British American Tobacco - Embracing diversity

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Embracing diversity

Respecting and celebrating each other’s differences

To maintain a diverse workforce we need to attract and retain talented individuals from different backgrounds and make sure our culture supports them.

Few other companies are as diverse as BAT – diversity is a key element of our ethos at BAT. We have very diverse customers, suppliers and other stakeholders, and want a diverse workforce to meet their needs. In our head office alone, there are around 80 different nationalities among the hundreds of people who work there. We value this kind of diversity because it encourages innovation, creativity and different ways of thinking; it creates a fascinating place to work, with opportunities to collaborate with a wide range of people from various countries, cultures and with different perspectives.

Our Chief Executive, Jack Bowles, says: “I am passionate about ownership, accountability and delivery and empowering our leaders across the organisation to keep us moving forward. I am also a great believer in the power of diversity in BAT – by harnessing diverse perspectives and ways of thinking we are far better placed to understand and meet the preferences of adult consumers in our diverse markets.”

In November 2020, BAT was recognised as a Financial Times Diversity Leader for a second consecutive year. The prestigious FT Diversity Leaders report recognises the top 850 companies across 16 European countries that have achieved a diverse and inclusive workplace. It assesses key areas including: Gender balance; sexual orientation; and a workforce comprised of an ethnic and social mix that reflects wider society.

BAT is an FT Diversity Leader again

In November 2020, BAT was recognised as a Financial Times Diversity Leader for a second consecutive year. This acknowledges our ongoing commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture.

In January 2022, BAT was recognised as a Global Top Employer for a fourth consecutive year by the Top Employers Institute.

We were one of just 11 companies to receive Global Top Employer certification for 2022, which is based on an extensive review of employer practices across six HR domains and 20 topics, including People Strategy, Work Environment, Talent Acquisition, Learning, Well-being,  Diversity & Inclusion and more.

In addition to recognition as a Global Top Employer, BAT has also been named Top Employer in 33 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. Top Employer status recognises BAT’s commitment to attracting the best talent, investing in its people and being a great place to work.

Read more about some of the diversity initiatives that help us stand out from the rest.

As we continue on our journey to build A Better Tomorrow, we have set bold, new diversity and inclusion ambitions. By 2025, we aim to:

  • Double the number of cross-industry hires in senior teams to 20%;
  • Increase the number of women in senior teams to 40% and women in management to roles 45%;
  • achieve a 50% spread of nationalities within regional and functional leadership teams to mirror our consumer base and organisation.

There are currently 139 nationalities represented at management level across our Group, and we are pleased with the continuous progress we are making and the sustainable pipeline we are building in terms of nationality diversity.

We are also continuing to work hard to improve gender diversity across the Group. Female representation in senior management has more than doubled since 2012, from 11% to 25% in 2020, and women represent 38% of all management roles globally.

Women represent 40% of our Main Board and 15% of our Management Board, and comprised 27% of our senior leadership teams in 2020. We support women’s development into senior roles through a variety of initiatives, including our Women in Leadership programme and participation in the 30% Club mentoring programme. We have female executives on all our senior functional and geographical leadership teams, and nearly 60% of our 2020 graduate intake were women, supporting the development of a sustainable pipeline of women for senior management roles.

You can view data on the proportion of women in senior management in our 2020 ESG Report (14.1 mb)

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