The Diversity Project has launched a new workstream, the 30% Club, following revised targets to improve gender diversity in the asset management industry, which include a halving of the industry's gender pay gaps and a 30% female fund manager target by 2030.
According to the organisation's research, gender pay gaps in asset management are the second-largest of any UK sector, while approximately 10% of fund managers are currently female.
Just 4% of money managed in the UK is headed up exclusively by women.
As such, The Diversity Project has concluded that a new approach is needed, "with greater intensity and more targeted interventions".
Dame Helena Morrissey, pictured above, chair of the Diversity Project and founder of the 30% Club, said: "All the evidence suggests we continue to make painfully slow progress towards encouraging more women into fund management and to build their careers in our industry. At the same time, a sense of fatigue has set in around the topic of gender diversity.
"Yet the arguments for having more women run money, manage people, lead client relationships and contribute to our industry's culture and future are stronger than ever.
"We have analysed the obstacles and devised a new intensive, wide-ranging set of initiatives to address them and create new enablers for women to progress.
"And we have decided to set ambitious goals to hold our collective feet to the fire and actually deliver the progress needed."
The new workstream's executive sponsor will be Stephen Welton, executive chair of BGF and member of the Diversity Project's advisory council.
Six sub-groups are currently working on six different aspects of the drive towards meeting The Diversity Project's new targets, including line manager attitudes, industry culture, job design, career mapping, mentoring, industry reputation, people management training, and the maintenance of track records after a career break.
Welton said: "It is critically important that as an industry we make a step change now with bold action to improve diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. On an individual level, key to this is challenging internal biases and ‘unlearning' many of the unconscious assumptions that perpetuate the gender inequality that still exists today.
"This set of initiatives is intended to engage more women in the asset management industry, but also to encourage female entrepreneurship more broadly, so that targeted interventions have a magnifying effect across the whole ecosystem."
The 30% Club workstream will join a number of existing initiatives launched by The Diversity Project to combat gender inequality, including SMART working, Returners and Working Families.
It is also partnering with number of like-minded groups including CityHive, Women Ahead, Women Returners, UpReach and Timewise.
Morrissey added: "We are at a crossroads for workplace gender equality efforts, with women having shouldered much of the household and childcare duties during Covid-19, yet also able to work more flexibly and from home.
"The investment industry is seeking to build back better from the crisis, developing the lessons learned so that firms are more modern, more inclusive and more resilient.
"Ensuring women are a key part of the next phase, involved in the decision-making and offering their perspectives will help us serve our clients better."
This article first appeared in International Investment's sister publication Investment Week
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