British American Tobacco - BAT lands industry-first diversity recognition

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08 November 2021

BAT lands industry-first diversity recognition

BAT’s commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I) has been rewarded with a significant piece of recognition.

We have become the first company in the tobacco industry to be awarded both the National Equality Standard (NES) and the Global Equality Standard (GES).

National Equality Standard

The NES and GES are industry-leading benchmarks for D&I and are awarded following a rigorous assessment process. GES certification can only be attained for global companies who are NES certified.

Among the key strengths which secured BAT’s certification during the assessment process was our dedicated D&I strategy, which was launched last year.

As part of this strategy, we announced ambitions that by 2025, we aim to:

  • increase the number of women in senior teams to 40% and women in management roles to 45%
  • achieve a 50% spread of nationalities within regional and functional leadership teams to mirror our consumer base and organisation
  • double the number of cross-industry hires in senior teams to 24%

Also noted was a clear focus on mental health and wellbeing, the development of D&I capabilities among middle management, and the fact that we have functional champions and leads who drive D&I across the business.

Hae In Kim, Director, Talent, Culture and Inclusion at BAT, said: “Our ethos sets a clear direction for us to enable a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. We want our employees to feel valued and proud to have a fulfilling career at BAT.

“So, this recognition acknowledges the diversity of our people, their thinking and skillsets, our diversity policies and practices, as well as our inclusive culture. This all serves to contribute to make us an employer of choice and supports our ESG ambitions as we build A Better Tomorrow.”

Global Equality StandardThe NES is the UK’s leading diversity assessment framework, developed in partnership with the UK Government and in collaboration with 20 public and private sector organisations. Assessments are conducted by world-renowned consultants EY.

The NES assessment process consisted of a detailed evidence review of 150+ pieces of documentation related to D&I policies and practice and in-depth confidential interviews with more than 40 employees.

The GES is a global D&I competency framework which considers local demographic data, legislation, regulations, cultural norms as well as local priorities to help drive progress in D&I across regions.

The GES process included a global documentation review, country deep-dives, leader interviews, and employee focus groups.

Arun Batra OBE, EY Partner and CEO of the National and Global Equality Standards, said: “I am absolutely delighted that BAT has been awarded both the NES and GES, a real landmark moment in its industry. These achievements signify a continued and purposeful focus on D&I.”