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Diversity, Equal opportunities and Inclusion

Robeco is committed to promoting diversity, equal opportunities and inclusion amongst its employees. We consider this to be a core value in the way we build our strategy, how we operate, how we recruit and how we shape our 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 practice includes fair treatment, equal access to opportunity, collaboration and empowerment, and an emphasis on innovation.

Why we are committed

As our employees are our most valuable assets, having diversity, equal opportunities and inclusion 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.
  • What’s more, our continued leadership in the field of sustainable investing is dependent on our ability to further promote these core values within Robeco. The values of diversity and inclusion are consistent with our philosophy of carefully considering all perspectives in our research, of fully using our valuable resources to meet challenges and of ensuring that we remain flexible, creative and innovative.
  • 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. Diversity, equal opportunities and inclusion are also in line with our commitment to contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals, and to building a more sustainable future for our employees, clients and for society.

At every level of our organization

We believe, in order for it to be effective, a policy of promoting diversity, equal opportunities and inclusion needs to be driven from a strategic level. Therefore, these core values are determined by the firm's leaders, affirmed by managers, enhanced by employees, and guided by Robeco’s Diversity, Equal opportunities & Inclusion Committee (DE&I Committee).
  • Under the guidance of the DE&I Committee, managers at the most senior level are held accountable for fostering a culture of diversity, equal opportunities and inclusiveness, and of accelerating the pace of change. 

    The advancement of women into senior positions is a particular focus alongside the increase in representation and advancement of underrepresented minorities.

  • Robeco’s DE&I Committee is responsible for developing and evolving our overall strategy and policy for diversity, equal opportunities and inclusion, working with colleagues worldwide to establish and balance appropriate priorities, and to facilitate the various diversity initiatives around Robeco.

    Furthermore, the DE&I Committee operates on the principle of acknowledging and tackling diversity, equal opportunities and inclusivity issues head-on. It aims to drive employee programs to empower inclusive talent and promote a sense of belonging and work-life balance.

Where do we stand?

Global workforce composition

Gender diversity

Source: Robeco, 2021

Ratio male/female per level in the organization


Ratio (%) male/female levels 8-10 versus levels 2 to 7

Source: Robeco, 2021

In action: our journey

While Robeco works hard to achieve its ambition, we acknowledge that there is still work to be done to build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization. We therefore recognize that this is a journey and one which requires ongoing learning, evaluation and accountability. We are confident that each policy, process and program which we implement in this regard brings us closer to our goals.
  • Overall ambition

    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.
  • Targets

    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. Global targets are the beacons that guide us to our overall 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
  • Ground

    We strive for a broad diversity, in multiple ways, but we only set specific global targets for gender diversity as we can measure it and make it visible. It doesn’t exclude other relevant goals at lower and local level for other types of diversity. We believe that setting up targets for one minority creates the right ground to achieve diversity, equal opportunities and inclusion for other minorities.

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 numbers of women – there is still a considerable gender pay gap, particularly in industries such as airlines of textiles which have disproportionately higher levels of either gender in certain roles.
  • A range of credits and equities strategies target the UN’s 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.
    Gender Equality Impact Equity

Active ownership

  • Robeco has used engagement to seek ESG improvements at 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.

  • 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.

    Active ownership
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