National business law firm DWF has agreed to collaborate with the Leasing Foundation on the development of a Diversity Scorecard for the leasing and asset finance industry.

Part of the Foundation’s approach to encouraging, supporting and learning from gender diversity in the workplace, the Diversity Scorecard will create a robust understanding of the current state of gender diversity, allowing organisations across the industry to report on the gender balance at each level of an organisation, by function, business unit and region, and to report on metrics such as pay levels, attrition rates and the ratio between women eligible for promotion and women promoted. The information will be used both to help the Foundation understand the state of gender diversity in the industry and also to allow organisations to measure themselves against, and learn from, those businesses that are making tangible, measurable progress.

Joanne Davis, Partner in the Asset & Consumer Finance team at DWF says “We want the scorecard to support the work of leaders in creating an environment that attracts, retains and develops female talent. Changing the diversity landscape – like any major cultural, operational, or strategic change in a business – requires a mindset shift that is more likely to be successful when driven by senior advocates and with visible, powerful role models. We want the Gender Diversity Scorecard to be used both as a diagnostic dashboard and as a guide to creating change for those leaders who wish to develop female talent in their organisations.

“However, we also recognise that there are risks in this area: the perception of simply mandating quotas, the dangers of categorising all women into a single homogeneous group, the alienation of male employees by failing to engage them in diversity projects and the problems of re-stereotyping women as a ‘special case’ more in need of development than men. We intend to navigate those risks by focusing on not the social but the economic argument – that there is a commercial advantage in diversity – and by ensuring that all of the key players across the industry are engaged, involved and benefit.”

Peter Thomas, Foundation COO, notes “The aim of the Diversity Scorecard is not to create a ‘best of’ ranking, but we know that for those seeking employment or entering commercial relationships it is increasingly important to deal with companies who evidence best practice in this area.”

The Diversity scorecard will be discussed at the Leasing Foundation First Annual Conference on 30 September, which features a keynote talk by Lord Mervyn Davies CBE, author of the 2011 government report Women on Boards. 


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