Our UK Partnership with The Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse

05 FEB 2021

We spoke with Caroline Dunne, head of Employee Relations for EMEA, about the firm’s partnership with the Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse.

Can you tell us a bit about your role and how you became involved in the topic of domestic abuse support?

I joined Goldman Sachs in Employee Relations (ER) back in 2008 and have worked in London and APAC in the ER space and now head this up for the region. In ER, we advise managers and employees on complex workplace issues, and this includes supporting colleagues facing difficult problems in their lives. We are heavily involved in ensuring an inclusive environment to support all of our people, whatever their needs are.

We identified the topic of domestic abuse as an area where the firm would benefit from further education and understanding of the complexities involved, and have been exploring ways in which we can be more proactive in our approach to the subject over the past couple years. This is obviously an extremely serious and sensitive topic, so ensuring we are equipped to support our people the best we can in all eventualities is of paramount importance.   

Tell us about the Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA) – how did we first get involved?

We are at the very early stages, however our path forward is guided by education, awareness and action. We started engaging with experts in this space and were quickly struck by EIDA’s impact, knowledge and ability to make change happen. EIDA is specifically targeted at helping employers raise awareness with employees, support those facing domestic abuse, and provide access to services to help perpetrators to stop. We were very impressed with their commitment and their credentials, which included working closely with government on the Domestic Abuse Bill. 

We are now a Beacon and a Member of EIDA; as part of this we are focused internally on providing the right support for our people, and also more broadly for the communities in which we live and work.  In leaning in to this topic externally, we hope to create an open dialogue on something which affects people from all walks of life.

Why is it important for Goldman Sachs to be involved with EIDA, and why now?

Put simply, having an expert partner like EIDA is crucial to ensuring we are able to supply immediate support to our people who may need it. One in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Looking at the statistics alone, it’s clear this is something any colleague or employee could experience, and so it’s key as an employer that cares about talent as much as we do to be informed and trained, now more than ever in an environment which sees the vast majority of our people working from home.

What’s next for this partnership?

The need for bespoke support and education is very clear. Through EIDA, we’ve been connected to organisations such as Hestia who we’re working with to build and provide specialist training for our HCM teams, as well as training managers on spotting signs and supporting those impacted. There’s a lot more coming, this is just the beginning.