groups, town halls, anonymous feedback on Officevibe, exit interviews and management working groups.
Other quantitative reporting
We have several other reports that we run to monitor progress these are:
- Gender pay gap reporting.
- Ethnicity pay gap reporting from 2022/23.
- Calibration reporting of performance matrix scores by gender, ethnicity and English as a second language.
We use this data to prepare initiatives such as our Culture Program and to prepare an annual update on Diversity, Inclusion & Equality which includes setting out a program of suggested actions for the following year.
In 2022 we published our annual update in the Talent Handbook for the first time. Our previous annual updates are linked there too, alongside more information on how we collect and store diversity data.
4. We are signed up to a variety of charters, pledges and social impact initiatives aligned to our diversity, inclusion and equality aims
In 2022 we were involved with the following:
- ABI Making Flexible Work Charter.
- ABI Transparent Parental Leave and Pay Initiative.
- Accredited London Living Wage Employer.
- Better Bankside.
- Careers & Enterprise Company work experience program.
- Disability Confident Employer (Committed Level 1).
- Make My Money Matter campaign.
- Mental Health First Aiders.
- Makers Apprenticeship Scheme for technology careers.
- Mer-IT donating used laptops to anyone who needs one for a vocational course.
- Partnership with Langdon Park School.
- Race at Work Charter.
- Social Mobility Commission.
- Social Mobility Pledge.
- Tech Talent Charter.
- The Diversity Project.
- Workforce Disclosure Initiative.
- Time to Talk.
- Women in Finance Charter.
- Good With Money’s “Good Egg” Accreditation.
5. We are committed to providing reasonable adjustments and other forms of support
Whilst many people with a disability are able to carry out their work without the need for any particular support, others may be put at a substantial disadvantage and require additional support or adaptations to access the same opportunities as those who are not disabled.
The purpose of reasonable adjustments is to remove, reduce or prevent these barriers, and enable people to access and thrive in work. These may be changes relating to the physical environment such as needing wheelchair access, or to processes and policies such as part-time working hours, or benefiting from additional support such as mentoring or training. Many changes are free and easy to make, and government funded support is often available through Access to Work.
Our full process for requesting reasonable adjustments is available in the Talent Handbook and this also provides more information on Access to Work grants and occupational health assessments.
For people who are not eligible for reasonable adjustments other forms of support are available such as:
- Action plans to make temporary adjustments e.g. short-term mental health crisis or returning to work after a bereavement.
- Flexible working requests.
- Informal discussions with a manager during happiness or weekly feedback meetings.
6. We are committed to hiring and promotion practices that support and promote diversity, inclusion and equality
At PensionBee we’re committed to nurturing internal talent, in line with our company values. We prioritise internal hiring and career development over external hiring wherever possible. This allows us to boost engagement, increase retention and encourage high performance at all levels of the company. Our current employees understand our expectations and PensionBee’s culture, and already know our customers, product and processes in detail.
When a permanent role becomes newly available at PensionBee, we aim to follow certain guidelines that enable a degree of consistency and fairness across hiring, although hiring for each role may require a slightly different process. To reduce biases as much as possible, we have made the majority of the process anonymous. However, certain roles may require a presentation or interview as part of their tasks. The structure is held to the same standards and expectations for all candidates; multiple assessors will be involved and decisions will be solely based on how well the candidates do on the tasks using a scoring system.
More information on our internal hiring process is available in the Talent Handbook.
The Program is a two-year scheme launched to nurture our Customer Success Team. The Program aims to encourage people, who may not usually do so, to enter the pensions industry. We don’t ask for any prior experience, or particular education levels in our entry level roles, as we heavily invest in training so that all team members start with the same understanding of the pensions industry. Over half of our new hires in 2021 were recruited into ‘The Program’, with 89% of our Junior Management Team now having progressed to support the business across all areas.
Several processes are in place to ensure fair hiring procedures and all hiring should follow our Hiring and Promotions Policy.
The hiring process must have at least two stages, and more than one person should be involved in decision making. It’s strongly recommended that one stage is a task-based assessment which simulates the work the candidate would be doing and can be anonymised to reduce bias.
All hiring decisions should be recorded in Workable and details given for the reasons behind decisions. It’s important we keep a record to ensure fair hiring procedures.
Where recruiters are used, they should be briefed on the importance of diversity, inclusion & equality to PensionBee.
All promotions and pay rises are decided based on the factors outlined in the Performance section of the Talent Handbook and our Remuneration Policy.
These decisions are made based on performance matrix scores which are run through a calibration process to report on any significant trends across gender, ethnicity, English as a second language or manager/team.