british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2011 - Strengthening our culture and values

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Sustainability Report 2011

We know that people do not stay in jobs just because of the pay or promotion opportunities. Employees want a supportive culture where their views are listened to.

Strengthening our culture and valuesDiversity

Diversity helps us to understand our consumers, customers and stakeholders and to meet their needs. It also provides different ways of looking at challenges, encouraging creativity and innovation.

To maintain a diverse workforce we need to attract talented individuals from different backgrounds and make sure our culture supports them. Our corporate values have always included a statement on how diversity gives us a competitive advantage but we need to ensure our people fully embrace this value and promote it globally.

Our focus on diversity includes having greater demographic representation across our senior management, including by gender and by nationality.

One example of an approach taken by our company in Chile was to review the workforce by employee groups, in much the same way that we do for our customer base to better understand their needs. This gave us a more robust understanding of what under-represented groups value and what we need to do to create a culture where we can attract, retain and develop a diverse talent pool.

Having completed this project in 2011, British American Tobacco Chile will share its experience with human resources teams across the Americas region.

We continue to support the career development of our female managers, with the aim of increasing the proportion of women in senior management roles. This includes drawing up development plans for our senior women and monitoring progress against them; assigning mentors; and encouraging recruitment consultancies to draw up gender-balanced candidate shortlists when we recruit externally.

Data on the proportion of senior roles held by women are reviewed at our Management Board Talent Review meetings.

 Percentage breakdown for women in management and governance bodies

% by level200920102011
Management trainees48%48%47%
Management grade 3433%35%34%
Management grade 3532%32%33%
Management grade 3628%29%29%
Management grade 3723%24%25%
Management grade 3813%15%16%
Management grade 399%8%10%
Management grade 404%5%5%
Management Board0%0%0%
Non-Executive Directors38%33%33%

Employee opinion

Our most recent Group-wide ‘Your Voice’ employee opinion survey was carried out by Towers Watson in 2010. It showed that our employees view British American Tobacco more positively than the benchmark for businesses in the FMCG sector. But it also told us that, although general business communication has improved, communication on organisational changes could be clearer. The full results of the survey can be viewed here.

Following the survey, we held focus group sessions to get more input from employees, then developed global, regional and local action plans to address areas of concern.

Conducting the survey every two years cannot provide as immediate a picture as we would like of how employees are responding to business changes. So in 2011, we trialled more regular ‘pulse checks’ of employee opinion in five of our markets. These surveys measured employee opinion on specific issues in a faster and more efficient way. We are now examining the feasibility of rolling them out across the Group. Initially they would focus on the results of actions coming out of our main survey; the readiness, support and capabilities for change prior to any reorganisation; and the effectiveness of our engagement around, and implementation, of organisational changes.

We are also currently revising the main ‘Your Voice’ survey and the new version will be carried out Group-wide in 2012.


I welcome the report by Lord Davies about Women on Boards released in February this year. The Company’s Board has considered the report in some detail... and recognises the benefits of increased female representation, and Board diversity in its widest sense, both at Board level and throughout all levels within the organisation.

Richard Burrows, Chairman, September 2011


of women in management roles


female Board representation


nationalities working in our headquarters


Our Employment Principles embody key internationally recognised aspects of human rights that apply to the workplace. They include important topics such as: equality of opportunity and non-discrimination; freedom of association; not condoning or employing child labour; being completely against forced or bonded labour; occupational health and safety; and fair remuneration and conditions of work.
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