Investment professionals are concerned that the money management industry is not doing enough to promote ethnic and cognitive diversity.
A survey of CFA Society of the U.K. members found that while some progress has been made, key areas still require attention.
The issue requiring the most work is inclusive talent acquisition and retention, according to 56% of respondents. The gender pay gap followed at 53% as well as representation at board and executive level, at 52%.
Ethnic diversity was highlighted as an area of concern, with 35% of respondents saying they think their firm is doing enough to recruit from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Thirty-eight percent said their firm was not doing enough and the remaining respondents were unsure.
When asked to identify the one area of inclusion and diversity that requires improvement within their firm, 26% said ethnicity, 16% said gender diversity, 12% said socio-economic diversity and 4% identified LGBTQ diversity as needing improvement.
A lack of cognitive diversity was also identified as an area of concern, with 66% of respondents saying there is not enough focus on varied points of view at investment firms.
However, respondents did identify areas of improvement. Almost two-thirds (63%) said they feel their firm adequately supports inclusion and diversity, while 51% think there is enough opportunity at work to get involved in improving diversity. Efforts to improve ethnic diversity since the start of the Black Lives Matter protests this year were noticed by 49% of respondents.
But there's still work to be done. More than half of respondents (51%) have undergone a form of inclusion and diversity training and 50% have had training to address unconscious biases. However, 41% of respondents are unfamiliar with their firm's initiatives to tackle inclusion and diversity issues and 44% feel they do not have enough opportunity at work to personally get involved in improving diversity in investment management.
"Inclusion and diversity have firmly been at the top of firms' agendas this year, so it's disappointing to learn that almost half of investment professionals surveyed still feel like they don't have enough opportunity to personally get involved in improving diversity in the investment profession at work,"
Olivia Maguire, chairwoman of CFA U.K.'s inclusion and diversity committee, said in a news release accompanying the data. "Investment firms need to continue focusing on improving their policies, training and support for employees."
The CFA Society of the U.K. surveyed 547 members Sept. 7 to Oct. 5.
The wider global association of investment professionals, the CFA Institute, is developing intensive diversity programs alongside stakeholders, investing in research into practical, workable diversity initiatives and is also working on an industrywide inclusion code, set for launch next year.