Diversity, equity and inclusion

Being part of a vibrant, globally diverse community, we know that tremendous value is gained from people’s differences. An inviting culture that recognises and celebrates diversity enables people to reach their maximum potential and be their best, which is fundamental to us and critical to our success.

Research has shown that when colleagues experience a diverse, welcoming company it is a key driver of organisational outperformance. When companies invite every colleague into the innovation process, they generate more high-quality ideas, implement better and faster, beat sales targets and outperform their competition. Given the unquestionable impact diversity, equity and inclusion has on people, the business and society at large, we have placed significant focus on these areas which is based on the Group's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy. Apart from the proven commercial benefits, we believe it is simply the right thing to do. We intersperse larger initiatives with a mosaic of other smaller activities aimed at celebrating a myriad of different human characteristics (not just obviously protected characteristics) because we are keen to build a culture where all differences are well understood, accepted and celebrated.

Two years ago we established dedicated Group-wide inclusion pillars and we have built on the successes of these groups in FY22. Each pillar emerged naturally as areas of broad-based interest. Each has their own Employee Resource Group (ERG) to provide feedback into the Group diversity, equity and inclusion plans, and support initiatives that are bespoke to their pillar. Each ERG has an Executive Team member as a sponsor, an HR leader, and a dedicated learning and development team member supporting it to ensure appropriate organisational prioritisation and influence. The ERGs are:

  • Culture 
  • Ethnicity
  • LGBT+ 
  • Persons with disabilities 
  • Well-being 
  • Women at RWS 

The purpose of these groups is to identify strategies for meeting the collective interests reported by each group, thereby driving engagement and increasing the representation, voice and contribution/influence of that group over time.

These cross-divisional groups collect ideas from around the world and build activity plans for the next period. Resources are then allocated to the plan as appropriate. Streams typically break into sub-streams to harness specific user interests and experience, and to share workload. 

In FY22 we extended our efforts, fully launching our Persons with disability ERG and promoting a number of significant globally recognised awareness events including World Day of Down’s Syndrome (March), Autism Awareness Day (April), Accessibility Awareness Day (May), etc.  

In terms of communication and education, each group has planned slots for raising awareness and promoting key events over the course of the year on the RWS Hub, and this year we also ensured each ERG has its own educational content channel on MyLX, our global learning platform, which was rolled out fully during FY22. 

A particularly exciting development this year was the launch of the Globesmart cultural education tool across the Group. This provides learning content specifically focused on education on different cultural and national groups. The tool provides powerful insights into different cultural heritage, behavioural norms and broader points of cultural sensitivity. After a good initial reception by colleagues we intend to roll it out extensively to accelerate understanding and performance across our many multinational groups working together on international business projects. 

We are also mindful of the importance of diversity at the most senior levels in the organisation including our Board and Executive Team. The Board as at 30 September 2021 was 29/71 (Female/Male) and changed to 38/63 (Female/Male) after the appointment of a new Non-Executive Director in July 2022 (Julie Southern who will replace Andrew Brode as Chairman when he steps down in October 2023). The mix is now 44/56 (Female/Male) following the appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer (Candida Davies who joined us in October 2022). 

From October 2022 the mix in the Executive Team will move from 20/80 (Female/Male) to 33/67 (Female/Male) with the appointment of our new CFO and General Counsel and Company Secretary. The mix as at 30 September was 11/89 (Female/Male). 

We remain fully committed to addressing gender diversity over time, principally through recruitment and training initiatives aimed at bringing more women into technology oriented roles and recruiting and/or internally developing more women into management and leadership roles – the recent Board and Executive Team appointments serving as good examples of our commitment to this principle. 

FY23 will see the introduction of the RWS Diversity Council, whose mission is to develop a unified diversity, equity and inclusion strategy for the group.

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Gender pay gap

We have started implementing spot checks to examine relative pay in various sample job families, and so far we are comfortable that individuals in the same job families are paid within a reasonable local range in offices around the world, with no particular adverse trend by gender. However, taking all roles into consideration we know that we do have a general pay gap between male and female employees. 

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We remain fully committed to addressing this general gap over time, principally through recruitment and training initiatives aimed at bringing more women into technology-oriented roles and developing more women into management and leadership roles. 

In 2022 females accounted for 29% our hires within RWS technology roles. While this is a higher proportion than what the external market typically achieves in this area, given the relatively low number of women in the technology profession globally (19% – source Women in Tech), naturally 50% would be our ideal and we will continue to extend our efforts in this regard through FY23 and beyond.

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