Building an inclusive culture
Building an inclusive culture is a key focus area for us and critical to the achievement of our business strategy. Our people are our main asset, so it makes sense for us to focus on developing a work environment where all employees feel fully engaged and respected.
At AXA IM, family life is important to us.
We know that there’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ family. We’re committed to supporting our people, whatever their family circumstances might be. Whether you’re a single parent, part of a same-sex couple, have care responsibilities for an older relative, or other commitments to people you are closely connected to outside of work, we want to support you in achieving a work-life balance that’s right for you.
How does AXA IM support a healthy work life balance?
We believe in creating an environment where our employees not only fit their personal commitments around their work with flexible working, but also feel happy, productive, and engaged in the office. Your surroundings matter as much as the support and the technology we equip you with.
Our office moves in France, Hong Kong, Germany, and to 22 Bishopsgate in London, have taken that in account and provide a comfortable, pragmatic, and innovative space to work with features to promote both emotional and physical wellbeing.
Supporting all of you and your family
We want employees to bring their whole selves to work and are aware that often means personal lives don’t always get ‘left at the door’. Providing webinars, training, and coaching sessions on various aspects of family life, from ‘teenagers and homework’ to stress management, and mental health awareness courses, we aim to help our employees deal with family topics that may otherwise affect them at work.
Employee support globally - at a glance
At AXA IM, we want all employees to feel free to bring their whole selves to work. From the survey carried out as part of our EDGE certification, we know that sustaining a healthy work-life balance is of upmost importance to our employees, which is why AXA IM provides all employees with a range of development solutions to support balancing work and family life:
- We support our working parents to make successful transitions pre and post parental leave with parental transition coaching and courses
- Our mindfulness and resilience offerings are designed to promote your wellbeing and help you to thrive in all areas of your life.
- Our global webinar series covers a broad range of topics from caring for elderly relatives to coping with fatherhood for the first time.
- Our inclusive Global Parent Policy offers the same minimum parental leave provision to all AXA employees, globally.
- We provide a range of other leave and benefit provisions to all employees, bespoke to each location, such as emergency time-off to care for dependants and childcare voucher schemes
- Globally, we are continuing to promote more agile and flexible ways of working to help you fulfil your professional ambitions whilst also managing the challenges of family life.
Empowering female talent
A challenge facing the asset management industry globally is the underrepresentation of women in the workforce, plus even higher levels of gender imbalance in senior and investment roles. At AXA IM, it is encouraging that women represent 38% of our Management Board and 33% of our Board of Directors but we recognise there is still much more to be done.
Our ambition is to achieve sustainable gender balance at all levels of the organisation, to ensure a solid framework of gender inclusive policies and to build a truly inclusive workplace culture. To achieve our goals, we are undertaking proactive steps to improve gender equality, by launching a comprehensive action plan that:
- nurtures the career progression of our internal talent – through coaching, mentoring, supporting our working families, embracing flexible working and building inclusive leadership skills;
- showcases AXA IM as a truly inclusive employer to both internal and prospective talent;
- rigorously monitors our progress in ensuring equal opportunity in all aspects of employment.
Supporting the Women’s Empowerment Principles
In 2019, we were one of the 65 investors to take action for gender equality by supporting a statement calling companies to advance women’s empowerment in the workplace. In particular, it reiterates our expectations for companies to endorse the Women's Empowerment Principles – a UN Women and UN Global Compact initiative - and report in a transparent way on their actions and outcomes. This initiative also calls us to strengthen our commitments and take decisive and concrete actions towards gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community where we do business.
We have already taken some concrete actions, which include among all of them:
- The specific objective our Management Board members have within their targets to increase the number of women at senior levels and to actively demonstrate their support for building a more diverse and inclusive business;
- Our commitment to ensure that no practices, procedures, attitudes or behaviours allow discrimination;
- The proactive steps we are undertaking to improve gender equality, with a particular focus on nurturing the career progression of our internal talent – through coaching, mentoring, supporting our working families, embracing flexible working and building inclusive leadership skills and more;
- Our involvement in several external organisations who are dedicated to promoting equality, including the Diversity Project, 30% club, Girls who Invest and the Investment Association.
This commitment follows the signing by AXA Group of the Women’s Empowerment Principles in December 2018.
Our commitment to gender equality for companies we do business with
Our research reiterates the importance of gender equality for investors from a financial and impact perspective. It provides innovative and substantial investment framework for our analysts, PMs and the market.
- 1:1 and collaborative engagement
We aim at driving changes in investee companies through frequent and active discussion around gender equality. We are also part of e 30% Club Investor Club in the UK. In November 2020, and with five other asset managers, we launched the 30% Club Investor Group in France which we are co-leading and which seeks to increase gender footprint at governance and leadership levels.
- Voting policy
Our gender diversity voting policy echoes our engagement efforts. It is revised every year. In 2020, we expanded our gender diversity voting policy, where we will target listed companies in developed market economies where at least one-third of the Board of Directors is not gender diverse.
Proud signatory to the Women in Finance Charter
When we signed up to the Charter in November 2017, we had 32% females in our global senior executive population.
Our goal was to reach 40% by the end of 2020. As at the end of June 2020 we are at 30% females in our global senior management population at Management Board-1 level and 38% at Management Board level.
We acknowledge we did not meet our 2020 target, and we are disappointed to see the figures indicate a decrease from the previous year. This is partly due to the fact our senior executive population is a relatively small group of people and the numbers fluctuate very easily based on the natural departure or hire of individuals across the year. However, we fully acknowledge we need to go further to accelerate our progress as a business and as part of the wider asset management industry.
We have been working to implement actions to continue supporting our ambitious goal. This includes; undertaking EDGE certification, a set of principles for the hiring of senior roles with gender balanced panels and open advertising, ensuring gender diversity is a key element of our talent management and succession planning processes, delivering global coaching and mentoring programmes, providing support for our working families globally and taking steps to increase the ability to add flexibility to work commitments.
We are now in the process of examining our data to identify the specific areas where we need to improve and look at what further strategies we can implement. We remain fully committed to doing everything we can to build a diverse and inclusive company that offers equal access to support and opportunity for both men and women.
We recognise this is an issue that is felt across the wider asset management industry and we will continue to work with our peers to help nurture a strong pipeline of female talent for the future. A cultural shift is needed to change perceptions of the industry to encourage more women to pursue a career in this industry. We are very conscious of how crucial it is for us to actively play our part in ensuring change for the long-term.
Supporting greater transparency in gender pay reporting
AXA IM fully supports the new legislation introduced in 2017 that requires all UK employers with more than 250 employees to annually publish their gender pay gap data. This new strategy not only aims to raise awareness of the pay gap that exists widely across the UK, but also encourages businesses to play an active role in closing the gap within the UK labour market.
We are proud to have been certified for our gender equality practices by EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality) for the second time this year.
Having independently reviewed our organisation’s ability to foster gender equality, and benchmarked this against both global standards and our peers, EDGE has determined that, once again, AXA IM has made a global commitment to gender equality in the workplace. Our data demonstrated that AXA IM has a superior gender balance compared with our industry. In addition, EDGE determined that we have made significant progress in key areas such as flexible working, the visibility of senior leaders on gender equality topics, as well as the uptake of our paternity offering - a 60% increase since our last assessment. This provides a good foundation from which to build sustainable progress in the future.
EDGE Certification represents a significant milestone in our journey towards building an inclusive and equitable workplace for both women and men. It is a public declaration of our commitment to continuous, measurable improvement in support of our ambition to be recognised as an employer of choice within the asset management industry. Indeed, study after study shows that diversity has a positive impact on productivity and 80% of the AXA IM employees surveyed would agree that gender equality is important for the company to remain competitive in the market.
In 2019, we became one of the 65 global investment institutions to support the Women’s Empowerment Principles, a UN Global Compact initiative calling for companies to advance women empowerment in the workplace. Our gender diversity voting policy echoes our engagement efforts.
Hear first-hand from our people, partners and external experts, as they share their stories on how at AXA IM we are driving progress and serving both the changing needs of our customers, and the world we live in.