Five major asset managers sign up to CFA UK gender diversity programme
Allianz Global Investors, Fidelity International, PIMCO, Royal London Asset Management and Vanguard have signed up as “founding partners” to a new gender diversity programme being promulgated by CFA UK, the British arm of the global CFA Institute.
The so-called Gender Diversity Partner Programme, unveiled on Saturday by CFA UK, aims to promote the development and delivery of gender diversity strategies in the financial services sector, CFA UK said in a statement announcing the new scheme.
The CFA Institute is responsible for awarding and overseeing such certifications as the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Under the Gender Diversity Partner Programme (GDPP), individuals from companies across the investment profession will be encouraged to join a new “Gender Diversity Partner Council”, the members of which will be encouraged to “bridge the gap between C-suite level commitments to diversity with the operational teams in their company who can deliver on diversity initiatives on a practical, day-to-day level”, CFA UK said in its statement.
The programme, it added, “will support the delivery of better diversity ratios at all levels of the investment profession”.
The launch of the programme is being accompanied by a survey of CFA UK members, which found that the area where progress is most urgently needed to improve diversity in the investment profession is where individuals are attempting to return to the workplace after a career break. Some 76% of respondents agreeing that progress was needed at this critical juncture, if diversity is to be improved.
Other issues seen as needing work if diversity is to be improved included the “work life balance” area, cited by 69% of respondents, and greater representation by women at the board and top executive level, named by 67%.
“Respondents are largely in agreement that improving gender diversity in the investment profession is the responsibility of all investment professionals,” the CFA UK statement noted.
“Sixty-six percent hold this to be true, with only 18% agreeing that it is the responsibility of senior executives alone.”
Juliet Bullick, global head of consultant relations for Fidelity International, is heading up the CFA UK Gender Diversity Network as chairperson. In a statement accompanying the announcement of the GDPP launch, she noted that the bringing together of partners “from across the industry to share effective initiatives” would help organisations to better implement the “simple operational changes” that are seen as necessary to “bridge the gap between diversity strategy and results”.
The asset management members of the new Gender Diversity Partner Council are planning to meet every second month over the next year, and report back with a list of proposed solutions in a year’s time.
In June, Tilney Bestinvest, the UK wealth manager, noted that although women were managing more UK funds than at any time during the five years it has been analysing the available data, obtained from the Investment Association, they still accounted for fewer than 10% of UK fund managers, with men still occupying some 90.8% of the roles.