The asset management industry wants to recruit from wider backgrounds, and this is good news. But there is still a long way to go on creating inclusive cultures.The fact that the asset management business is lagging behind many other industries on diversity and inclusion is not news. Last year’s diversity and inclusion benchmarking report, compiled by Mercer for The Diversity Project, painted a stark picture of the UK investment industry. 77 per cent were male. Only 1 per cent identified as being Black. Only 4 per cent reported a disability, and 95 per cent identified as being heterosexual. 38 per cent were privately educated – despite the fact that only 7 per cent of the UK population attend private schools. It is no wonder then, that seven in ten investment professionals want more emphasis to be placed on socio-economic inclusion in the investment profession. According to the findings of the CFA Society of the UK’s second annual Gender Diversity Survey, professionals want more focus to be placed on socio-economic factors, mental well-being, and Black, Asian, and minority inclusion. They also wanted better support for people with physical disabilities. In fact, survey respondents felt that creating an inclusive culture was the most pressing issue for the industry, narrowly beating the gender pay gap.
“I think it takes a lot of movement and energy and time to get momentum starting, but once it does start, momentum grows, and we’ll see change in our industry,” says Maynard.
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