The Board Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Policy (‘the Policy’) sets out the approach to diversity of the Board of Directors of Westfield Health. Westfield Health’s definitions of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion are:
Diversity: We are all unique. Recognise and value differences and diverse perspectives.
Equality: Everyone deserves fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and fairness in access to information and resources. We believe this is only possible in an environment built on respect and dignity.
Inclusion: Everyone belongs. Engage with, listen to and value everyone’s skills, ideas and viewpoints
1.1 Policy Statement
The importance of a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture is also central to The Westfield Way. The Westfield Way is our roadmap to the way that we believe makes Westfield Health a great place to work. Our Values and Behaviours shape the way we work, our relationships, and how we think and feel about Westfield Health.
Westfield Health aims to ensure equality for all of its job applicants, employees, or users of its services. We will ensure that no job applicant, employee, or user of its services shall receive less favourable treatment than any other, on the grounds of the Protected Characteristics.
This policy applies to the Board as Westfield Health acknowledges the importance and benefits to greater diversity and remains committed to ensuring that the Company directors bring a wide range of skills, knowledge, experience, background and perspectives.
The Board comprises:
- The Chair of the Board
- Independent Non-Executive Directors
- Executive Directors
All Non-Executive Directors are ‘independent’ as they do not have a material relationship with Westfield Health. Their role is to provide independent oversight and constructive challenge to the Executive Directors.
2. Board Diversity
Diversity must be at the heart of good governance and the Board is committed to having a diverse, equitable and inclusive leadership team and also recognises that the Board as a whole need to be an advocate of change.
The richness that diversity brings in providing the range or perspectives, insights and challenge needed to support good decision making is essential. The Board Diversity Equality and Inclusion Policy supports Westfield Health’s diverse and inclusive culture.
3. Board Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Policy
A diverse, equitable and inclusive culture is essential to the long-term success of Westfield Health to enable appropriate outcomes and responses to customer needs.
Westfield Health understands the richness a diverse Board brings in providing the range of perspectives, insights and challenge needed to support good decision making.
Diversity encompasses amongst other things, experience, skills, tenure, age, geographic, industry experience, background, race, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and neurodivergence. Westfield Health recognises and embraces the benefits of having a diverse Board and sees diversity at Board level as an aid to achieving a competitive advantage. Westfield Health also recognises the benefits of diversity in the behavioural characteristics (such as temperament and approach) of individual Directors and seeks to build the right mix of individuals by character.
All Board appointments are made on merit, in the context of the skills and experience the Board requires as a unit to remain effective, taking account of succession planning. Candidates are assessed against pre-defined personal and professional profile criteria. Key areas challenged with candidates will include their approach, their skills, how they challenge both effectively and promptly, their sector experience, their understanding of activities and risks, their time commitments, their ongoing training and their proposed induction process.
Westfield Health recognise that the Board sets the tone for diversity across the business and believes in having a diverse leadership team and an open, equitable and inclusive leadership culture.
The Nomination and Appointments Committee monitors the balance of skills, knowledge, experience, and diversity within the Board, leads succession planning for appointments to the Board, and oversees the talent development within the Board.
The Terms of Reference for both the Nominations and Appointments Committee respectively includes reference to:
- Compliance with this Board Diversity Policy.
- Regularly reviewing the structure, size and composition (including the skills, knowledge, experience and diversity) required of the Board and making recommendations to the Board with regard to any changes.
- Satisfying itself with regard to succession planning for Directors and other senior executives in the course of its work, taking into account the challenges and opportunities facing Westfield Health, and what skills and expertise are needed on the Board in the future.
- Being responsible for identifying and nominating for the approval of the Board, candidates to fill Board Committee vacancies (excluding those arising on the Nominations Committee and Appointments Committee), as and when they arrive.
- Before any appointment is made by the Board, evaluating the balance of skills, knowledge, experience and diversity on the Board, and, in the light of this evaluation preparing a description of the role and capabilities required for a particular appointment.
- The Board places a high emphasis on ensuring the development of diversity in senior management roles.
4. Board Diversity Reporting
Transparency is critical for ensuring that a diversity policy is more than just a checklist of words. With that in mind the Board will publish annually its Board structure by reporting on:
- % Female (including those self-identifying as female)
- % Ethnic Minorities
- % Identify as LGBTQA+
- % Disabled People
- %Neurodivergent (a different way to process the world e.g. Dyslexia, ADHD, Asperger’s).
5. Diversity Measurable Objectives
These Measurable Objectives exist to ensure that the Board and any Committees they delegate nominations responsibilities to follow an inclusive process when making nominations/appointments decisions:
- The Board nominations/appointments process will be based on the principles of fairness, respect and inclusion;
- All Board nominations/appointments will be made on the basis of individual competence, skills and expertise measured against identified objective criteria;
- The search for Board candidates will be conducted and nominations/appointments made with due regard to the benefits of diversity and inclusion and to this Policy, with due consideration of the educational and professional background, gender, disability, age, ethnicity and geographical provenance of candidates;
- The Policy and any future material updates will be presented to the Nominations and Appointments Committee for recommendation to the Board for approval;
- All relevant Policy updates should reflect the Westfield Health Inclusion Policy and Principles;
- Policy content should comply with relevant legislation, regulation and FCA/PRA requirements
Inclusion, equality and diversity progress, including information about the appointment process and progress against our targets, will be reported annually on Westfield Health’s website.
6. Board Diversity Action and Commitment
To make a difference the Board is committed to drive diversity by having a set of targets:
- At least one Board Director will be from a Black, Asian and/or Minority Ethnic background by 2022
- At least one third of NED’s to be female, including those self-identifying as by 2023
- At least one Executive Director to be female by 2024
7. Board Diversity Education
Understanding of diversity, equality and inclusion is critical to help define the company’s strategy and policies. With that in mind, the Board is committed to one annual education session to provide increased knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding diversity. Westfield Health will commit to supporting the Board’s ongoing development with relevant diversity training to enable them to role model and champion Westfield Health’s diversity commitments. The Board will also have ongoing opportunities to engage with diversity initiatives aligned with Westfield Health’s wider diversity, equality and inclusion policy.
8. Amendments to this Policy
This policy is owned and approved by the Board of Westfield Health.
All changes to the Policy must be approved by the Board, unless they are so minor as to not change the meaning or intent of the Policy or any sections within it. Changes to the policy are to be considered by the Nominations and Appointments Committee prior to Board review.
This document will be reviewed in September 2022.