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Investment profession still needs to make significant progress in inclusion and diversity

  • Over one third of respondents to CFA UK survey think inclusion and diversity is worse in the investment sector than in other financial services sectors
  • 51% feel progress is needed to create a more inclusive culture
  • Improving work / life balance, the gender pay gap, and representation at board and top executive level are also top priorities
  • Results show widespread need for training

CFA UK has today released the findings of its annual Diversity Survey, which measures the views of members on inclusion and diversity in the UK investment profession.

The results reveal a clear need to accelerate progress in this area, with over one third of respondents (35%) saying they believe that inclusion and diversity is worse in the investment sector than other sectors of financial services.

Fifty-one percent of respondents feel that progress is needed to create a more inclusive culture. This result is in line with the findings from the last two years, indicating little headway has been made.

Second to addressing the culture, respondents identified the gender pay gap, representation at board and top executive level, and work/life balance as the most pressing issues for the profession.

Investment professionals also particularly want to see improvements from their own firms in socio-economic inclusion (42%) and mental wellbeing (39%).

The survey additionally revealed a widespread need for further training on inclusion and diversity across the profession. More than half of those polled (57%) said they have not undergone inclusion and diversity training, and one third noted that they would especially like to learn more about the implementation of diversity strategies.

Says Will Goodhart, chief executive of CFA UK:

“Investment professionals continue to identify issues around inclusion and diversity year after year and more must be done to address this. We cannot allow the investment sector to trail behind other areas of financial services in making progress.

“Interestingly, the results this year have revealed that men and women hold different views on some of these issues. Notably, fifty-eight percent of the women who participated in the survey feel that progress is needed in improving the gender pay gap, compared with only 27% of men; the figures for improving board representation are likewise split at 49% and 33% respectively.

“The proportion of investment professionals who have not undergone any kind of inclusion and diversity training is also surprisingly high. Recently, we’ve seen the FCA increasing its own diversity mandate and it is clear that the authority expects firms to do the same. Improving training on these issues is a good place for firms to start as they look to build more inclusive and diverse teams.”

Says Juliet Bullick, Global Head of Consultant Relations, Fidelity International and Chair of the CFA UK Inclusion & Diversity Network:

“Our Inclusion & Diversity Network has been working hard this year to highlight the benefits of both gender balance and socio-economic inclusion to the asset management industry, and I am delighted that our recent survey shows that CFA UK members continue to support this broadening agenda.  We will look to expand our areas of focus in line with member feedback, to include areas such as mental wellbeing, to continue to promote the sector as an inclusive place to build careers all the way from CFA candidate to C-suite.”