The fund industry will take several steps to develop a more diverse asset management workforce and boardrooms, the Investment Company Institute board of governors said Thursday.
Based on recommendations from a board-level working group on diversity and inclusion, ICI leaders said the steps will include conducting ongoing surveys to measure industry demographics at both the board and workforce levels and developing a benchmark for diversity gains.
ICI officials also resolved to create several pipelines for getting more women and members of minority groups into investment management and legal careers by connecting with them while they are in school and offering more job opportunities early in their careers. The working group now becomes a standing ICI board committee.
The ICI Education Foundation also committed to help fund The Robert Toigo Foundation for five years, an expansion of an existing partnership with the foundation, whose mission is fostering career advancement and leadership opportunities for underrepresented talent in financial services.
"As an industry, we can — and will — do more to foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce," ICI Chairman and J.P. Morgan Asset Management CEO George C. W. Gatch said in a statement.
ICI board member Mellody Hobson, co-CEO and president of Ariel Investments, said in the statement that "a diverse workforce is just as important as a diverse portfolio." Ms. Hobson described the actions as "the first few steps in a longer journey toward having a truly diverse and inclusive asset management industry, at all levels of seniority. I'm glad we are holding ourselves accountable and look forward to working with my fellow governors to continue this important work."