We take part in a number of initiatives focusing on gender, ethnic and social diversity to improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (‘DE&I’) at 3i and within our industry more broadly.
At 31 March 2022, 3i’s total of 236 employees was broken down as follows:
3i Group plc Directors1
Achieving better gender diversity is important to 3i and we believe we are making reasonable progress in that respect, within the constraints of being a small organisation with modest staff turnover. Of the 32 new hires we made during the year, 15 were female and 17 were male.
We contribute to industry-wide work and advocacy on gender parity through a number of industry associations, by being an official sponsor of Level 20 and through our participation in the GAIN Empower Investment Internship Programme.
Level 20 is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving gender diversity in the European private equity industry. It is sponsored by over 80 private equity firms.
Its ambition is for women to hold 20% of senior positions in this dynamic industry. It works to empower women who already work within the industry, encourage new female talent to join and provide leadership teams with insight and best-practice solutions to help them address current gender imbalances within the industry and their firms. It has four key pillars of activity which contribute to its goals:
Level 20’s latest study with the British Venture Capital Association, completed in March 2021, shows that 10% of senior investment roles were held by women compared to 6% in 2018.
3i has nominated several employees for Level 20’s mentoring programme.
GAIN (Girls are INvestors) is a community of investors, with charitable status, set to change the lack of gender diversity in investment management.
GAIN’s purpose is to inform and inspire. The programme aims to inform young women with online resources, bringing helpful information on careers in investment to their fingertips and to inspire young women with a strong network of female role models, who speak in high schools and universities around the UK and feature on its online channels, delivering compelling and high-impact messages on the many benefits of investing as a career.
Among the initiatives managed by GAIN is a summer internship programme, open to female and non-binary students across the UK. The summer 2021 programme received applications from nearly 200 young women from 48 universities and offered internships to 25 young women through 22 partner firms. The scope of the GAIN Summer Internship Programme 2022 has increased further. 3i is one of 78 firms participating, with two interns joining 3i’s investment teams for paid internships in the summer of 2022.
We continue to make good progress towards the fair representation of ethnic minorities within our organisation, although we recognise that more can be achieved.
As at 31 March 2022, more than one in eight of 3i’s total UK employees were people with an ethnic minority (excluding white minority) background. In addition, the proportion of our UK-based employees from an ethnic minority (excluding white minority) background in mid to higher salary brackets also significantly exceeded the one in eight proportion.
We are committed to improving further the representation of ethnic minorities at 3i and to advocating for better representation of ethnic minorities in our industry. Last year we joined the #100BlackInterns initiative and welcomed two interns with an ethnic minority background in our Infrastructure investment team in the summer of 2021. We will continue to support this initiative, which has now expanded and has been renamed #10000BlackInterns.
Following the successful launch of #100BlackInterns in which 3i participated last year, a new #10000BlackInterns initiative has now been designed to help further transform the horizons and prospects of young black people in the UK. This expanded programme seeks to offer 2,000 internships each year for five consecutive years. To deliver this initiative #10000BlackInterns has partnered up with firms from 24 different sectors, delivering internships across a range of business functions.
Since its launch, the programme has garnered extraordinary support with over 700 companies offering internships in the summer of 2022 to black students in the UK as a way of attracting a more diverse range of talent to their sectors.
We welcomed two black students for paid internships in our investment teams in the summer of 2022.
We are strong advocates of social diversity in the workforce. In 2018, we began a partnership with Career Ready, a UK social mobility charity that connects employers with schools and colleges to prepare disadvantage young people for the world of work.
Through our Covid-19 Charitable Fund, which was set up in 2020 to alleviate the impact of the pandemic on a range of vulnerable groups, we supported Speaker’s Trust, a charity with over 15 years of experience in providing high quality, professionally-delivered workshops, events and educational resources on public speaking and communication skills. The charity is an enabler of social mobility and helps build a stronger society in which the voices of young people are heard, whatever their background. Speaker’s Trust works with one in every five state secondary schools in England, and youth organisations across the UK.
Since 2002, Career Ready has connected employers with schools and colleges to provide disadvantaged young people aged 14-18 with mentors, internships, masterclasses, and employer-led activities that prepare them for the world of work.
3i takes part in the mentoring programme which supports young people aged 16 to 18 who lack the opportunities, professional networks and confidence to find their undiscovered talents.
Ten of our employees are volunteering as mentors in the current academic year, meeting their mentees for an hour per month for up to 12 months.