It’s been a busy few months for the Diversity Project, with the Covid-19 crisis creating both risk and opportunity around the progress we’ve been making in our industry to create inclusive workplaces. With more requests for help, we have embarked on an intensive programme of ‘Ask me Anything’ calls for employees of member firms; the topics covered include mental health, gender-related issues, the pressures affecting working families, how leaders are adapting and the game-changing impact of remote working. Do take a look at our special Covid-19 resources page on the website for suggestions on how to manage through the challenges.
As we move towards the post-lock down world, our aim is to develop a guide to best practices, so would love to hear from business leaders what areas you would appreciate help with, and about what you are considering practically, philosophically and areas of policy and messaging where guidance are being put into place. If you would like to be part of building this collective intelligence, please get in touch.
We’ve also been thinking more ambitiously about one aspect of diversity that has proven particularly hard to shift: gender. This might seem surprising – after all, gender is the place where most firms’ diversity efforts began – but that’s part of the problem. ‘Gender fatigue’ has set in – but before any breakthrough. We’re now setting new ambitious targets (30% female fund managers and halving the industry’s gender pay gaps by 2030), and establishing small groups within the overall work stream to tackle issues from line manager attitudes, opacity around job design and CEO prioritisation of the topic. With a concerted effort and bolder, more innovative approaches, I’m confident that we can achieve the ambitious goals and that in turn, better gender balance will improve our industry in many different ways.
In the meantime, thank you to everyone and especially our committed workstream leads and advisory council members for all that you are doing to ensure that diversity and inclusion remains a high priority even in a difficult economic environment. We need new thinking more than ever before to help us find solutions to the challenges ahead – let’s remember that diversity is part of the solution, not another problem to solve.
With very best wishes to you and your families,
We are pleased to launch our 2020 Aims and Objectives, for the Diversity Project as a whole, and by workstreams.
The Diversity Project and Timewise project looking at Smart working has made three recommendations for the industry, and we are now supporting our founding partners to take some of these forward. To find out what we’re suggesting please download our insight summary or listen to the webinar.
Them, and Us, a moving article by Gavin Lewis, co-lead of the Ethnicity workstream.
The Gender Pay Gap reporting deadline has been suspended for the year. While companies are understandably focused on Covid19 right now, we urge companies who haven’t already reported on GPG to delay rather than suspend reporting altogether.
We had 900 applications for the DP’s first cross company returners programme, in partnership with Women Returners and DP members including BlackRock, BNY Mellon, Fidelity International, Schroders and Willis Towers Watson. We are excited to let you know that twelve successful returners will be starting their six month placements. On the 27th of April and 1st June (virtually for now). The response rate has been fantastic this year and we would love to offer more opportunities in the next programme starting in November – please get in touch if your company would be interested in participating.
Read the work from home tips for neurodiverse colleagues by Meike Bliebenicht, the DP’s NeuroInclusion workstream lead.
Financial Times, Helena Morrissey: Coronavirus crisis is a moment the investment industry should seize
• Financial News, 2020 Visions, 2020 Visions: City CEOs’ hopes and fears for the year ahead
• Citywire, Exclusive: asset managers unite to launch return-to-work scheme
• Ignites, Why asset managers should hire ‘weirdos and misfits’
• Investment Week, Jane Welsh: Fund consultants and ratings agencies must step up to improve diversity
• International Adviser, First ever diversity guide published for UK pensions industry
• Financial News, Awake at 4am with a racing heart’: Stress is mounting among City workers
• Investment Week, Diversity Blog: Parker Review author says pandemic gives companies ‘time to reflect’ on representation – reports
• Financial Times, John Parker decries slow progress on ethnic minority board representation
Top 10 tips to aid your mental health whilst working from home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Steve Butler, CEO of Punter Southall Aspire and exec sponsor of the DP’s SMART working workstream discusses managing an age diverse workforce during the lockdown.