Addressing gender balance

We are building an inclusive culture where everyone is valued for who they are and what they bring. We have brought together our diversity and inclusion priorities in a refreshed framework to bring simplicity and consolidate what is most important for us to achieve our purpose. Our framework helps us focus on being a place where all diverse perspectives are brought together, in an agile and inclusive way, to invest for a better future.

Within the four priority areas in our framework we will sustain our attention on addressing any imbalance in our workforce, where our data tells us this exists. Our current focus is on achieving better gender and ethnic minority balance through our company and on opening up routes for those from a variety of backgrounds to join our industry.

Balanced representation of men and women in the workplace is vital to an inclusive culture, and can improve both company profitability (by 21%1) and the global economy (by $12 trillion2). We are committed to improving gender balance at all levels in our business from early careers up to and including the Board.

HMT Women in Finance Charter

Our company was among the first signatories to the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter in 2016, demonstrating our commitment to inclusion and diversity and pledging to increase gender balance in our senior management populations and across our industry.

Following our merger in 2017, we recommitted to the Charter and published our targets (detailed below) for the combined business in our 2017 Annual Report and Accounts.


Our targets

As at 7 January 2020.

LevelActual % (and  number) of women employedTarget % by 2020Change since December 2018Change since December 2017
Board45% (5 of 11)33%+20%+20%
CEO-1 and CEO-236% (53 of 146)33%+2%+9%
UK46% (2,209 of 4846)50%+1%-1%
Global46% (2,861 of 6,213)50%+1%-1%

We set targets for our collective senior leadership population (CEO-1 and CEO-2, minus administrative roles). Targets are not applied at these levels individually – but for transparency, the breakdown of women at CEO-1 and CEO-2 is as follows:

  • CEO-1: 18% (3 of 17), +3% since December 2018
  • CEO-2: 39% (50 of 129), +3% since December 2018

Gender pay gap

This is our second year reporting our UK gender pay information as Standard Life Aberdeen. Our mean gender pay gap is 39.5% (2018: 39.7%) and our mean bonus gap is 67.1% (2018: 69.1%).

This pace of change is similar to other organisations3 but doesn’t meet our aspirations. We are focused on sustaining relentless attention on this to make sure the improvement we see in representation at senior levels is maintained through our ongoing transformation, and translated into positive movement in our pay gap.

We believe our actions to address our gender pay and progression imbalance are the right ones and they are making a difference for the long term.

You can read more about our gender actions, gender pay gap and next steps in our gender report 2019 and diversity and inclusion report 2019.


  • 1. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 21% more likely to experience above average profitability (Source: ‘Delivering Through Diversity’ – 2018 McKinsey and Co).
  • 2. $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality of participation (Source: ‘How advancing women’s equality can add to $12 trillion to global growth’ – 2015 McKinsey and Co).
  • 3. 76% of employers who reported a change in their pay gap, reported movement up or down within 5% (Source: Promise, Progress or Failure to Priorities? – 2019 PwC).