Zurich is revamping its recruitment practices as new data indicates a slight widening of its ethnicity pay gap.
Releasing its UK ethnicity pay gap data for 2021, the insurer revealed a mean pay gap of 10.2% – up slightly from 9.8% last year, which the company attributes to staff turnover.
The company’s bonus gap stands at 37% up from 19.6% in 2020. Zurich says these increases have been driven by the fact that there are fewer Black and ethnic minority employees in senior roles.
Almost nine in ten (87%) Zurich employees shared information about their ethnicity – 7.7% of which declared themselves as belonging to an ethnic minority.
Consequently, Zurich has launched a series of interventions as part of a pledge to make its workforce more representative of 21st century Britain.
These interventions include switching to headhunters with a focus on diversity, making use of diverse interview panels and relying more on technical assessments and standardised scoring to ensure rigorous and fair recruitment.
Zurich’s hiring managers are also undergoing training in best practice recruitment techniques, while all applications from black and ethnic minority recruits will be tracked to ensure that enough diverse applicants are applying for roles at the company.
Zurich pointed out that it is a signatory of the Race at Work Charter committing to five principles to tackling any barriers to the recruitment and progression of ethnic minority employees. These include capturing data and publicising progress, taking action to support career progression and making equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers.
In addition to the interventions, Zurich revealed work is underway to encourage more people to share information about their ethnicity.
The interventions follow a major programme launched last year with equality research firm Behavioural Insights Team, to identify and address issues around career progression, pay gaps and ethnic minority representation across its UK workforce.
Tim Bailey CEO of Zurich UK said: “This announcement is just part of the journey we’re making to ensure our business accurately reflects the society we live and work in. At no point should ethnicity be a barrier to success.
“The input into this work from our cultural awareness network has been critical, as well as listening and having open and honest conversations with our people. These interactions have helped to inform our interventions and other initiatives, such as the launch of our first cohort of inclusion allies.
“This is in response to feedback from employees from ethnic minorities who have said they would welcome someone they can speak to on a confidential basis about any issues they are facing.
“Our data shows we have more work to do to close pay gaps and appoint more diverse candidates at all levels of the business. We remain committed to doing everything we can to action meaningful change.”
Kevin Anang, co-chair of Zurich’s cultural awareness network, added: “Getting buy-in and support from all levels across the business is key to what we do, and there is a genuine desire to do the right thing, both for current and future employees.”