With so many money managers hiring chief diversity, equity and inclusion officers, how are these new senior executives measuring progress?
Chief diversity, equity and inclusion officers in interviews with Pensions & Investments outlined tangible goals and quantifiable targets they have set for themselves and their organizations.
For example, BlackRock Inc. measures employee reaction to its DEI efforts and analyzes any gaps in the experience of underrepresented groups through its annual employee opinion survey.
"The survey gives us insights into where to look further to engage our employees directly in problem-solving dialogue and focus group discussions," said Michelle Gadsden-Williams, New York, who joined BlackRock Inc. in September as managing director and global head of diversity, equity and inclusion.
In terms of specific targets, BlackRock set a goal last June to increase its overall representation of Black and Latinx employees in the U.S. by 30% by 2024 and double its representation of Black and Latinx senior leaders by 2024. The firm currently has 14% more Black managing directors and directors in the U.S. than it did a year ago, and since last June, the number of Latinx managing directors and directors in the U.S. grew by 9%. The number of directors was not available.
After achieving its goal of having women make up 30% of its global managing directors and directors — a target the firm set in 2017 — BlackRock intends to further grow its female senior leadership globally by 3% each year.
Separately, a report from BlackRock showed that as of Jan. 1, Asian employees represented 18% of the firm's senior leadership in the U.S. and 26% of its total U.S. workforce, Black and Latinx employees each represented 3% of the firm's senior leadership in the U.S. and 6% each of total employees in the U.S. Over the course of 2020, 26% of new hires in the U.S. were Asian, 10% were Black and 11% were Latinx.
In addition, Ms. Gadsden-Williams and Manish Mehta, global head of human resources, sent a memo to BlackRock employees on April 1 announcing that the firm would undergo an external review of how its diversity, equity and inclusion policies affect stakeholders.