Beyond gender: UK investment professionals want more support for greater socio-economic diversity in the industry

Wednesday 21 November 2018

  • CFA UK survey shows seven in 10 investment professionals want more emphasis on socio-economic inclusion in the investment profession.

  • Other top diversity and inclusion priorities include supporting mental wellbeing, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic inclusion, and physical disability.

  • Gender diversity network renamed ‘CFA UK Inclusion & Diversity Network’ to reflect expanded remit.


CFA UK has today released the findings of its second annual Gender Diversity Survey, which measures the views of members on inclusion and diversity in the investment profession. The 2018 survey is released as the CFA UK Gender Diversity Network is renamed the CFA UK Inclusion & Diversity Network, to reflect an expanded remit to support greater diversity beyond gender.

The survey reveals that seven in ten respondents wish to see support for socio-economic inclusion in the profession prioritised. This is followed by mental wellbeing (56%), focus on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic inclusion (53%), and better support for physical disability (42%).

Survey respondents felt that the most pressing diversity issue in the sector currently is ‘creating an inclusive culture’, narrowly beating ‘the gender pay gap’. The issue of ‘representation at board and top executive level’ was additionally highlighted as pressing.

In line with the 2017 survey results, two thirds of respondents (67%) believe that improving gender diversity is the responsibility of all investment professionals. 22% believe responsibility lies with senior executives and C-Suite professionals.

Says Juliet Bullick, Global Head of Consultant Relations, Fidelity International and Chair of the CFA UK Inclusion & Diversity Network: “While we began by addressing gender diversity, and this will remain a key focus for the network, our aim has always been to address diversity more broadly. This survey shows that socio-economic inclusion is at the forefront of investment professionals’ minds, and with good reason, so we are now taking this next step. Over the coming months the network will focus on defining the key goals and actions that can help both our individual members and the partner firms make more progress in this important area.”

Says Will Goodhart, chief executive of CFA UK: “There is still much work to be done to improve gender balance in the sector, but as a profession, we must recognise the importance and benefits of diversity and inclusiveness in their broadest sense. It is great that the network is moving to a broader view of inclusion. If the profession is to reflect the society we serve, we must make it possible for people from all backgrounds to play a role and to have every opportunity to succeed. 

“As some of our respondents pointed out, greater efforts must be made to address inequalities at an earlier stage, particularly at school and university level, so that we can, ultimately, widen the recruitment pipeline. However, the daily practices of investment firms can make an enormous difference too. CFA UK and our Inclusion & Diversity Network will continue to work with investment firms on these issues to contribute to the development of appropriate strategies.”


Notes to Editors:

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About the Survey

The Gender Diversity Survey was launched last year by the CFA UK Gender Diversity Network with the aim of capturing the membership’s views and priorities to directly influence and drive the strategy of the network.

The 2018 survey opened on 8 October 2018 and closed on 31 October 2018. It was open to all CFA UK members, as well as members of the CFA UK Inclusion & Diversity Network. There was a total of 445 respondents.


About the CFA UK Inclusion & Diversity Network

In response to the importance CFA UK places on improving the investment profession by promoting gender and diversity balance, the network was launched in 2013 as CFA UK’s Women’s Network. It evolved to the Gender Diversity Network in 2016, and in 2017 broadened its work to working with firms in addition to individual members through the launch of the Gender Diversity Partner Programme, a unique initiative with founding partners Allianz Global Investors, Fidelity International, PIMCO, Royal London Asset Management and Vanguard. The Partner Programme brings together investment firms in the development and delivery of their gender diversity strategies, with a particular focus on implementation.


About CFA UK

Part of the worldwide network of member societies of CFA Institute, CFA UK represents the interests of 11,600 investment professionals in the UK.