Stonewall admits Wood Mackenzie to Diversity Champions programme

24 May 2018

Wood Mackenzie has become the latest consulting industry player to align itself with the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme. The programme, consisting of some 750 businesses, aims at supporting employers looking to create an inclusive atmosphere free of intimidation for LGBT staff.

Stonewall is Europe's largest lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) charity, founded in 1989, and named after the famous Stonewall riots in 1969, in New York, following a campaign of persecution of the LGBT community by the police. While the rights of the community have improved substantially over the following five decades, groups are still engaged in pushing for governments and private entities alike to support LGBT individuals in areas where they have traditionally encountered hostility.

Stonewall admits Wood Mackenzie to its Diversity Champions programme

Stonewall’s Diversity Champions initiative is just one of many programmes the charity has established in this regard, calling on leading employers to ensure all LGBT staff are accepted without exception in the workplace, aiming to provide a framework for creating a workplace that enables LGBT staff to reach their full potential. More than 750 organisations in the UK are part of the Diversity Champions programme, with over 50 of these representing the professional services arena. These include the entirety of the Big Four, Accenture, BDO, IBM, PA Consulting, Mercer, Willis Towers Watson, and many more.

With London’s world famous Pride event in two weeks, the latest company to join the list is Wood Mackenzie. The global energy, chemicals, renewables, metals and mining research and consultancy has joined Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme following the successful launch of the 'Pride Wood Mackenzie' employee resource group in 2017.

Wai-Fung Thompson, European Vice President for Human Resources at Wood Mackenzie, said, “We welcome ideas and unique contributions from every team member, and we consciously seek out diverse perspectives and experiences. This makes our company stronger - diversity provides different views on our business, leading to greater innovation and creativity, more effective decision-making and deeper client understanding".

Related: Seven leading consulting firms among LGBT+ coalition Open For Business.


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Women remain underrepresented in UK's hospitality industry leadership

12 April 2019

Female engagement at the top level of the UK hospitality industry is still lagging, with the vast majority of decision-making roles continue to be held by men. Only 7% of the industry’s FTSE 350 CEOs are women; however, the pay gap in hospitality and leisure is far better than in other industries, at a median of approximately 7%.

The hospitality, travel and leisure (HTL) sector is one of the UK’s largest employers, with 3.2 million people working in its segments. Despite a poor 2018 in terms of tightening consumer spending, the industry is still one of the top sectors in terms of economic activity, hitting £130 billion last year – besting the UK’s automotive, pharmaceutical and aeronautical sectors’ combined activities.

While the industry is one of the country’s largest employers, it still faces considerable issues around diversity at the top. New analysis from PwC has explored the matter, as well what initiatives the industry has engaged to open up its top ranks to a more diverse background.

Female representation at board level for UK companies and HTLs

According to a survey of CEOs, Chairs or HR Directors of over 100 of the most significant leisure businesses across the UK, the hospitality industry has a relatively male-dominated top level. This lags behind the FTSE 100, where companies have female board level representation at 32.2%. Meanwhile, the figure for the combined executive committee and direct reports stands at 28%. This is well above FTSE 250 levels, where female board level representation stands at 22.4% and executive committee & direct reports stand at 27.8%.

For the hospitality industry as a whole, board level representation came in at 23.6%, with FTSE 350 for the industry performing slightly better at 25.1%, while non-listed companies performed considerably worse at 18.2%. The firm notes that the figures hide that while some companies are making strides to improve equality, others are not moving forward – with the positive result reflecting more often the good work of some, while others are not taking the issue seriously in their agenda setting.

Blind spot

The study states, however, that while the overall numbers are relatively strong, the industry has a number of acute weaknesses. These include CEO numbers, with only 7% of HTL FTSE 350 companies helmed by women and 11% of non-listed companies led by female CEOs. Meanwhile, female chairs at FTSE 350 companies for the sector stand at zero. In terms of wider diversity representation, only 1 in 33 leaders at industry companies is from a BAME background.

Pay gap for HTL and hospitality

The report noted discrepancies between FTSE 100 companies and FTSE 250 in terms of improving the number of women at executive level. The majority have met the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33% women at board level, up from around 25% in 2016. However, the remaining ~40% are not on target, and are unlikely to meet the target by 2020. A similar trend is noted when it comes to executive committee and direct reporting numbers.

Jon Terry, Diversity & Inclusion Consulting Leader at PwC, said, "To make real progress in diversity and inclusion, businesses need to elevate it onto the CEO’s agenda and align diversity & inclusion strategy to the fundamentals of the business."

Tracking progress FTSE 250 level

However, one area where hospitality travel and leisure companies are outperforming other companies in the wider UK economy, is the mean and median pay gap between men and women. PwC found that the median of the wider UK economy comes is approximately 14% – with upper quartile companies noted for a gap of low 20%, and lower quartile companies noted for differences of around 2%.

The median pay gap for HTL comes in at well below 7%, with the median close to parity. There are considerable differences, however, with hospitality at 7%, while travel comes in considerably higher, at 22%. The latter figure reflects fewer women in higher paid pilot and technical positions within the industry.