Through Ardian’s membership of the international Investor Leadership Network (ILN), the Sustainability team is working with Diversio, a unique combination of an AI-powered diversity and inclusion platform and subject matter experts, to improve monitoring of diversity and inclusion issues in our portfolios.Historically, data on diversity has been inconsistent. The first stage of Ardian’s work with Diversio and its founder, Laura McGee, was to establish metrics that we can use to gather standardized diversity data and assess and compare our portfolio companies’ performance and maturity. The Sustainability team adapted Diversio’s Fundamental Inclusion Metrics to reflect the culture and values of Ardian and our portfolio companies. The KPIs we selected cover policy and governance, talent acquisition, employee engagement, transparency and data de‑identification. Together with Ardian, Diversio has also developed a set of advanced metrics that look more directly at employee experience and have been incorporated in Ardian’s annual sustainability survey of portfolio companies. These metrics cover issues such as recruitment targets, the existence of minority leadership development programs, opportunities for career development, access to flexible working and freedom from harassment. The information collected during 2022 will form the baseline for ongoing monitoring of inclusion and diversity across portfolio companies where Ardian is the majority shareholder.
Alongside this exercise, Ardian has worked with Diversio on an "Inclusive Finance Playbook" published in March 2022 to help investors understand the business case for monitoring diversity and inclusion KPIs, and to suggest approaches they can use to engage portfolio companies on these topics and influence their behavior. Ardian believes that understanding more about the factors that create an inclusive workplace will help our portfolio companies perform better in critical areas, notably attracting and retaining talented employees.
The use of inclusion and diversity metrics is expanding quickly, and Ardian was the first of the ILN members to come to us and say, ‘we want to use data to advance our diversity and inclusion agenda’. There is a lot of interest in this kind of analysis. As soon as investors see that their peers are doing this, they are eager to do it too.”
Diversio uses data and its unique AI-powered diversity, equity, inclusion dashboard to help companies measure and improve their inclusion and diversity performance.