Addressing gender balance

HMT Women in Finance Charter

Standard Life Aberdeen were 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 for the combined business in our 2017 Annual Report and Accounts.

Our progress

In October 2018, we published our progress against these targets, the details of which are below. At the end of 2017, our Board had 25% female representation, our executive level had 27% and our entire UK and global workforce both had 47% female representation. As at the end of August 2018, our Board representation decreased slightly to 21%, our representation at executive level increased to 33% and our UK and global workforce stayed the same at 47% and within the tolerance for our target.

We are pleased with the progress we have made to date and believe we are on track to reach our targets by June 2020. However, we are not complacent and recognise more needs to be done, particularly at Board level and with our Executive Committee.

This progress is in the context of significant change for our business, with an organisational design that continues to evolve following two large corporate transactions over the last 18 months - the merger of Standard Life plc and Aberdeen Asset Management and the sale of our UK and European insurance business to Phoenix Group.

Our progress against targets is welcomed but our focus and actions are on eliminating volatility and making sure that this is sustainable in the long term. We know that representation levels are vulnerable to the business changes we are going through and we want to achieve stable representation of women at all levels as we go forward.

Our gender action plan

To help deliver sustainable progress we have published our refreshed gender action plan (PDF).

We aim for an inclusive workplace where everyone feels they can be themselves and are valued for what they bring. We are working to achieve gender balance at all levels of our business, up to and including our Board, and in line with the gender representation targets we have set.  We aim to see year on year progress towards these and recognise this will be achieved not only by the initiatives in our plan, but by considering diversity and inclusion in all of our actions and decisions.

Progress needs sustained and collective ownership from the top of our company and also with all of our people. We are focused on how we enable everyone to play their part in building a progressive and inclusive culture.

Our refreshed gender action plan reflects our progress since October 2017 and outlines our areas of focus for the coming 12-18 months. It has been created with our people to produce commitments that we all believe in, and is sponsored by Keith Skeoch and Martin Gilbert.

Download the gender action plan (PDF)

Our targets

  Target % by June 2020 Actual % 31 December 2017 3 Actual number 31 December 2017Actual % 31 August 2018Actual Number 31 August 2018
Board 33 25 4 of 16 213 of 14
Executive 1 33 27 49 of 183 3369 of 206
CEO133206 of 30216 of 28
CEO2332843 or 1533563 of 178
Entire global workforce 50 2 47 4,569 of 9,651 474,429 of 9,393
Entire UK workforce 50 2 47 3,643 of 7,803 473,509 of 7,518


1. People employed in roles across the two leadership levels below CEO, excluding administrative support employees.
2. Target has a tolerance of 3%
3. Data is prepared in accordance with our reporting methodology and the Key Performance Indicators are within KPMG's limited assurance scope.  Both KPMG's limited assurance report and our reporting methodology can be found in the 2017 Corporate Sustainability and Stewardship Report KPI definitions document.