Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) is at the heart of working life at Premium Credit. Head of HR, Sarah Evans, explains why.
Having an open culture where everyone feels that they can be themselves and that their similarities and differences are celebrated are guiding principles at Premium Credit. Our ongoing aim is to create an environment where people are treated fairly and have access to equal opportunities, and where everyone considers how their actions may be received by people who are different to them. We are constantly working to create a workplace where people are encouraged to have diversity of thought and where viewpoints, regardless of background, are considered. If this is achieved, everyone benefits.
Building an inclusive working environment
The most successful teams are those that consider a variety of perspectives rather than just one from people who think the same. If people are allowed to be themselves at work they are more likely to be creative and productive. We want to reap the full benefits of having a truly diverse workforce. If you have a varied group of people in a room when designing a product or service for instance, they are more likely to consider things from different customer perspectives and allow our products to cater to a more diverse group of customers.
In this current climate where competition for talent is a challenge, a business needs to attract and retain people from different backgrounds and have an inspiring culture that their people are proud of too.
How are we living out our commitment to ED&I?
Over the last year we have also celebrated a variety of ED&I related events and conducted discussion panels, interviews and staff communications to raise colleague awareness. We have also brought in external speakers to inform us about a range of topics including Dementia, Mental Health and why it is important to have an Inclusive Culture.
In support of PRIDE a colleague shared their story; a member of the Executive team expressed why Diversity and Inclusion is important to them; we marked International Women’s Day- including launching our own ‘Woman of the year’ award, and we established the Premium Credit Diversity and Inclusion Council. We’ve also celebrated Black History Month by recognising historical figures and run Diversity and Inclusion training with our Executive and Senior Leadership team.
Our focus in 2022
Since creating our more formalised ED&I programme we have identified where we are as a business and where we want to be, producing a road map of how to get there. We’re on a journey but the focus for 2022, will be:
- To ensure that we have the right demographic data so meaningful analysis can be made and we can establish key ED&I targets and KPIs.
- Ongoing training for our managers and leadership team to embed an inclusive culture as well as educating all our staff on how to be inclusive of others.
- Setting up internal and external networks to share best practice making ED&I part of the fabric of our organisation so that when we are developing services, systems and processes, we are looking at them from different perspectives and not just one narrow lens.
- We are also looking at how we can be more inclusive for our Customers asking questions like, are we catering effectively for people with disabilities; people from different ethnic backgrounds or vulnerable customers?
Our company ethos
We are a purpose-led organisation “proudly supporting our community of customers and partners in creating opportunities through convenient payments”. Our purpose links directly to our ED&I programme.
It’s important for us to deliver this purpose in an inclusive manner, catering for a whole community of customers and partners. Our values stand together, stand up, stand out and stand true, all promote a culture where colleagues work together regardless of their background and are encouraged to act with honesty and integrity and embrace originality, courage, and passion.
Grace Seyi-Ogedengbe, Premium Credit’s HR Business Partner, who will be instrumental in delivering Premium Credit’s ongoing ED&I programme adds:
“It’s important to keep moving forward and continually build our ED&I credentials. We have created an ED&I Policy Review Checklist to assist us in appraising our policies from an ED&I perspective. Depending on the outcome of the Demographic Data we gather we will also consider liaising with external networks to widen our talent pools and move them to more diverse groups.
Educating colleagues to develop an inclusive culture through trainings, webinars, and campaigns will remain an important feature in our ED&I programme. We will review our engagement scores across demographic groups and tailor our ED&I strategy to achieve our long-term goals that include improved Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gaps and representation at a senior management level.
We will also establish Employee Network Groups (ENGs) encouraging a diverse and inclusive workplace and create platforms for Mentorship and Reverse Mentorship opportunities for our people, all of which support our long-term ED&I goals and objectives. I’m excited to be involved in this transformational work.”
As a progressive business we need to constantly build meaningful, enduring and respectful relationships. We will do this with a strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and look forward to keeping you updated on the progress we make.