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Data drives career-development opportunities at Aon

Aon is committed to driving an inclusive culture and creating an environment where employees feel comfortable in being their authentic selves. The company recognises that diversity of thinking and diverse perspectives at all levels of the business are essential to deliver more innovative and creative solutions for clients.

Aon has taken a holistic approach to building its inclusion and diversity strategy, looking across the full employee lifecycle. Providing career development opportunities for diverse talent is as important as attracting diverse talent into the organisation.

As part of this, Aon wanted to understand why certain groups did not appear to be coming through the talent pipeline it had developed, especially when the company were achieving such good results in its early careers programme. They saw the need to take deliberate and targeted action to deliver real change.

With insufficient data to inform decisions, it was difficult to set meaningful goals, so Aon launched a self-identification campaign to gather data that could help the firm understand the current make-up of  its workforce and identify opportunities to increase representation of diverse colleagues across the firm – and particularly at senior role levels.

Sharing personal information is not a decision to be taken lightly and the firm recognised the importance of creating trust and transparency with colleagues.  To help address this, Aon developed the ‘Me, Myself and I’ campaign, to explain how the employee data collected would be used. The campaign involved a series of Q&A articles and videos with diverse colleagues, who described why they felt it was important to share their personal information, and clarifying that data would be tightly controlled, anonymised and only used in aggregate for reporting.

Once Aon articulated what it was doing and gathered support from Business Resource Groups and senior leaders, the firm saw an immediate increase in completion rates.

Once Aon had a full suite of employee data, they were able to analyse the aggregated, anonymised data to hone in on specific opportunities for improvement. They have now put in place action plans, tailored to and owned by each area of business..

Aon has built trust with its colleagues, both in their data management and in the importance of sharing data to drive change. The company moved from having around 20% of self-identification data at the start of 2020, to over 88% in mid 2021.

The group are already seeing the benefits of some of their work around diverse candidate slates and diverse interview panels, with data that supports the impact this is having on the appointment of colleagues from under-represented groups. They expect to see ongoing progress, as they continue to use the data to inform targeted action where it’s needed most.

“There is always so much that can be done to improve opportunities for all colleagues and taking the first step is sometimes the hardest. You have to set clear actions to achieve results.”
Terry Laville-Farrant, UK People Director at Aon

Aon is determined to continue to drive forward the company culture and work to create an environment where all colleagues are valued and celebrated for the diverse background, culture and experiences they bring.