In recent years, we have seen conversations about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) take centre stage as part of a wider discussion about sustainability and meeting societal expectations about doing the right thing.
In the current climate where the number of women in leadership roles remains ‘a work in progress’ and businesses adjust post-pandemic to hybrid working, it seems like now is a good time for businesses to re-evaluate their DE&I processes. Arrow Global approaches this from a very local perspective, whereby each one of our 19 asset management and servicing platforms elects to implement its own approach based on the preferences, priorities, and leadership within its respective region. This empowerment aligns with the company’s ethos of managing its local platforms, allowing them the freedom to act as experts in their own markets and specialised asset classes, while benefiting from central governance and oversight. One of the key ways a business can demonstrate its commitment to DE&I is by nurturing diverse talent, ensuring that its culture is mindful and supportive, and by developing inclusive leadership. When discussing how to nurture talent, it is necessary to consider the ways in which a company can support and retain it. Companies need to ensure that their people are trained against unconscious biases and verify that recruitment and promotion processes are clear and accessible. As a Disability Confident employer, Arrow Global provides training to its managers and creates an applicant tracking system to assess and evaluate the demographics of applicants. Initiatives such as the 10,000 Interns Foundation program encourage employers to appoint interns and transition them into permanent roles. Employee retention and a strong talent pipeline are paramount to nurturing diverse talent. Companies that hope to hire from a successful and diverse candidate pool should set clear targets and track their applicants’ demographics. One of the ways in which we source the best available candidates is by collaborating with headhunters to ensure that there is at least 50% female representation in both candidate longlists and shortlists. We have observed the positive impact of these targets on the quality and diversity of candidates we consider and ultimately appoint. To adjust our process to suit neurodiverse candidates, we conduct work evaluations rather than standard interviews, to help them put their best foot forward in a way that they feel comfortable with. This approach has proved to be very successful, particularly in the Information Technology field. Employers should help their employees build relationships through community groups and foster organic interaction. At Arrow, we have established four employee network groups focused on LGBTQIA+, race and religion, neurodiversity, and age and gender. These groups have dedicated budgets and executive sponsorship, allowing them to shape their agendas organically rather than having conversations driven solely by HR or the executive team. This sense of community can be furthered by implementing mentorship schemes. With these, team members from different offices and departments can learn from one another, support each other, and come together.
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