What We Found: The Data

 

 

Through a series of workshops, firms were able to openly discuss what they are doing, what’s been working, and what comes next for them with diversity and inclusion.

Q1. DOES YOUR FIRM HAVE A STATED DIVERSITY GOAL?

Two-thirds of firms have a stated diversity goal.

Highest:

Philadelphia 76%, Chicago 73%

Lowest: San Francisco 58%

WHAT WE DID

We collected data through a series of workshops that were held from October 2017 to May 2018. These events were held under the Chatham House Rule and took place in Toronto, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York City, with a total of 344 participants across 99 companies, representing approximately $38 trillion in assets under management. The composition of roles was as follows: C-level executives = 19%, managing director/head/VP = 36%, other investment professionals = 24%, HR/D&I = 18%, other = 3%.

Q2. WHAT MOTIVATES YOUR FIRM'S EFFORTS REGARDING DIVERSITY & INCLUSION?
(select up to three)

The two greatest motivations for firms’ efforts around diversity and inclusion have transitioned to improved business outcomes and talent acquisition from compliance.

 

Notable differences by market included a greater sense of client demand for diversity in Philadelphia (57% cited this as a factor), and reputation was a more important factor in Toronto (54%) than elsewhere.

Q3. FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION'S D&I EFFORTS, HOW DO YOU PRIORITIZE THE BALANCE
OF VALUES AND BUSINESS OUTCOMES?

The discussion around motivations for pursuing diversity often revolves around two main areas: “the business case for diversity” (i.e., with more diverse perspectives, business outcomes will improve) and “because it is the right thing to do.”

In all cities except Chicago, the motivation for pursuing D&I is business outcomes more than values.

Q4. WHAT IS YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN DIVERSITY EFFORTS AT YOUR FIRM?

Many commented that diversity responsibilities are often add-ons and time invested is not necessarily recognized or rewarded, suggesting that the business outcome rationale is not fully and authentically supported.

Q5. WHAT FOCUS AREAS DOES YOUR FIRM HAVE FOR D&I?
(check all that apply)

In many cases, firms have employee resource groups (ERGs) or business resource groups (BRGs) to provide employee networking and support and to leverage diverse perspectives. ERGs may be described as affinity networks, whereas BRGs are more directly informing business decisions.

Q6. WHAT IS YOUR ORGANIZATION'S MOST PRESSING NEED RELATED TO PROFESSIONALISM IN THE DIVERSITY & INCLUSION SPACE?

While Recruiting, Developing, and Retaining a Diverse Workforce are by far rated the highest for educational needs, every BRG should encourage the business to demonstrate the connections between D&I and business outcomes.

For this exercise, we focused on the six categories from Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks (GDIB): vision, leadership, recruitment and development, assessment, communications, and products and services. These benchmarks help organizations “determine strategy and measure progress in managing diversity and fostering inclusion."

DISTRIBUTION OF FIRM SELF-ASSESSMENT SCORES BY GDIB CATEGORY

1. Inactive: No D&I work has begun; diversity and a culture of inclusion are not part of organizational goals

2. Reactive: A compliance mindset; actions are taken primarily to comply with relevant laws and social pressures

3. Proactive: A clear awareness of the value of D&I; starting to implement D&I systematically

4. Progressive: Implementing D&I systematically; showing improved results and outcomes

5. Best practice: Demonstrating current best practices in D&I; exemplary for other organizations globally

In pre- and post-workshop polls, firms tended to rate the industry very harshly on D&I before the workshops but somewhat better after the sessions. Participants rated their own firms higher—a score of about 3—before the workshops but with a mix of reactions following the sessions.

Q7. HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR FIRM IS DOING ON DIVERSITY?

Q8. HOW DO YOU THINK THE INVESTMENT INDUSTRY IS DOING ON DIVERSITY?