Our objective is to ensure that we have a high capability, diverse workforce that enables us to better understand our customers and markets. Building an organisation with a broad range of perspectives and experiences increases our ability to innovate, to make the right decisions and to exceed our customers' expectations. In order to retain, attract and enable the best people to perform, we work hard to create an inclusive environment and culture, where difference is valued and everyone can contribute to their full potential.
This year we published our third gender pay gap report. This can be accessed here.
We continue to work towards an environment where the gender balance of our managers also reflects the Company’s gender balance globally. It is encouraging that our female employees are more engaged than their male counterparts, but we still have more work to do to improve the gender balance across the Group.
During the year, we ran a successful Girls in Tech event at our Asylum Research site for a group of students who were interested in exploring career paths in science and engineering. We also celebrated International Women's Day with a number of meetings and networking events for female employees at our sites around the world.
We participated in the Leonard Cheshire Change 100 programme this year to offer an internship at our Head Office for a talented student or graduate with a long-term health condition. The scheme was a success and we were pleased to be able to offer meaningful work experience which benefited both the individual and our Group.
We have extended our drive to introduce "balanced shortlists" to now cover all levels of recruitment. Our previous target focused on ensuring that shortlists for Director-level appointments included at least one candidate from a group that is under-represented in the Company. With improved global reporting available in the new Recruitment module of our HRIS, we are now able to monitor this for all levels of recruitment. 44% of our appointments last year were made from a balanced shortlist, against our target of 50%. We will continue working to this target next year.