LCP won the accolade for supporting diversity at the inaugural Women in Pensions Awards. The head of its diversity and inclusion group speaks to Stephanie Baxter about the firms achievements
What does winning the Award for Supporting Diversity mean to LCP?
At LCP, we recognise everyone should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and we work hard to make this a reality. We've come a long way in the last few years and were absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this award - a real milestone in our diversity journey.
Winning the award highlights the initiatives we've put in place, what we've accomplished so far and showcases work by women at LCP. But we are aware that there is still more work to be done to support and embrace diversity and inclusion, both within LCP and the pensions industry, and we have a number of new initiatives planned for the coming months.
I've seen the huge amount of effort, passion and commitment a large number of LCP people have put into our various initiatives, from right across the firm and all levels, and it's great we can all share in the successes of what we've achieved.
What current or recent initiatives best demonstrate LCP's support to improve diversity within the organisation?
The last few years have seen us launch and develop a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives, such as building on and broadening the great work started by our successful and well-established women's network. This includes introducing an agile working policy and providing coaching and support for those with parental and other caring responsibilities and their managers.
This has been a milestone year in our diversity journey and it was great to see the launch of our new diversity and inclusion steering group. This group seeks to break down barriers that limit our ability to foster an inclusive and diverse culture, and has five areas of responsibility covering networks, training, career development, people policies and how we work outside LCP to champion diversity in our industry.
We also launched our LGBT+ network, which was established to ensure that our LGBT+ people and allies can support each other in the workplace and help drive forward key initiatives as part of our wider diversity and inclusion strategy. Our first event - hosted on the Southbank - was a great success and saw more than 100 people attend.
Our women's network continues to go from strength to strength and this year has seen a refresh of the steering group with some great, enthusiastic new members, the introduction of diversity and inclusion breakfast socials, and over 150 people attend our external networking event at the Houses of Parliament.
We also launched LCP Resume, our returner programme aimed at recruiting those keen to restart their careers in the industry, and offering full support, mentoring and coaching. The programme has seen us welcome new recruits to our actuarial team in Winchester and our investment consulting team in London.
The Women in Pensions Awards Winners Series
What lessons has LCP learned that may be useful for others looking to improve diversity within their own organisations?
Everyone has their own unique view of the world and supporting diversity can mean very different things to different people and be very personal. Good communication throughout the business is key to explaining what you are trying to achieve and bring people with you. It's also important to listen - we have run our first diversity and inclusion survey, which gave us a snapshot of the diversity within LCP and a huge number of comments and suggestions. It is an invaluable resource to better understand what diversity and inclusion looks like at LCP and help focus future initiatives.
Grassroots efforts can be the most impactful and powerful. Senior buy-in is of course important to make sure initiatives have the support and funding they need to be successful. However, don't let career level or lack of experience become a barrier to getting involved. Some of our best initiatives have been built on passion and collaboration.
What is LCP's key message to women looking to progress or start a career in the industry?
Be authentic - understand your strengths and bring your true self to work. Never judge yourself against other people. We are looking for you, not who you think we want you to be.
This key message is supported by the way we run our business. We know our biggest strength is our people, and we value and recognise how different people with their own qualities and skills combine to create a balanced and dynamic workforce where everyone can flourish