Building a multicultural workforce


25 May 2023

We believe that having a team that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our customers allows us to better serve them and build a thriving culture built on trust, respect, and kindness.

Three years ago, we launched our Ethnicity Action Plan - a set of commitments to continue our journey in driving change and engage our people to become allies and advocates of race equality. We’ve made positive progress against those commitments. So now we’ve set our sights on an improved ambition to ensure our workforce matches the customers and communities we serve, and that we’re an employer of choice for all - regardless of ethnicity, background or characteristics. 

To help our colleagues achieve the career they desire, we’re committed to creating a work environment that builds confidence, so everyone can reach their full potential. And then together, we can act for human progress by protecting what matters most. 

Ethnicity Action Plan

  1. 1

    Representation Targets – To drive positive change, we want to better understand our workforce and set meaningful targets

    To know if we’re making a difference, we first need to better understand our make-up today. We launched a data collection campaign in 2020 called Fairer in Five. It asks employees to spend five minutes answering seven questions about who they are. As of April 2023, 64% of our UK colleagues have responded to the campaign. By better understanding our workforce we can then set ourselves meaningful targets and create a more inclusive environment.

  2. Attraction of ethnic minority talent – Building a multicultural workforce

    We’re creating an inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone can thrive within a diverse community. A place where people feel valued and respected, regardless of their race, ethnicity, culture, or background. As part of our inclusive recruitment strategy, we’re looking to work with a number of specialist recruitment partners to helps us build a more inclusive workforce.

    To ensure our recruitment practices are free of bias, we launched a digital training module - ‘Inclusive Recruitment’ - in 2020 to support everyone involved in recruitment to make fair and equitable decisions. 

    Every year we refresh our inclusive recruitment strategy to increase the depth and reach of our activities to make a meaningful and measurable difference. Using data, we’ve identified a range of initiatives this year which will support a more inclusive workforce, ranging from reviewing the recruitment process eliminate barriers, to exploring new routes to attract diverse talent.

  3. Career progression – Helping everyone reach their full potential

    We want to make sure we provide everyone with development and career opportunities so they can reach their full potential. Driving an increased representation of Black, Asian and ethnic minorities into senior level roles comes from unlocking the potential of our current employees. In addition to the learning and development programmes we provide, we’ve also launched AXA Reverse Mentoring to match ethnic minority colleagues with Executive and Senior Leaders. And we offer the AXA Mentoring Programme to help colleagues enhance their skills and grow their confidence. 

    We run a talent development programme - Project Emerge –– aimed at supporting women and colleagues from an ethnic background to further excel in their careers. Since launch, we’ve ran two cohorts supporting 50 colleagues. Some of the participants have secured a leader level role, and others have taken a sideways move with a salary increase.

    And, 25 employees have also participated in BITC’s Cross Organisational Mentoring Circles programme, which connects ethnic minority mentees with mentors from other organisations. 

  4. External commitments – Our commitment, pledges, and charters

    We’ve also signed a number of external pledges to further cement our commitment to race equality. We signed the Business in the Community’s (BITC) Race at Work Charter in October 2020. As a signatory, we’ve committed at Board level, to act, make it clear that we support equality in the workplace and support career progression. We’ve also committed to the Change the Race Ratio in November 2020.

    So how are we doing?

    We’ve made good progress, from recruitment tools to mentoring programmes, to speaking up, every action counts and they all add up to creating a more diverse workplace. We’re immensely proud of how our employees have embraced the journey we’re on so far.

    Our employee network – AXA REACH (Reach, Ethnicity & Culture Heritage) – which is a community for everyone, regardless of background or heritage, continue to support us by raising awareness of ethnic minority issues and championing multiculturalism.

    We’re building a fully inclusive culture, celebrating everybody’s individuality and differences. We believe a happy and engaged workforce, that strives to celebrate diversity, enables us to be the very best we can be for our employees, customers and partners.

Would you like to join us?

Take a look at our careers site to see where you could fit in