UK equality and diversity.


We want to understand whether our employee profile mirrors our customer profile.

For the UK business, we measure and publish a number of diversity objectives

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Length of service
  • Ethnicity
  • Part-time versus full-time

One of the big external debates in 2010 was around the availability and role of women in the boardroom. Our views as an investor can be found in Good Governance section.

We also provided our own response to the Lord Davies Report recommendations to increase the number of women on boards.

“Legal & General welcomes the recommendations by Lord Davies and believes that they mark a series of practical and achievable steps towards addressing the important issue of better contribution by women in the UK’s boardrooms.

“It is our intention to incorporate the recommendations into our thinking on the composition of the Board. We will also be working at strengthening the representation of women among the non-board senior management cadre – the board directors of tomorrow.

“We also welcome the Davies recommendations in our capacity as one of the UK’s largest institutional shareholders. Our fund management arm, Legal & General Investment Management, engages actively with investee companies on a wide variety of economic, social and governance issues, and the new recommendations concerning boardroom diversity, and greater associated disclosure, provide useful additional information for evaluation of the Board.”

In 2012, we’ll be running Unconscious Bias workshops in our Leadership Group, as part of the work we’re doing to break down barriers to the progression on women, and to raise awareness of the barriers to diversity more generally.

Key Equalities Deliveries 2011

A number of activities were carried out by the Equalities & Diversity committee in 2011.

  • We became a member of Stonewall.
  • We analysed the group-wide survey results by age, ethnicity and gender. One of the issues highlighted was a 1% less favorable response to the questions on bullying and harassment.
  • Members of the Equalities Committee (including Unite representatives) were made champions for disability, age, gender, ethnicity, religion and belief, and sexual orientation.
  • We entered the Opportunity Now diversity benchmarking survey and the Top Employers for Working Families Survey. Feedback from the surveys was incorporated into actions in response to the Lord Davies Report.
  • We offered work placements young people who have a disability. This also helped us learn how we can improve when we make reasonable adjustments to the workplace.
  • Partly in response to a few difficult cases in 2011, our Legal Department ran joint workshops for Unite and HR to help us improve our approach to handling bullying and harassment grievances.

HUMAN RIGHTS

As a predominantly UK business we’re starting to take management ownership for businesses overseas in what some would see as ‘higher risk countries’.

We also have to start using the international language of business associated with issues such as human rights.

Our position is that, until we have a majority stake in a joint venture partnership – ie. > 51% – we would only have the ability to influence the other owners in their people policies and ultimately their human rights agenda.

Joint ventures in other countries where we have minority shareholdings (< 51%) are:

  • India First
  • Legal & General Gulf

Legal & General and Commercial International Life (CIL)

One business we’ve taken increased ownership of is CIL in Egypt. This increased to 55% on 20th January 2010.

The business has 50,000 individual customers and 250,000 members of 130 different group schemes saving for their futures or protecting their lives. It employs 316 people.

  • The company is fully compliant with all Egyptian Labour Laws.
  • It’s an equal opportunities employer with 316 employees (50% male and 50% female). Our management team is comprised of nine key roles, four of which are held by women.
  • It’s committed to on-going employee development and operates an extensive skills development programme for new hires.
  • The company has a strong health and safety and duty of care ethos (zero critical instances over the last 12 months).
  • CIL provides insurance for all its employees above the legal requirements.
  • It has a local CSR policy with the management team committed to promoting health and well-being in the community in which CIL is based.

We realise that, in 2012, we’ll need to work with the local management team. We are currently putting together a list of relevant NGOs (Human Rights Watch, Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights etc) to validate our approach to doing business in the correct manner in Egypt.

In 2012 all of our subsidiaries will undergo a private benchmark by Business in the Community to understand their natural level of performance in the Corporate Responsibility Index.

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