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At Experian, we work to create a better tomorrow for consumers, for businesses, and for our communities. This ambition underpins our plans for our people – to ensure we have the best people, working in a high-performing and inclusive environment where they feel they can do their best work in support of our vision.
Click these links to take you to information on each of these topics:
Throughout the pandemic we have increased our focus on the health and well-being of our teams across the world. We quickly implemented regular pulse surveys so we could respond rapidly and ensure the right support was available. We emphasised mental health, reflecting the challenges people faced while working remotely. A response to the statement ‘I am feeling physically and mentally well’ was 75% favourable on average across five pulse surveys we ran during the year. We put in place a range of initiatives to support our teams, for example #ReachOut, which gave all employees access to resources to support their physical and mental health whenever they needed it.
We also developed programmes to help employees adapt to working from home. For example, in Asia Pacific, Thriving Remotely provided resources such as e-booklets, podcasts, webinars, senior leadership vlogs, playlists and infographics, alongside other activities to communicate with colleagues. We ran mindfulness and resilience programmes for employees, which were received well, with Asia Pacific receiving a 95% Net Promoter Score (NPS) - the percentage of those who would recommend the programme to a colleague. We introduced or improved Employee Assistance Programmes in all regions. In the UK and Ireland, and North America, we extended the time people could take for caring responsibilities, and in EMEA we refreshed the holiday leave policy to help employees cope with the additional demands placed upon them.
We placed additional importance on the ability to collaborate remotely. Connect 4, for example, is an initiative to connect groups of four colleagues randomly, to replicate spontaneous ‘water-cooler’ conversations and to grow employee networks. Our people also demonstrated their capacity for creating new connections independently, an example being our Home-Aloners group – employees who live on their own coming together to create a community of support, swapping stories, pictures, hints and tips.
Our strong culture has really brought out the best in our people, and we are encouraged to say we have seen pride in Experian, and employee advocacy, increase. In our pulse surveys, responses to ‘I am proud to work for Experian’ saw a 5% increase since our 2019 Annual People Survey and ‘I would recommend Experian to family or friends as a place to work’ increased by 3% over the same period. The steps taken to support our people, both practically and personally, have helped them adapt to new ways of working, with the question ‘I am able to be productive in my current work set up’ scoring well across all pulse surveys – averaging 88% positive across the five surveys. Line managers have also played a critical role, and we are proud employees have recognised this, averaging 85% favourable response to the statement ‘I am receiving the right level of support from my manager at this time’.
To further the two-way conversation with our employees, and to strengthen the connection between our people and leaders while working virtually, we accelerated the launch of Horizon, our leading-edge employee communications platform. This allows users to receive important updates in one place and access it at any time, from anywhere, as well as curate their own content by subscribing to a series of optional categories. They can also publish approved content directly on social media. This has been a resounding success, with 97% of our people registered on the platform, over 900,000 post views and 20,000 comments from employees. Throughout FY22, we will continue to develop the platform, to encourage even greater employee connection and engagement.
Through a year of our people working predominantly remotely, we have been able to really bring to life our focus on inclusion. We have been welcomed into people’s homes through the medium of video calls, seen our team-mates with their children, partners and pets, we have discussed the impact of the pandemic on each of us and, as a result, have got to know each other more deeply as individuals. We have continued to work and have experienced first-hand that people who feel able to bring their whole selves to work can achieve great results.
In 2020/21 our Group Operating Committee announced commitments to five key focus areas for DEI:
1. Active sponsorship
We have appointed executive sponsors for five areas of our DEI focus. They each sit on our Group Operating Committee, ensuring these topics are represented in decision-making at the highest level.
2. Better understand our opportunities and challenges
We believe that it is critical that we have a deep understanding of the make-up of our population and their experience of working here so we can set relevant goals and develop meaningful DEI programmes and practices. In the coming year we will focus on improving demographic data and our people will be asked to take part in a voluntary census.
3. Measure progress against specific goals
We are also raising our ambition and setting three-year targets for gender diversity. Our current global gender diversity and FY24 gender targets are:
4. Ensure accountability
We will be holding annual strategic reviews chaired by our CEO focused on DEI. We will also have bi-annual DEI deep dives and quarterly reviews with each region to monitor our performance closely and take quick action where needed.
5. Support our people
We are developing a global Conscious Inclusion training programme to ensure that we all understand the importance DEI holds for our people, our business and our customers.
Our leadership commitment is clear, and we are fortunate this is matched by our employees’ passion and drive on this topic – seen through the continued success of our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Globally, we now have over 30 ERGs. They continue to raise awareness, inspire involvement, and encourage action on a broad range of topics. Employees have created two more ERGs this year in the UK and Ireland. One is Black at Experian, which exists to create a safe and inclusive environment for people of black heritage to work, access opportunities and grow and fulfil their potential. The other, the Disability Network was launched to help the business think differently about disability and how we can be more inclusive.
Our global commitment to recognising and celebrating international diversity events has thrived virtually, with regions hosting a range of events to mark International Women’s Day, International Men’s Day, Pride, International Day of Persons with Disabilities and World Mental Health Day, as well as celebrating additional local traditions. All regions published Diversity and Inclusion Reports to celebrate their achievements and set out areas of focus for the coming year. We have provided DEI-related training in all regions – with North America launching Consciously Unbiased, a new, multimedia approach to raising awareness. The topic of allyship has been central to our focus this year, with How to Ally guides launched globally to ensure all employees can play their part in making Experian an inclusive place to work. Our Accelerated Development Programme (ADP) in Global Decision Analytics, designed to support talented women at mid and lower tiers to progress in the organisation, saw great success, with 44% of the participants being promoted after the programme. The Women in Leadership DiveIn (WILD) programme in Asia Pacific, designed to give real and raw experiences of leadership development and career acceleration for women, concluded with an 88% retention rate and 71% of women experiencing development of their roles since finishing the programme. In Experian Information Technology Services (EITS), we launched Advancing Women Leaders in Tech, a nine-month leadership-development programme for high-potential employees.
We have also built upon our commitment through several partnerships outside of the business. We became a global signatory of the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community. In the UK and Ireland, we signed the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter, and became a signatory supporting Stonewall’s Trans Rights Are Human Rights campaign to help reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004. We also became an official partner of Women in Data for the very first Women in Data week in the UK. In North America, we established a partnership with Disability: IN, the leading non-profit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. We’ve been a sponsor of events that support us in building diverse pools of future talent, including AfroTech, one of the largest multicultural technology conferences in the USA, and Grace Hopper Celebration, the world's largest gathering of women in computing.
In recognition of our efforts and achievements, we are proud to have been awarded several distinctions through FY21 which reflect our culture and our commitment to a positive and inclusive environment for our people.
It is impossible to discuss DEI in 2020 without referring to the tragic death of George Floyd and the resulting spotlight upon racial inequity in society. This focus created introspection on a personal and corporate level, and while we feel good about everything we have done and the progress we have made, we know there is more to do. In direct response, we announced donations to Operation Hope, double-matching of employee donations to associated causes, and established a Product Review Team to ensure our products address the needs of black and other disadvantaged communities. Throughout the period since, we have focused on disadvantaged communities through our United for Financial Health programme, forming partnerships with groups such as the NAACP, Black Girl Ventures, the Trussell Trust and The Mix.
To ensure we are clear about the gaps and opportunities in our DEI work, and to reflect our commitment to continuous improvement, we launched an independent audit through an external partner. The findings will inform our FY22 DEI strategy.
Our ability to continue to attract world-class people is critical, and we have continued to invest in a strong presence on social media in support of this. Our Experian Creator series is live across all major social channels, highlighting innovation through product stories. We are profiling our current tech talent weekly on LinkedIn and other social media, targeting future talent tech groups (such as Girls Who Code) and early talent. Our careers site now has a page dedicated to technology and innovation, featuring product stories, Creator series highlights, technology-leader content, and open tech roles. In FY21 our social media following increased by 100%, now over 1 million followers. Furthermore, our hires sourced via social media channels reached 53%, far surpassing our FY21 target of 29%.
We are proud of how we adapted to hiring and onboarding our colleagues remotely and have assigned buddies to all new joiners to help them integrate effectively in a virtual world. Results are good, with 96% of new joiners feeling positive about their onboarding experience, a 2% increase in the last year. This strong internal sentiment is matched by external measures: we exceeded expectations by improving our Glassdoor score for the fifth year in a row, sitting 4.1 out of 5.0 in March 2021.
Development of our people has remained central to our work – with the focus shifting to remote-learning opportunities. We were well placed with our on-demand, access-anywhere Elevate Learning platform, launched in 2019, and have continued to make the most of it throughout the year. Our partnership with Pluralsight supports our technology-focused employees in keeping their skills relevant, given the frequent need for new capabilities. Our employees consumed almost 15,000 learning hours on the platform this year. Our Stepping Stones tool, developed internally, enables our people to match their skills to short-term projects, or ‘gigs’, to build capability and apply new skills in ways they may not have the opportunity to do in their main roles. In addition, Stepping Stones has helped us re-distribute work and create a balance between those with reduced capacity and those who can absorb more and over 1,000 employees have now registered for opportunities. In Global Decision Analytics, we ran Be World Ready, an initiative to help employees build their personal employability. The programme also encourages employees to stay connected to the external job market, to keep their skills and experiences relevant. Finally, the pandemic has placed high demands upon our leaders to manage in new ways. We have taken the opportunity to review and revamp our global manager training programme, which we have relaunched as the New Leader Programme. It is designed to develop well-rounded leaders who can lead their teams effectively, beyond technical capability and focuses on areas such as inclusion, psychological safety, engagement, high-performing teams, and agility around change.
We have kept up our commitment to providing strong support for functional skills development. This year we ran our first cohort of the Global Analytics bootcamp. These are interactive immersive workshops, delivered by our own experts, that provide intensive hands-on experience in Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. We also ran our first ever global hackathon based on ideas and collaboration for recovery after COVID-19. Over 1000 participants took part, forming almost 100 teams, with winners being selected across our five global strategic focus areas. The winners received a large donation for the charity of their choice, and significant investment in developing their solutions.
Our high-performance culture has provided critical security this year, bringing clarity for employees in an unstable and uncertain environment. We have continued evolving this part of our culture, with our approach being further woven throughout our leadership development programmes. We launched Amplify - a new opportunity for leaders who have previously been through our high performance programmes - to re-group and refresh their thinking with the high-performance principles central to our organisation and focusing on what matters most now, in this ‘new normal’. To establish high performance throughout our organisation, all employees now have access to a series of high-performance content explaining our philosophy at Experian. We are also building upon the success of the Elevate Performance platform for year-round performance management. We have run a pilot of an augmented platform which fully integrates an employee’s performance goal with development plans – linking directly to relevant learning materials. Teams can also run ‘check-ins’, a simple but frequent online interaction, helping them communicate. The platform will go live in FY22, to support more powerful discussions on performance.
While we build technical skills for the future, we also plan for the future of our broader leadership roles and are proud of our healthy approach to succession. This year 89% of our top-100 leadership roles have at least one identified successor ready now or within two years; while over 50% have two or more potential successors.
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