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DIVERSITYANDINCLUSIONFEATURES


You can certainly build aworkforce that meets diversity quotas. But to allowthat diverseworkforce to reach its full potential, you need the mindset


CAROLGEREMIA MFSINVESTMENTMANAGEMENT


quotasarenotbelievedtobeeffective byindustry players.Onlyaquarter of respondentsagreethatquotas successfullypromotediversityand inclusion (Figure1). Leadershavearesponsibility to


ensurediversity,becausemultiplicity ofperspectivesleads to bestoutcomes, pointsoutJamesBevan,CIOatCCLA InvestmentManagementinLondon. Yet,eventhoughprofessional headhunters arethoroughlybriefed arounddiversity“theoverwhelming majority ofgenuinelytopcandidates thatcomeforwardis stillverymale heavyandverywhiteheavy,”he reports. “It will taketimefor thatto change,andfor diversity tobuild throughto seniormanagement,and itwouldbeanerror tocompromiseon the selection of quality in orderto force morediversity,”addsMrBevan. Theeffect of thispressuremaybe


tokenism, still“veryevident” insome companies,whenaboardpopulated byvery similarpeoplein termsof experienceandbackgroundintroduces somebodyfromaminority group, just to tickabox. Anothermajorpreconception is


that thereisalackof diversetalent. Tocombatthis,leaders point tothe importanceofbeingcreative,by engagingwithdifferentcommunities, withmore diverseeducational institutionsanddeveloping partnershipswithminority-led financial firms. The“persistenceofunconscious


bias, tendencytoprefer ‘lookalikes’ andrecruitment throughconventional or traditionalchannels”is roundly condemnedbyAnnePointet, deputyCEOatBNPParibasWealth Management. “Diversityshouldbemoreabout


castingawidernetandgettingthe best team,”addsMarieDzanis,headof EmeaassetmanagementatNorthern TrustAssetManagement.


FIG 5


WHAT ARE YOUR TOP STRATEGIC PRIORITIES TO BUILD A DIVERSEAND INCLUSIVEWORKPLACEANDWHICH STRATEGIES ARE YOUIMPLEMENTINGNOW?


Ensuring women’s effective participation at work and equal opportunities for leadership


Building future workplaces that are family friendly/support flexibility


Improving the attraction and retention rates of a diverse workforce


Acknowledging and addressing unconscious biases and stereotypes


Setting diversity targets with reporting part of regular business reviews


Supporting diverse leaders with mentorship opportunities/role models


Appropriate hiring processes for entry levels hires


Reviewing and monitoring the promotion process


Addressing intersectionality in all policies and strategies


Addressing the gender pay gap


Engaging men as gender diversity champions


Addressing the racial pay gap


01020304050607080 Per cent


My top five strategic priorities Measuringdiversity inthe


workforce, increasingtransparency aroundpaygapsandlinkingsalaries ofexecutives tolong-termdiversity targets arebelievedtobekeymeasures toboost diversity (Figure5). Whenitcomestopursuinggender equality inthe fast-pacedwealth managementenvironment,the biggest issue is to findwomento replace femalecolleagueswholeavethefirm, explainsCiti’sMrPigorini. This leads toa“constant depletion”offemale professional ranks, especially atthe highest levels. It iscrucial, therefore, tohavea“very robust”succession andtalentmanagementprocess andidentifysponsorshipneedsfor promotioncandidates.Apipeline analysis is alsokey. Thisallows leaders toworkoutthenumberofwomen theyneedateachlevel, to reachtheir diversity targets for toppositions in the longertimehorizon.


Implementing now Debunkingtheindustrymyth that


peoplearemostproductiveinthe35 to45agebracket, Citihasintroduced a‘womenreturnersprogramme’, aimedatsupportingthe return towork offemaleprofessionals afteracareer break.Theprojecthasresultedin “someverygoodseniorolderwomen” joiningthebank. Mostleadersagreethat diversity is


not justaboutgender, althoughit isthe easiest factortomeasure.Almost90per centbelievetheconcept isextendedto race,age,physicalandmentalabilities, sexual orientationanddiversityof socioeconomicbackground. Around60percenthave


strengthenedtheircommitmentto racial equityover the pastyear,with the disproportionateimpactof the pandemiconethnicminoritiesand BlackLivesMatterprotests further raisingawareness.Yet,only23percent arecurrentlyaddressingthe racial


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