As part of the commitment to be the most reputable investor and owner, EQT aims to lead from the front and challenge homogenous teams and level the playing field for all. EQT believes that an inclusive work environment creates and enriches both individual development and business results. EQT’s strategic approach to inclusion and diversity starts at the top of the organization, making it a board driven priority where multi dimensions of diversity, including but not limited to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, educational and socioeconomic background are reflected in the way we work to increase our positive impact.
At EQT, there is a focus on ensuring that our team members know they belong and EQT is committed to providing the space and tools for everyone to do that. EQT strives to find high performing talent that goes beyond an academic resume and repetitive talent pools. The goal is to find entrepreneurial talent and team members with different backgrounds, perspectives, and approaches to bring a wealth of diverse thought, and to challenge the status quo.
In early 2020 EQT completed an organizational audit supported by external Inclusive & Diversity experts to identify and close any gaps in our recruitment process that could lead to a less favourable outcome for diverse candidates. In parallel, EQT also launched a global unconscious bias program. Through global education sessions and practical training, the program aims to raise awareness of bias and its effects on decision-making, as well as embed inclusive behaviour in all aspects of everyday work life.
EQT’s engagement does not stop at our own doorstep. In 2019, EQT requested that the firm’s service providers, such as commercial, tax, legal and financial advisors, have teams with at least 25 percent of the underrepresented gender. On the boards of directors within the portfolio companies, at least 25 percent of the independent board members should be female. Over the long-term, the only goal is gender balance across the investment professional, management and board levels. Following the Black Lives Matter movement EQT has supported several local initiatives dedicated to combat discrimination.
EQT’s motto is that “everything can always be improved, everywhere, at all times”. De-biasing EQT’s candidate assessment process, increasing the understanding of bias through the unconscious bias program, external commitments and demands on stakeholders are just the beginning. EQT is committed to an ongoing journey towards fair and equal representation.
Examples of EQT’s I&D commitment and activities include
- Through values & culture
- Thorough and consistent recruitment process
- Robust learning, performance and development programmes
- Champions & networks
- Challenge headhunters to present shortlist with diverse candidates and equal gender split
- Global leadership training
- Global Working with respect and feedback training
- Level 20 sponsors
- Set target that at least 65% of new hired deal professionals in 2020 should be females
- Committed to request at least 25% of the underrepresented gender on service provider teams working with EQT
- Committed to request at least 25% of the independent board members in portfolio companies should be female
- EQT WIN Mutual Mentorship program
- Local initiatives to support charities and non-profit organizations
We know balancing parenting and career is as important as it is challenging to many employees. EQT has decided to offer extensive support to facilitate life for parents with young children. Below are EQT’s main initiatives:
- 26 weeks parental pay, including 100% of base salary and target bonus
- All employees with children under the age of five receive an identical annual financial contribution to spend on services that facilitate everyday life
- Internal and external mentors coach and support pre/during/post leave period
- Digital tools to help managers and employees plan the leave and reentry in a smooth way
The Women’s International Network at EQT (“EQT WIN”) is an internal employee driven organization aimed at increasing gender diversity across all levels and functions at EQT as well as boosting retention and performance of women at EQT. EQT strongly believes that by increasing its teams’ diversity, better returns can be generated for investors.
The WIN program is run by a core team consisting of EQT investment professionals and central function employees in close cooperation with the CEO, Executive Committee and HR as well as senior EQT leaders functioning as sponsors and ambassadors in a global network.
Through EQT WIN, the EQT WIN Mutual Mentorship is held yearly where senior executives are paired with younger employees to get new perspectives on values, technology and leadership. The EQT WIN Mutual Mentorship also aims at broadening networks and avoiding silos at EQT and to help women accelerate their career through the help of experienced mentors.
In addition, WIN events and workshops are hosted on global and local level to aid knowledge sharing, skillbuilding, professional networking and positively influence EQT and the financial industry in general.