Portfolio diversity, equity and inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is a strongly held principle of Hg’s (see page 33 for further details about our firm DEI strategy). Hg believes in the force of empowerment and overcoming prejudicial barriers, and filtering the importance of this through to our portfolio.

In 2021, we held our first Equity, Equality, Diversity summit inviting all employees across the firm and portfolio to participate. The feedback, measured by a NPS score, was exceptionally high, 80, with over 200 individuals from across most of our portfolio companies attending. Following the success of the EED summit we held several follow-up webinars in a series committed to promoting the discussion of DEI topics across the portfolio. We brought speakers from within the portfolio together sharing their experiences and best practice from a practical view and how best to create change and implementation. We have also brought subject matter expertise in from external speakers sharing views on promoting inclusivity to enhance growth businesses.

These events are designed to be open for all executives across the entire portfolio and consistently have a spread of CEOs, CFOs, CHROs joining and contributing to the sessions. To help our portfolio companies navigate DEI matters and measure their performance.

Our annual ESG assessment (see page 25) includes 22 questions relating to DEI including gender pay gap reporting, ethnicity pay gap reporting and measurements of gender and broader diversity. Whilst 94% of our portfolio companies have Equal Opportunities policies, a much smaller number, 44%, have established a DEI strategy. Nevertheless 60% have now appointed a DEI representative to drive these topics across their business.

To foster DEI strategies and advancement across our businesses, Hg set up a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Council and invested in a Toolkit to help provide guidance:

Portfolio DEI Council

Our Portfolio DEI Council is bringing together nine of our Portfolio Companies led by a representative, typically from the DEI, ESG or HR departments. Companies were selected with varying grades of prior DEI commitments and across geographies, and the forum creates space for these companies to discuss, exchange and advance the topics for DEI within their businesses and support the development of a toolkit that can be rolled out across the entire Hg portfolio.

Portfolio DEI Toolkit

Created as a collaborative forum with a shared passion to advance DEI across their own businesses and the Hg family, the DEI Council is also involved in the creation of a DEI best‑practice Toolkit. The vision for this emerging guide is to be a practical resource, connecting DEI insights and success stories from Hg’s portfolio companies with academic research and best‑practice examples from the industry. To bring this vision to life, DEI consultancy Equality Group has been brought in to provide their expertise and guidance. Surveys, interviews and outputs from the bi-monthly DEI Council meetings form the basis for this emerging guidebook, which is a light-touch invitation to explore the issues within their companies and actively shape the creation of the Toolkit. The guide, which will be launched in Q2 2022, will contain chapters on Strategy, People, Communication and Culture. This project has the potential to involve, inspire and impact people and drive impactful change. As the founder of Equality Group, Hephzi Pemberton says: “Those who embed inclusion and diversity into their business will be the businesses that innovate and adapt more rapidly.”

DEI Case Study

DEI Case Study