We are committed to creating a culture which respects and values individual differences, a place where everybody feels comfortable being themselves and where their views are recognised and respected in a truly inclusive business. For 2017 gender balance was a key focus.
The board has adopted the following diversity policy, it shows that LV= recognises and embraces the benefits of having a diverse board, and sees diversity at board level as an essential element in maintaining a competitive advantage. A truly diverse board will include and make good use of differences in the skills, regional and industry experience, education and professional background, race, gender, and other qualities of directors. The board supports the target for 30% female representation on the board by 2020. Corporate Governance and Nomination Committee will review and assess the board composition to ensure a consistent and fair approach.
In reviewing board composition, the Corporate Governance and Nomination Committee will consider the benefits of all aspects of diversity including, but not limited to, those described above, in order to maintain an appropriate range and balance of skills, experience and backgrounds on the board.
As at year-end, women made up 13% of the LVFS board including 17% of non-executive directors. During the year the board appointed one executive director and one non-executive director (both male) and recommended two further directors who have been appointed in 2018 (one male, one female). These appointments are based on the recommendations of the Corporate Governance and Nomination Committee, using the assistance of an external recruitment consultant.
We want talented people to have equal opportunities to grow their careers at LV= and we’re committed to increasing the female population at senior levels in line with the voluntary HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter we signed up to in 2016. We’re on track to achieve our pledge to have 40%, or above, female representation at senior levels by 2020.
In 2017 as part of our focus on gender diversity we signed up as a partner to the 30% Club, a cross-company, cross-sector mentoring scheme, with the ultimate goal of broadening the pipeline of female talent coming through organisations and making a step-change to the number of women attaining senior and board roles.
The Women in Finance Awards are the finance industry’s largest diversity event and in 2017 we sponsored the headline award ‘Woman of the Year’, as presented by our chairman, Alan Cook.
We were also very proud to see one of our colleagues and Pride network champion, Debbie Cannon, awarded ‘Insurance Leader of the Year’ at the awards for her truly inspiring journey, her compelling honest story, and for standing up as a role model to other women in the sector.
We know that having engaged employees has a positive impact on customer experience and therefore business performance, which is why each year we invite our people to give us feedback via our Engage employee survey. 2017 has been a year of significant change across the group and we recognise that the uncertainty that our people have experienced during this time is reflected in the sustainable engagement score of 76%, 5% lower than 2016.
We are committed to making sure our people are rewarded fairly through the regular review of our pay levels to ensure they are competitive both internally and externally with market rates. We pay all our employees at least the voluntary Living Wage Foundation rates of pay. In addition to basic pay, all our employees participate in an incentive scheme which is structured around both individual and business performance. All employees have access to a great range of employee benefits and automatically become members of our pension scheme when they start working for us. In this they’ll have online access allowing them to track their contributions and see the effect of different contribution levels on their retirement plans.