Investment firms are integrating diversity, equity and inclusion more into their overall business plans, according to results from a CFA Institute project.
The global association of investment professionals asked 41 investment organizations in the Australia, Canada and the U.S., with a collective $26 trillion under management to participate in a project testing the efficacy of DEI practices.
The findings Accelerating Change: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Investment Management offer practical ways to advance diversity, equity and inclusion through organizational change. Project participants reported that responsibility for DEI is moving from human resources to business leaders, and many organizations turn to DEI experts or hire diversity directors who report to the CEO.
More than one-third of participating organizations link CEO pay to progress on culture and diversity metrics.
Ongoing communication with all members of the staff is critical, participants reported, and those firms without DEI governance structures struggled to make continued progress. Firms furthest along are integrating DEI into the overall business, the project found.
"The investment industry continues to seek to improve DEI outcomes, but it is never easy for business leaders to look critically at their organization and to commit to making sustained change," said Sarah Maynard, the CFA institute's global head of external inclusion and diversity strategies and programs, in a news release. "Data from our Experimental Partners Program delivers feedback directly from the industry that senior leaders can be very effective in delivering on their firm's DEI strategy when they visibly engage and regularly communicate with staff."