Advancing race equality


18 March 2021

Like many, the Black Lives Matter movement has made us pause and reflect. As a large employer, we have a role to play to influence and shape society to make a positive long-term difference. Are we doing enough and what more could be done?

Diversity is what makes us great. And we have a strong Diversity and Inclusion agenda focussing on a culture where everybody can bring 100% of themselves to work. We’re on a journey and we know we have work to do and now is the time for meaningful change.

Ethnicity Action Plan


Develop an action plan to include targets for ethnic representation and the reporting of our ethnic pay gap


Ensure our employee voice forums are representative of our Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues


Review our recruitment practices to ensure they are free of bias


Further educate our people by running campaigns to increase the focus on the learning materials available to them


Consider the viability of a more focussed development solution to develop diverse talent

In August 2020 we launched our Ethnicity Action Plan. We followed this by signing Business in the Community’s (BITC) Race at Work Charter in October 2020, and the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) Change the Race Ratio in November 2020, to further our commitment to race equality.

Moving forwards, we’ll be using the commitments of our Ethnicity Action Plan, BITC Race at Work Charter and CBI’s Change the Race Ratio principles to guide our strategy on ethnicity inclusion. We will monitor and report our progress against the five commitments of our Ethnicity Action Plan as well as the Race at Work Charter and Change the Race Ratio to the Diversity & Inclusion Board and the UK & Ireland Management Committee on a regular basis.

“Racism happens every day and allies need to act every day, not just when it hits the news. Therefore, I’m delighted AXA UK & Ireland have signed BITC’s Race at Work Charter, as well as the CBI’s Change the Race Ratio, which together with our Ethnicity Action Plan, will be used to help drive meaningful change across our organisation in support of race equality.”

— Lucinda Charles-Jones, Group HR Director, AXA UK & Ireland

Our employee resource group representing ethnicity, REACH, will play an important part in helping us drive positive change in support of these commitments.

“Sadly, racism exists in all societies, including our own. Sometimes, the effects are shocking. At other times, might be subtle or unconscious. The evidence is overwhelming that unconscious bias seeps into decisions that affect recruitment, access to healthcare and outcomes in criminal justice in ways that can disadvantage people from ethnic backgrounds. Therefore, I’m pleased that AXA UK has decided to act and launch its Ethnicity Action Plan as well as sign BITC’s Race at Work Charter and the CBI’s Change the Race Ratio. We all have a role to play to influence and shape society, to create a level playing field where everyone can reach their full potential and to make a difference for the better.”

— Sam Patel Chief Counsel AXA Health and Executive Sponsor of REACH