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SMART Working Amid COVID-19

The SMART Working workstream of the Diversity Project (chaired by Ana Maria Tuliak, Partner at Ludgate Search) has partnered with Timewise, the UK's leading consultancy specialising in flexibility as a positive talent strategy, to increase flexible working across the savings and investments industry.

And as we look ahead to a post-Covid-19 world, it’s absolutely critical.

Unlocking more roles to flexibility and the importance of SMART Working

Known for a long-hours culture, and facing serious challenges around inclusion and diversity, there’s little doubt that the savings and investments industry is in need of a flexible working reset. The gender pay gap is 31% (compared to a UK average of 18%).

Only 7% of workers work part-time (compared to a UK average of 28%). And there’s a definite sense that the industry is lagging behind on this issue, and that talented people who want or need to work flexibly are starting to go elsewhere.

It’s for this reason that The Diversity Project and Timewise launched a joint project with support from four founding partners – Aon, Axa Investment Managers, Fidelity International and St. James’s Place Wealth Management.

The exploratory phase has teased out some of the core barriers to smart and flexible working in the industry, along with specific actions for the industry to take to unlock more roles to flexibility and the importance of #SMARTworking.

The findings were shared in a recent webinar hosted by Ana Maria Tuliak, Helena Morrissey, Chair of the Diversity Project, Emma Stewart, CEO at Timewise, Sarah Kaiser, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Fidelity International, and Steve Butler, Chief Executive, Punter Southall Aspire.

Offering remote working soon won’t be enough

Covid-19 has shown that change can happen; that roles and industries previously considered ‘un-flexible’ can rise to the challenge. And it’s naïve to think that this will all be over in a few more weeks – or that employees will simply slot back into being fully office-based.

For savings and investments firms who want to be employers of choice, work to embed genuine flexible working must now be a priority.

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