Our purpose to invest to extend human life is a core part of what attracts the best talent to Syncona.
People with specialised expertise, highly motivated by making a difference, are attracted to our platform and the opportunity to improve the lives of patients and their families.
The life sciences investment team members have deep technical scientific backgrounds, supplemented by strong commercial experience ranging from venture capital investment to pharmaceutical launch and the operational expertise required to found and build companies around exciting innovation. This multi disciplined skill set is fundamental to our business model and the team’s track record has resulted in a strong network in life science, enabling the best talent to be attracted to our portfolio companies.
Employee welfare and well being
We seek to invest in our people and to develop our future leaders. Our structure lends itself to small teams with shared responsibility, allowing junior staff to learn on-the-job with significant exposure to the senior team and senior industry leaders outside Syncona. Team members receive increasing exposure to the facets of their role ensuring progression is attainable and unrestrained.
Working at Syncona
We believe providing a supportive working environment is crucial to the wellbeing and satisfaction of our team.
In line with our desire to attract and retain our talented team, the team are provided with competitive remuneration, including a long-term incentive scheme linked to the performance of our investments. Employee benefits include:
- Life assurance
- Income protection
- Pension contributions
- Comprehensive private medical insurance
- Mentoring and development through external partnerships
- Hybrid working
- Family-friendly benefits (six months fully paid maternity, paternity leave, bereavement and compassionate leave)
Syncona is committed to building upon its position as a great place to work for its employees, and continually looks for areas for improvement.
We strive to have flexible working policies that meet the needs of our people and support our business. We have a hybrid working model with team members combining working days between the office and home, depending on their department and business projects. Emphasis is placed on strong communication between employees and their line managers, underlined by a clear foundation of trust that employees should be able to best manage their time and ongoing priorities.
Mental health and employee assistance
We place increasing importance on mental wellbeing and have been acutely aware of the strains on our people as we navigate through increasingly challenging times. Along with support structures which are in place at Syncona, team members have access to professional
support, as needed, from our private medical insurance providers.
Engaging our people
In December 2022 we conducted our annual engagement survey ‘Be Heard’. As the Syncona team has grown and the operating model has changed, we commissioned our first employee engagement survey, which aimed to provide data and insight into the wider employee experience to help inform key strategic decisions. The survey received a response rate of 92%, providing a valuable baseline for us to build on moving forward. Recognising our employees’ contributions is a key element of our approach to engaging and retaining our people.
Team engagement our people
Within the business, there is a culture of open communication across the team. The business benefits from operating with a flat structure and a commitment to limiting unnecessary hierarchy. The senior team
know everyone personally and engage across the business regularly, often seeking input into strategy and providing updates on key business initiatives. This has been demonstrated through cross-functional teams working together on various projects and initiatives.
Key business initiatives where the team have been engaged and provided significant input has been into:
- Continued development of our Sustainability and Responsible Investment Policies
- Updating of key operational policies
- Development of our updated strategy
- Ongoing relationship with Syncona's diversity and initiative partners
The Syncona Board of Directors is increasing its engagement with the Syncona team going forward.
Gian Piero Reverberi is the Non-Executive Director who leads employee engagement. In addition, the full Board also takes the opportunity to engagewith team members with office lunches alongside Board meetings.
Equal opportunities and diversity
We are an equal opportunities employer and recruit, promote and reward based on merit. We believe that a diverse and inclusive team is vital to our success and aim to embed these values within our culture.
We monitor gender diversity across Syncona and we are pleased with the progress to date, particularly in the composition of the Board and the Syncona team as a whole. However we recognise there is more to be done, in order to ensure that we are accessing and supporting as broad a range of talent as possible.
Diversity and inclusion initiatives
We are aware of the positive influence that Syncona can have within the UK life sciences industry in driving positive action to increase diversity within the sector. The underrepresentation of ethnic minorities within Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers in the UK is striking and it is also a pertinent issue in the venture capital space.
Specifically, we have recognised that research consistently highlights black minorities as being the least represented within STEM and Venture Capital and our desire to combat this trend is reflected in our choice of charitable partners.
Our diversity and inclusion (D&I) approach aims to target the underrepresentation of minorities within life sciences, through partnering with organisations who provide pathways at school, undergraduate and postgraduate level. Ultimately, our aim is to implement a long-term programme which can guide young people through their education and into a possible future career as life science investors.
In doing so, we aim to expose those involved in the programmes to many of the values which drive performance at Syncona, as we aim to build the next generation of data driven, entrepreneurial leaders in life sciences investment.
We actively encourage our employees to participate in our partnership schemes, either as advocates, mentors or buddies, with our D&I strategy also aligned with the goals of the Syncona Foundation.