International Women’s Day (IWD): A proud employer of women

Published by Bupa guest author

09 March 2020 . International

Written by Naomi Attwood, Group People Director

This year, the theme for International Women's Day (IWD) is #EachforEqual. IWD is a great opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the progress made towards building true gender equality, whilst acknowledging there is still much more to do.

Speaking at conference

Globally, businesses are becoming more diverse - women now hold 29% of senior management roles[1]. As a female leader, it’s important to work for a company that supports women and actively provides people with opportunities to elevate their career.

At Bupa, we are proud to have a workforce that is very gender diverse. There is strong female representation on the Bupa Board (50:50) and on the Bupa Executive Team (42%). Across Bupa globally, women make up 36% of leadership teams.

We are committed to having an even greater gender balance at all levels of the organisation. I believe by focusing on how we will improve gender balance, we will unlock other elements that make our workforce even more diverse. 

As part of this, we have launched a Diversity and Inclusion strategy, which restated Bupa’s commitment to improving its gender balance ratios. Supported globally and managed locally, our strategy focuses on three areas:

  • Inclusive culture: A culture where everyone can bring their whole selves to work and perform at their best.
  • Inclusive leadership: Our leaders create and enable high performing teams from diverse backgrounds
  • Inclusive practices: We maintain policies and practices that reflect the culture of inclusion we are striving for.

We’ve made good progress across our diversity and inclusion agenda over the last year. For example, in Australia, we continued our partnership with CareerTrackers to create ongoing internship opportunities for Indigenous university students and launched a cultural awareness module, which focuses on truth and justice, looking to build the capability of all our people.

In the UK we are members of Inclusive Companies, a national diversity network, which ranked Bupa Global and UK number 7 in its 2019/2020 Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers List.

In Spain, the Sanitas Foundation celebrated ten years of promoting inclusive sports. An initiative that encourages people with and without disabilities to play sport together. First started in 2009, the Foundation believes that playing together drives inclusivity across society, as well as bettering people’s physical and mental health, and quality of life.

Globally, we also ran mentoring schemes to support women in their leadership positions and have networks where people can connect and share what is working well.

International Women’s Day was formed to raise awareness that equality is not a women's issue, it's a business issue. I agree. By investing in diversity and inclusion, we want our people to work in an environment that allows everyone to reach their full potential.

[1]Grant Thornton, Women in Business: Beyond Policy to Progress (2018)

Bupa guest author