Gender Audit

Some businesses are already embracing the possibilities on offer from improved gender diversity in senior positions. For others it’s a journey they want to undertake but, before embarking, it’s essential to know the starting point and desired destination. The Pipeline’s Gender Audit is here to help through our unique model that provides businesses with an industry leading assessment of an organisation’s performance in this crucial area.

Through a well-balanced mix of quantitative measures and qualitative enquiries, we look at current practices, processes and achievements. We establish hard data for the numbers of women in the positions that matter. We review relevant policies, measurements and training. We assess the culture and leadership provided. From this wide array of information we apply our knowledge and expertise to offer recommendations for a way forward, so that a business can build their own map to a better, more successful future.

Gender Audit structure

Our analysis of an organisation’s gender diversity provides detailed recommendations based our findings gathered across three stages: –

  • The Count
  • Governance review
  • Leadership & culture interviews

Stage 1: The Count

The Pipeline: Gender Audit begins with a count including: –

  • Organisational structure review – an explanation of the governance structure including the roles and reporting lines of the Investment Committee. An organigram will be produced, as well as a flow chart for the management of your funds or services.
  • Gender mapping of the Investment Committee and/or senior management team – analysis of the number of men and women in each function and role in leadership roles across the organisation.
  • Succession planning – review of the number of women and men on shortlists for Managing Partner and Partner promotions. Previous history will also be assessed on gender make-up of recent Director and Principal appointments.
  • Benchmark – all organisations will be benchmarked against ‘Women Count’ a similar undertaking for the FTSE 350.
  • General employee count by gender – intake and roles.

Stage 2: Governance review

We then look at actions and successes on gender diversity over the previous two years to understand the direction of travel: –

  • Investment Committee discussion – how frequently has gender diversity been discussed and what were the conclusions (copies of minutes required)?
  • Policies – what has already been agreed (copies required)?
  • Formal statements from the Managing Partner and/or Investment Committee and those included in their annual reports, prospectus, websites etc (copies required).
  • Reporting and targets – are there gender diversity targets? If so, how are they communicated, monitored and incentivised? Is gender diversity seen as a risk (copies of risk reports/assessments and, if applicable, risk register)?
  • Remuneration – is comparable female and male compensation data collated (including base salary, annual bonus, permissary notes, carry points and benefits in kind) at each level (e.g. Associate, Director, Principal and Partner)? And if so, is there a gap?
  • Training – what training has taken place to support and help managers to successfully recruit, develop, promote and retain women? Have managers undertaken interview training to understand unconscious bias?
  • Promotion – are there any practical measures in place to support and help women achieve promotion – for example, specialist leadership development or in-house sponsorship programmes?
  • Whistle-blowing and complaints – details of complaints over previous 5 years. Awareness of any culture that may deter women from seeking promotion.
  • Maternity policies – policies for leave and returners. How are women returned into the workplace? When women leave on maternity what proportion have returned beyond 1 year over the last 3 years?

Stage 3: Leadership & culture interviews

Success on gender diversity is always driven by leadership and culture so we start at the top by undertaking three qualitative interviews with senior executives (usually the Managing Partner, a Partner on the Investment Committee and the most senior HR Executive) covering –

  • Benefits – what do leaders feel are the benefits of greater gender diversity?
  • Belief – how important is this to them and why?
  • Plans – what role will they play over next few years to improve gender diversity?
  • Barriers – why have women not made it to the top of their organisation in sufficient numbers?
  • Understanding – how knowledgeable are they about the interventions that lead to success?