Diversity will strengthen our collective intelligence
To achieve sustainable success, Ardian needs to attract talented people from a wider range of backgrounds, while ensuring that they work in an environment where everyone feels fully included.
Ardian’s strong performance and reputation allows us to attract talented people to all parts of our company. During 2019, we recruited 106 new employees, increasing our headcount to 664. These new colleagues are making us stronger in every department but, beyond that, we believe that to sustain our performance, we need to hire talent from more diverse backgrounds that better reflect the world we operate in. Equally, to ensure that everyone who joins Ardian can reach their full potential, no matter what background they come from, our culture must be as inclusive as possible.
The rewards for attracting a more diverse pool of talent, and ensuring everyone feels valued and included, are large. Greater diversity will allow us to draw on a wider spectrum of perspectives and experiences, strengthening the collective intelligence of our company and increasing our ability to outperform. Creating a more inclusive culture will allow us to retain and nurture talented employees from all walks of life.
We already run several programs to develop and retain our staff. These include Ardian University, which helps all new employees to better understand our culture and to develop their technical skills, and a mentoring program that links young employees with more experienced and senior colleagues. Our Millennial Executive Committee represents our younger staff and gives them a formal role in shaping the future of the company, while Ardian Startup Studio, now in its second year, encourages staff to put forward ideas that will benefit the company and aid their personal development.
However, there is more to do and we see the steps we took in 2019 as the start of a multi-year process to embed diversity and inclusion more deeply in our culture.
"Our aim is to find talented people from a diverse pool and welcome them into our company. We want to do a lot more to promote diversity and inclusion over the next few years."
Diversity and inclusion initiatives
We are increasing our efforts to improve gender equality and the representation of women in senior roles, as well as increasing representation of disabled employees. Some important progress has already been made. There is full gender pay equality at Ardian, and 31% of senior management roles are now filled by women. Within our investment teams, traditionally the most male-dominated area of the industry, a quarter of new joiners over the past two years have been women.
In April 2020, we have obtained the first level of certification under the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) “EDGE assess”. Our next priority is to graduate to higher levels over the next few years. The program assesses four areas: gender balance, equal pay, equitable career flows and inclusive culture. We launched the EDGE certification process in January 2020 with an all-staff questionnaire and the collection of HR metrics and policies.