Nest commits to closing 8.6% gender and ethnicity pay gaps

Nest has committed to closing its ethnicity and gender pay gaps, after data from the scheme revealed that despite “good progress" there is still "a long way to go", with a median ethnicity and gender pay gap of 8.6 per cent.

In particular, it found that despite good progress on hiring and promoting more women into senior positions at the organisation, the under-representation of women and people from minority ethnic communities in top management, alongside over-representation in lower paying roles, has allowed pay gaps to persist.

However, both pay gaps have narrowed over the past year, with the gender pay gap reducing by 5.7 percentage points from 14.3 per cent, and the median ethnicity pay gap falling by 8.1 percentage points, from 16.7 per cent.

Furthermore, in 2019/20, women were more likely to be hired into new and existing positions at Nest, now representing 45 per cent of Nest’s directors, compared to 37 per cent in 2018/19.

Nest has also achieved an equal split of men and women across the workforce, having previously reported a 7 per cent balance in favour of men in March 2017.

In addition to this, the figures revealed that people from Black, Asian or other ethnic minority communities represented 28 per cent of the workforce at Nest, compared to around 13 per cent of the general population of England and Wales.

Commenting on the findings, Nest chief executive officer, Helen Dean, acknowledged that the data "makes it clear that we still have a long way to go", stressing that the scheme will be digging further into the data to more fully understand in particular how ethnicity impacts on people’s careers at Nest.

She continued: “The first step to solving a problem is identifying, quantifying, and understanding it. While we are making progress, I want us to do much, much better.

“I want Nest to be an organisation where we nurture the diverse talent we already have and encourage, support, and create opportunities for all our colleagues to achieve their potential.

"By ensuring Nest’s workforce is as diverse as its membership, from the executive level down, we will help play a key role in changing the wider industry for the better.

“Making long-term sustained change is not something that can happen overnight. I am committed to tackling this issue head on and being transparent about our starting point is part of this.

"Nest will continue to report on our progress as we work towards achieving the targets and ambitions we have set ourselves.”

Adding to this, Nest diversity and inclusion lead and chief financial officer, Richard Lockwood, said: “In 2019, Nest set a goal to have a 50/50 gender-balanced workforce and 30 per cent of director roles held by women.

"The success we have had in accomplishing both these goals shows our commitment to achieving and exceeding a target once we set it.

“Last year, the Black Lives Matter movement focused global attention on the inequalities faced by Black people.

“At Nest, we took a long, hard look at ourselves and realised that while we had been focusing on improving our gender representation, we needed to work simultaneously on addressing racial inequalities in our organisation and not see these as sequential problems to be tackled.

“We have work to do to address our ethnicity pay gap and our focus will be on meaningful action. I am confident we will see positive change as a result.’

Indeed, Nest has now increased its Women in Finance Charter commitment from 30 per cent of directors being women to 50 per cent, and has also set a target of having at least two Black directors by 2025.

The scheme has also targeted at least 30 per cent of its executive team being women and at least 13 per cent being from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority community by 2025.

In addition to this, the scheme has changed its recruitment and selection policy to ensure gender balanced interview panels, and procured a recruitment platform that anonymises CVs, reducing the potential for unconscious bias in the hiring process.

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