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CFA UK launches Gender Diversity Partner Programme to support investment profession efforts to improve gender diversity

CFA Society of the UK (CFA UK) has today announced the launch of its Gender Diversity Partner Programme.

  • Allianz Global Investors, Fidelity International, PIMCO, Royal London Asset Management and Vanguard sign up as founding partners
  • 76% of members say progress is most needed returning to the workplace following a career break

CFA Society of the UK (CFA UK) has today announced the launch of its Gender Diversity Partner Programme. The programme, led by the society’s Gender Diversity Network, launches with founding partners Allianz Global Investors, Fidelity International, PIMCO, Royal London Asset Management and Vanguard and will support investment firms in the development and delivery of their gender diversity strategies.

An industry-wide initiative, individuals from firms across the investment profession will join a Gender Diversity Partner Council convened by CFA UK. Council members will be tasked with bridging 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. Designed to help partner firms implement and share best practice, the programme will support the delivery of better diversity ratios at all levels of the investment profession.

The launch of the programme is accompanied by a new member survey from the CFA UK membership which assessed the priority areas where progress is most urgently needed to improve diversity.

The majority of respondents (76%) agreed that returning to the workplace after a career break was the area where progress was needed in the investment profession, followed by work life balance (69%) and greater representation at board and top executive level (67%).

Respondents are largely in agreement that improving gender diversity in the investment profession is the responsibility of all investment professionals. Sixty-six per cent 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, Fidelity International and Chair, CFA UK Gender Diversity Network, commented: “While there has been progress regarding gender diversity in the investment profession and there have been promising commitments to improve diversity ratios, there is a huge amount of work yet to be done. We also believe that responsibility should not lie solely with senior executives, but should be both a top down and bottom up approach. By bringing together partners from across the industry to share effective initiatives, our programme will help organisations implement simple operational changes that can bridge the gap between diversity strategy and results.”

Andreas Utermann, CEO of Allianz Global Investors, added: “As a richly diverse, global business, we are proud to become a founding member of the CFA UK’s Gender Diversity Partner Programme. Having a gender-balanced workforce allows us to serve the diverse needs of our clients better, to attract and retain talented women, and supports our ambition to foster a collaborative and high-performance culture. We are committed to creating a truly inclusive culture within our firm and look forward to using our membership of this new programme to support that goal, by sharing practical, implementable examples of best practice with our peers.”

Craig Dawson, Head of PIMCO EMEA, said “PIMCO is delighted to join the CFA UK Gender Diversity Partner Programme. As a global investment management firm and thought leader, capitalizing on the diverse experiences, backgrounds and perspectives of our employees is critical to our business success. We look forward to working with the group to further encourage and support diversity in the workplace across the industry.”

Andrew Carter, CEO of Royal London Asset Management, said: “Gender diversity brings benefits not just to businesses but also their customers. Sharing best practice and learning from other firms will give us insight to help further the aims of our own Group Diversity and Inclusion programme and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive financial services industry.  We are delighted to be a founding partner of this CFA UK initiative.”

Sean Hagerty, Head of Vanguard’s European business, said: “We are proud to partner with CFA UK on gender diversity. At Vanguard, we are committed to advancing the importance of gender diversity in the investment management industry as a wide range of perspectives and ideas result in better decision-making and more creativity. We look forward to working with CFA UK and our peers to help foster a more gender-diverse workforce. The more diverse the industry, the greater chance we will have of giving investors the best chance for investment success.”

Notes Will Goodhart, chief executive at CFA UK: “The investment profession is committed to diversity. Our intent is to help the profession identify how best to execute on that commitment. There is little doubt about the value and importance of diversity, but there is a need to help firms learn from each other’s experiences. Working with our partners and with other diversity initiatives, we hope to accelerate the implementation of effective processes and policies.”