Phoenix Group trio named as DE&I champions on Empower Role Model lists

Rakesh Thakrar, the Chief Financial Officer for Phoenix Group, has been named on the Empower Top 100 Executives Role Model list for his work in promoting social mobility, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. In addition to Rakesh’s inclusion on the Executives Role Models list, Client Relationship Consultant, Rabya Aktar, and Business Development Manager, Imran Khan, were named on the Top 100 Future Talent list in recognition of their work in as co-founders ofPhoenix Group’s network for ethnically diverse colleagues, Mosaic, and their work to drive DE&I both in and outside the company, including work with Scottish government.

The 2023 Empower Role Model Lists, supported by YouTube, represents the wide range of impactful and innovative work being done by organizations across different countries and industry sectors supporting inclusion in the workplace. This recognition celebrates the diverse range of inspiring individuals who have made it their personal mission to removing barriers for ethnically diverse employees to help them on the pathway to success.

Phoenix has made great strides in the field of DE&I in recent years, it published its first Ethnicity Pay Gap report in April and is on course to achieve its targets to increase the percentage of staff who come from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background to 13% in 2023. It is also committed to increasing the number of women who hold senior positions in the business.

In addition Phoenix is committed to delivering change through its social mobility strategy and as a result of the work it has done to date has risen from number 41 to number 23 in the Social Mobility Index between 2021 and 2022.

The company’s social mobility strategy takes an intersectional approach across all disadvantaged groups, work includes ensuring recruitment adverts are free from bias, working with job centres to attract people from groups that are often excluded from employment, creating a programme to recruit over 50s from lower socio-economic backgrounds, supporting the 10,000 black interns initiative and, underpinning all the initiatives, having a data analysis programme to capture and assess diversity data.

Phoenix’s commitment to foster a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace includes a broad range of ongoing and emerging programs designed to attract, retain, and support talent at every stage of their career.

As part of the group commitment to specifically improving racial/ethnic diversity, equity and inclusion – we have created a DEI Project Lead – Race & Ethnicity role to bring a critical focus in ensuring the whole business can move the dial holistically in this space

“Embedding genuine diversity into an organisation is the right thing to do,” said Rakesh Thakrar (pictured), Chief Financial Officer of Phoenix Group, “However, it also makes good business sense by enabling businesses to improve their decision making processes, expand their understanding of their customer base and improve staff retention.

“Our commitment is to make Phoenix Group the best place anyone has ever worked and making DE&I a natural part of our day to day business will help make that a reality for all of our staff.

“We know we have more to do on this journey, but we are pleased with the progress we have made in the last year and I am proud to have been selected for inclusion in the Empower Role Models list for the work I have done to promote and expand DE&I at Phoenix.”