Submitted by Sestini & Co
| on Wed, 07/29/2020 - 13:44 | In CSR
The recent online event analysing the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter Annual Review (read our blog here) was an outstanding success in terms of participation and commitment, showing that today’s finance sector increasingly values and rewards the contributions of women and wishes to extend their influence – from the boardroom to support staff.
Along with that, the Black Lives Matter movement – fuelled in the US by the killing of George Floyd – has prompted many organisations to commit to a levelling up in terms of race and social deprivation as well as gender, building a totally inclusive workforce. Already, Women in Finance have widened their Charter objectives to support diversity and inclusivity more generally.
And it makes good business sense to do so. A recent study by decision-making platform Cloverpop found that teams which were geographically, gender and age diverse make better business decisions 87% of the time. Innovation is also boosted by diversity, with a 2013 report by Deloitte concluding that when employees think their organisation is committed to and supportive of diversity their ability to innovate increases by 83%.
Diversity also opens businesses up to new markets, provides a new knowledge base and attracts new talent. Diversity improves a company’s brand reputation – when an organisation is seen as progressive and inclusive, it will attract people from every sector of society, giving a greater pool of talent to choose from and a wider client base.
By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be make up of “millennial employees”. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 88% of them are looking for employers with corporate social responsibility values that match their own, with 86% considering leaving an employer whose values no longer meet their expectations.
And so, along with commitments to diversity, good businesses offer commitment to community involvement and sustainable practice as well, with environmental policies that are not only good for the planet and the company’s reputation, but reduce energy bills too.
Strategies for success
The question is, how do organisations implement and sustain diversity and sustainability strategies? Here at Sestini & Co, we know that actions speak louder than words, so we signed up to the Women in Finance Charter in 2016 as one of the first cohorts, each year easily exceeding our targets for women in senior roles and increasing or maintaining the proportion of women in the workforce.
Staff wellbeing has also been paramount for us as the business has grown. Staff work flexibly in terms of hours committed each week, location and times, allowing us all to meet personal commitments as well as pursuing other interests.
Our specialism of working with expatriates and overseas companies means that our client base is multicultural and our staff are used to working with and respecting people from all cultures. Our commitment to staff inclusivity at all levels led to the establishment of an employee share scheme and to ongoing development of staff, valuing the outside perspective that training brings to teams.
We’ve also all been busy working with local and international charities – including entering teams into running events – and mentoring local entrepreneurs. We offer tax and accountancy services to local, national and internationally-based charities either on a pro bono basis or at discounted fees. Our pensions division has been developing new workplace and personal pension options which offer thoroughly vetted, socially responsible and female-forward investment choices. We’re also committed to sustainable options to make Sestini & Co a greener workplace, by working with greener suppliers and reviewing our systems, and forms of travel.
Research shows that organisations committed to CSR objectives or who can demonstrate that they take responsibility for the environment or a social cause are often more successful and sustainable.
If you’re an entrepreneur or business that’s putting such values first, get in touch with us. Give us a call on 01761 241 861 or email us today to set up a telephone call or online meeting.