Members of the black community have not been vocal enough about systemic racism because it has become normalised over the years, according to JP Morgan Asset Management's Didier Lambert, who is urging both black employees and allies within asset management to start open dialogue about race within their respective firms.
Lambert, who is a managing director and a fixed income portfolio manager at the firm, said even he didn't realise the prevalence of racial inequality within asset management until he was promoted to a senior role in the industry.
"When I allowed myself to look back at how far I had come and how much I had achieved, I realised that I looked around me and I was alone.
"That was the catalyst to become involved in D&I (diversity & inclusion)," he said.
"I learned there was a cruel lack of representation in the industry at a senior level. It was also then that I realised how truly lucky I was to have achieved what I have, both in my career and otherwise. That is when I decided to become more involved and to bring some of that luck to the people who do not have it.
"Of course, you achieve things and progress in your career due to hard work, but I think if you are a black person in the industry it requires harder work still - and more than that.
As such, Lambert has become 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, which aims to attract, hire, retain and advance black talent at the company.
He is also one of three of the firm's 'Diversity & Inclusion Champions', who maintain dialogue with senior leaders and business resource groups to ensure there is intersectionality within the asset management side of the business.
Thirdly, he 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.
"With these initiatives and programmes that we have, the first thing they are trying to do is to raise awareness. It might sound trivial and very simple, but it is so incredibly important to engage with the different people who are making the decisions," the manager said.
"It is all about talking about black, because if you do not talk about it, you cannot do anything about it.
"A lot of people are very willing to help and to make a change, but there is a lot of inequality that people just don't know about. As soon as you point that out, the chances are you have a community that is willing to understand and to make a difference."
For example, Lambert said systemic racism - a form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within either a company or society generally - often remains under the radar because the BAME community rarely discusses it, and white people have never experienced it.
"If I am not dressed in a suit - I might be wearing jeans and a hoodie, for example - and I enter a shop, I often get followed by the security guard, or I get stopped and searched," the manager said.
"I'm not sure people are aware that this even happens, let alone how often it happens to black people. And that is nobody's fault - it is just that black people often do not talk about these experiences; whether that is because it has simply become their day-to-day reality, or because from an industry perspective, people are scared to raise these issues in case it impairs their career progression. Therefore, it all becomes normal."