Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Robeco is committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) among its employees, clients and other stakeholders. We consider this to be a core value of our business strategy, our operations, our recruitment process and corporate culture.
We strive to create a workplace that reflects our diverse communities, and where everyone feels seen, heard, valued, and empowered to succeed – regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, family responsibility, sexual orientation, social origin, age or experience. We are an inclusive workplace where best practices include fair treatment, equal access to opportunity, collaboration and empowerment, and with an emphasis on innovation.
Why we are committed
As our employees are our most valuable assets, having DE&I embedded as core values in our organization is critical to our strength as an asset manager and our ability to deliver quality returns for our clients.
Moreover, as a global organization, we serve a diverse client base across multiple regions. Therefore, to better understand our clients, we strive to have an organization that is as diverse as our clients are. Being a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is also in line with our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and to building a more sustainable future for our employees, clients and society.
What’s more, our continued SI leadership is dependent on our ability to further promote these core values within Robeco. Our DE&I values are consistent with our philosophy of carefully considering all perspectives in our research, fully using our valuable resources to meet challenges, and remaining flexible, creative and innovative.
At every level of our organization
For efficiency’s sake, we believe DE&I policies need to be led from top down. Therefore, these core values are determined by the firm’s leaders, affirmed by managers, enhanced by employees, and guided by Robeco’s DE&I Board. Under the guidance of this Board, managers at the most senior level are held accountable for fostering a culture of diversity, equity and inclusiveness, and for accelerating the pace of change.
The promotion of women into senior positions is a particular focus alongside the increase in representation and advancement of underrepresented minorities.
Robeco’s DE&I Board is responsible for developing and evolving our overall strategy and policy for diversity, equity and inclusion, working with colleagues worldwide to establish and balance appropriate priorities, and to facilitate the various diversity initiatives around Robeco. This includes our four Employee Resource Groups.
Furthermore, the DE&I Board operates on the principle of acknowledging and tackling DE&I issues head-on. It aims to drive employee programs to empower inclusive talent and promote a sense of belonging and work-life balance.
In action: Our journey
While Robeco works hard to achieve its ambitions, we acknowledge that there is still work to be done to build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization and know that work goes beyond ticking boxes on a corporate checklist. This is a journey: one which requires ongoing learning, unlearning*, evaluation and accountability. We are confident that each policy, process and program we implement in this regard brings us closer to our goals.
*Honestly reflecting inward on subconscious harmful practices & learning how to not do them anymore
Where do we stand?
Global workforce composition
Source: Robeco, 2023
Ratio male/female per level in the organization
Source: Robeco, 2023
Development ratio male/female senior professionals
Source: Robeco, 2023
Our long-term ambition is to have a 50% gender balance in Robeco, because we want to reflect the diversity of the world in which we work. We strive for gender pay equity at all levels in the organization. We know that our gender balance decreases toward the top. Improving this currently has our main priority.
We realize that we need to set clear, ambitious targets supported by actions to ensure we move in the right direction and achieve our long-term ambition. We therefore set the following gender diversity targets:
Executive Committee: 30% gender diversity
Senior professional and managerial level: 30% gender diversity
Professional level: 50% gender diversity
We strive for broad diversity in multiple ways, but we only set specific global diversity targets if we have the necessary data. Currently we only have diversity data available based on gender, age and primary nationality; for gender we already have established targets. Targets based on other diversity characteristics may follow at a later point in time.
For example, in 2024, the DE&I Board will be focusing on identifying age-related challenges and opportunities at Robeco. The goal: fostering generational inclusion and diversity at all levels.
A core part of our investment strategies
Robeco offers a Gender Equality Impact Equity strategy that targets companies committed to greater equal opportunities between men and women. This is backed by research which shows companies with higher proportions of women in management positions are more profitable in the long term, and therefore make better investments. It’s not just about the number of women: there is still a considerable gender pay gap as well, particularly in industries such as airlines or textiles which have disproportionately higher levels of either gender in certain roles.
A range of credits and equities strategies target the UN Sustainable Development Goals, two of which strive to reduce inequality. These are SDG 5 (Gender equality) and SDG 10 (Reducing inequalities), in addition to the more general SDG 4 (Quality education) and SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth) which aim to educate, train and empower women and girls.
More generally, sustainable investing means integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles into the investment process. Diversity forms part of the social element, particularly where it pertains to human labor and governance regarding female empowerment at investee companies.
Robeco has used engagement to seek ESG improvements in companies since 2005. New engagement themes are launched every year, each one with a specific focus. Robeco believes that a large impact can be made on advancing diversity by actively engaging investee companies on this topic.
Robeco regularly encourages investee companies to improve their practices related to ESG issues. In the Stewardship Policy, more information can be found on what we expect from investee companies, and how we perform proxy voting and engagement to drive progress on diversity.
Ultimately, we believe that companies whose employees are happy and healthy achieve stronger operational and financial performance in the long term. Throughout our engagement efforts focused on social topics, we encourage companies to develop a human capital management policy which should cover how they attract and retain talent, provide training and courses, and establish workforce diversity.