Investment Week looks back over some of the biggest, most hard-hitting and thought-provoking diversity news stories, features and profiles that have appeared in the magazine and on the website over the past 12 months.
Diversity Debates: 'Young people, particularly diverse talent, can't be themselves at work' (click here and here to watch both debates)
In January, Investment Week's Diversity Debates video series brought together a range of voices from the industry to discuss why the workforce of the future needs to change.
Five panellists were asked how the industry can challenge its long-held 'pale, male and stale' stereotype and encourage new and more diverse talent to join the sector.
Panellist Justin Onuekwusi, head of multi-asset index funds at LGIM, is one of around only a dozen black fund managers in the City of London. He believes the issue of diversity (or lack thereof) is self-perpetuating, and is resulting in many new recruits bypassing senior roles in the sector.
Meanwhile, Rose St Louis, formerly of Zurich UK, commented that even as an investment professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry she "consistently" sticks out as a black woman.
Laura Bampfylde, senior manager, product development at HSBC Global Asset Management said if the industry truly wants to change the face of its workforce, it needs to become more adept at recognising skills within a wider pool of candidates.
Too often, she said employers pick the same types of candidates - those with a specific degree from a Russell Group university for example. Yet there is no reason why an engineering graduate, or a mature candidate could not fill roles just as well.
Jane Welsh: Fund consultants and ratings agencies must step up to improve diversity (click here to read more)
Acting deputy news editor David Brenchley spoke to the Diversity Project's Jane Welsh about the fact that fund consultants and ratings agencies have just as big a role to play in helping to improve diversity within portfolio management as asset management companies.
In late 2018, capital markets think tank New Financial, in association with The Diversity Project, released a report outlining key barriers to improving diversity in portfolio management.
Welsh, project manager for The Diversity Project, told Investment Week two of these barriers - low turnover of portfolio managers and gaps in track records due to leaves of absence - were "peculiar to [the asset management] industry".
"Those were two very specific issues that that we needed to address," Welsh added. "We knew that it could not just be asset managers fixing that problem, because of the role that asset owners and consultants play in this market."
Rising Stars of 2020: Driving industry change (click here to see this year's Rising Stars)
Content editor and director Hardeep Tawakley focused on diversity to look at the next generation of rising stars in asset management.
In a piece written in association with HSBC Global Asset Management, Tawakley explored the commercial case for diversity in the investment industry, given an inclusive workforce is able to challenge long-held and traditional norms, and encourages firms to ensure their employees better reflect the client base they work with on a daily basis.
She added the importance of a diverse workforce is perhaps most important when it comes to hiring those individuals under the age of 40.
Indeed, millennials and Generation Z (encapsulating all individuals under the age of 40) are often thought of as a demographic most likely to inspire meaningful and long-term change in the workplace.
As such, she explored the narratives of 24 individuals under the age of 35 working in the investment management industry from diverse backgrounds, be that by gender, ethnicity/race, socio-economic status, disability, sexuality or any other diverse background.
IW's Big Video Call: Bev Shah on 'big bang' moment for investment sector on flexible working
(watch part one here and part two here)
In a special two-part interview published over two days, editor-in-chief Katrina Lloyd spoke to City Hive founder Bev Shah about why good corporate culture is still very important during the coronavirus crisis.
Shah gave her views on what best practice looks like for investment companies at this time, including how to treat employees well and help ensure the entire industry ecosystem survives.
Lloyd and Shah also spoke about trying to keep momentum in areas like closing the gender pay gap in the investment sector during these challenging times, as well as the challenges of the 'new normal' of working from home with young children.
Shah gave her top tips for getting through the days, including finding valuable 'me time' and managing teams effectively remotely.
(watch part one here and part two here)
Pandemic should not slow down diversity push (click here to read)
In this weekly leader column, editor Lauren Mason wrote that, while lockdown rules, central bank policy and market movements remained in flux in May, the industry must be careful not to sideline its push for diversity.
The piece came shortly after Investment Week revealed the nominations for our Women in Investment Awards, in partnership with HSBC Global Asset Management, which came to us in record numbers.
The piece also referenced Jenna Brown and James Phillips' article which found that despite the suspension of mandatory gender pay gap reporting, a number of asset management firms have voluntarily disclosed their most recent pay gaps.
The research found that 22 asset management firms working with institutional pension scheme clients have narrowed their pay gaps significantly, with the likes of T. Rowe Price, SEI and RBS at the forefront of tackling workplace gender inequality.
The piece also pointed out that, if we can prove that the next generation of workers can work flexibly and/or from home, we may see a significant turning point in the crusade for diversity.
The 'looking at your shoes' moment: Let's talk about race (click here for the full feature)
Several senior black figures in the asset management community urged colleagues and employers to start unpacking the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) acronym, place more emphasis on race equality in their diversity & inclusion policies and to be more active in standing against workplace and societal racism, warning that "every single one of us is either part of the solution or part of the problem".
The piece was published less than three weeks after the murder of George Floyd, a 46 year-old black man who was murdered by a police officer during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill.
Gavin Lewis, managing director at BlackRock, said the issue is far from just a US one and that the UK has a "long history of racial injustice", from the fire at Grenfell Tower to the Windrush scandal.
Impax's Darren Johnson described bringing up the subject of race as a “looking at your shoes moment" for companies, while City Hive founder Bev Shah said the industry has to accept "the painful truth that this is the real lived experience of our friends, neighbours and colleagues and that we may have been complicit in allowing it to happen".
Click here to read the full feature
A new normal? Why industry needs flexible working hours (read the interview here)
In July, Mason spoke to Ana Maria Tuliak, partner at Ludgate Search and chair of SMART Working at The Diversity Project, about the new five-step SMART Working Manifesto released alongside research from Timewise, and why flexible working matters more now than ever
Tuliak, who has spent nine years at Ludgate Search, which offers diversity and inclusion services to the asset management industry, joined the Diversity Project approximately three years ago and became chair of the SMART Working Workstream, which campaigns for flexible working hours for members of the asset management industry.
“I felt as though the discussion had to move on from women adopting flexible working hours for childcare reasons," she said.
"Not because this is not important, and not only because male colleagues and parents should also have the option to cultivate a better work/life balance, but flexible working hours are better for everyone regardless of their gender, ethnicity, age or neurodiversity."
'My name didn't match my face': JPMAM's Lambert on being colour brave, unmasking microaggressions and talking about black (read more here)
Lauren Mason spoke to JPMAM’s Didier Lambert, a managing director and a fixed income portfolio manager at the firm, about his personal experiences as a black man both in the asset management industry and in society more broadly.
He described the reality of being followed by security guards in shops because of the colour of his skin, prospective employers being surprised to find he is black because he has a French name, and his realisation upon becoming a senior figure in the asset management industry that there was a “cruel lack of representation in the industry at a senior level".
Lambert is involved in three separate racial diversity initiatives at JPMAM. He is one of three co-chairs for the firm's UK arm of its Advancing Black Leaders Initiative, one of three of the firm's 'Diversity & Inclusion Champions', and is involved in JPMAM's Black Leadership Development programme, which is a business resource group dedicated to improving racial equality across all levels at the business.
Arisaig's Lewis: There is not just a glass ceiling - there is a glass closet (click here for the interview)
In September, Lauren Mason spoke to Arisaig's Rebecca Lewis, a managing partner at emerging market investment firm Arisaig Partners.
She explained that the "glass closet" preventing LGBTQ+ members of the asset management industry from progressing in their careers can be broken by a larger number of openly gay role models, as well as management teams "living their values" and encouraging employees to "bring their whole authentic selves to work".
Lewis, who is gay herself, also said a push for diversity must be prevalent across companies' portfolios as well as in their respective offices, in order to truly work towards positive change.
For instance, she pointed out that the firm's flagship Asia Consumer fund holds a stock called Godrej Consumer, an Indian company that produces toiletries and personal care products.
Lewis said the firm's CEO Vivek Gambhir is a "huge advocate" for LGBTQ+ rights in India - a country where it was illegal to be gay until 2018.
Click here for the full interview
October#IAM... Gavin Lewis
In the second article of the series, editor Lauren Mason spoke to BlackRock managing director Gavin Lewis about the three words he has chosen for his #IAM campaign submission that best portray his identity.
The aim of the campaign, which was launched shortly after the George Floyd Murder in May this year, was to provide black members of the asset management community – and allies – a platform to write their own narratives and eradicate any preconceived stereotypes.
In this article, Lewis describes the crucial role his mother played in his life and upbringing, raising two children in a world where systemic racism still exists, and the importance of mentorship to break barriers and encourage inclusivity in the industry.
To read Gavin Lewis' #IAM interview, click here
To read Justin Onuekwusi's #IAM interview, click here
To read Marisa Hall's #IAM interview, click here
LGBT Great and Incisive Media unite to champion LGBT+ agenda in financial services (read more here)
Last month, LGBT Great and Incisive Media announced they had signed an exclusive partnership to work together to accelerate progress of the LGBT+ agenda across the investment, pensions, wealth management and savings industry.
Launched in January 2019, LGBT Great's global membership programme is based on three strategic pillars - Insights, Visibility and Outreach - which are designed to help member firms achieve a greater level of LGBT+ diversity and inclusion confidence.
The new partnership with Incisive Media will shine a valuable spotlight on this important work and extend its reach through the group's market-leading publications Investment Week, Professional Pensions, Professional Adviser, COVER and International Investment.
It will lead to a number of exciting initiatives, including the launch of the LGBT+ benchmarking tool iiBT as an industry-wide benchmark next September, which will recognise progress being made within the industry.
Investment Week reveals the winners of the Women in Investment Awards 2020 (catch up on demand here)
Earlier this month, we were delighted to reveal the winners of Investment Week’s Women in Investment Awards in a special online ceremony, co-hosted by comedian Zoe Lyons and editor-in-chief Katrina Lloyd.
We had a record number of nominations for the awards this year, which shows the sector's commitment to accelerate the pace of change towards a more diverse and inclusive industry even during these difficult times.
What was particularly commendable this year was the scale of our winners' achievements at a time when they were facing huge pressures in their personal and professional lives coping with the fallout from Covid-19.
Now in their fourth year, new categories for the Women in Investment Awards in 2020 included Wealth Manager of the Year and Distribution Woman of the Year, sitting alongside established categories including Rising Star of the Year, Mentor of the Year and Returner of the Year.
As another year draws to an end, Investment Week looks back over some of the biggest, most hard-hitting and thought-provoking diversity news stories, features and profiles that have appeared in the magazine and on the website over the last 12 months.
As another year draws to an end, Investment Week looks back over some of the biggest, most hard-hitting and thought-provoking diversity news stories, features and profiles that have appeared in the magazine...