The investment management industry is being called out for "greenwashing" diversity and inclusion by the CEO of City Hive, an organization that works to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive corporate culture.
Bhavini "Bev" Shah, CEO of City Hive, sent a letter to CEOs across the investment industry highlighting the lack of action to prioritize diversity and inclusion.
Ms. Shah noted that while a number of initiatives such as the #MeToo campaign have gained traction and raised awareness in the wider world, she was "disappointed by the lack of action the investment management industry has taken to address diversity and inclusion."
City Hive is a London-based independent organization that works with investment managers to help them to meet sustainability responsibilities by becoming more diverse and inclusive through mentorship and education. Ms. Shah founded City Hive in 2016. She was previously a senior multimanager analyst and part of Aviva Investors' multiasset team.
She said firms needs to make significant cultural changes, starting at the top, since "awareness does not equal action. The lack of tangible, measurable results, demonstrates where diversity and inclusion sit in terms of priorities."
Diversity and inclusion "should be ingrained in every (company's) prudent, sustainable management," the letter said.
Ms. Shah said company CEOs talk the talk when it comes to diversity of thought, experience and background, "regularly purchasing tables at awards, sponsoring events, posting on/during commemorative days/months, and acting as signatories to doctrines highlighting their commitment to improving diversity within their own firms and across the industry. However, without action, this is just box-ticking. Few, if any, can walk the walk," she said.
Ms. Shah called on firms to do more to show they are making systematic changes across business objectives, culture, infrastructure, governance, recruitment processes and remuneration policies to ensure genuine outcomes.
She signed off with a question for CEOs: "What type of leader do you want to be," one that is forced to make changes, or one that is a leader? "Change is happening now, join us at the table. There is room for all," she said.
Spokesmen could not immediately be reached for comment.