The Diversity Project celebrates 5th anniversary and sets new targets

by | Jun 21, 2021

The Diversity Project celebrates its fifth anniversary and establishes ambitious new targets to accelerate progress towards a more inclusive investment industry over the next 5 years 

In 2016, the Diversity Project set out to achieve a comprehensive change across the investment and savings industry, bringing together fund management companies, pension fund consultants, asset owners, wealth managers and other firms across the investment industry, to improve diversity and inclusion across all dimensions, and at every career stage.

The starting point was challenging, but in five years, progress has been made. The case for a more modern, more diverse investment and savings industry has never been stronger or more accepted. Over 80 firms, 50 partner organisations and 400 people are committed to the Project, including 30 CEOs who form the Diversity Project’s Advisory Council.

And momentum is building. Networks, mentoring circles and grassroots initiatives are collectively driving awareness of the issues and support for societal equality.

Baroness Helena Morrissey, Chair of the Diversity Project comments:

“Diversity and inclusion in the investment and savings industry has come a long way and I’m hugely proud of all that the Diversity Project has achieved from the ground-breaking work of #TalkAboutBlack supporting after-school clubs for disadvantaged and ethnically-diverse students to the successful upReach programme, which has seen firms come together to increase social mobility through their early careers recruitment via the Investment Industry Springboard and the work of LGBT Great, which is well on its way to reaching the goal of 1000 LGBTQ+ role models and allies through-out the industry, among many other initiatives.

“With the scale of participation and level of commitment, I feel more optimistic than ever that we can and will continue to make progress”.

To mark this milestone, Steve Butler, CEO of Punter Southall Aspire, and active member of the Diversity Project’s Advisory Council has compiled a book of personal stories of many of the leaders involved in the Project. ‘The Diversity Project: Accelerating progress towards an inclusive culture in the investment and savings industry’ showcases efforts to date, brings the issues to life and sets out practical suggestions for business leaders, managers and employees, to help firms build more inclusive work cultures and harness the power of diverse thinking.

Steve Butler, CEO of Punter Southall Aspire, comments:

“What the Diversity Project has achieved over five years is genuinely something quite remarkable. From growing a grassroots movement to raise awareness of the issues facing Black, other minority ethnic backgrounds, women, LGBTQ+ and neurodiverse individuals to galvanising senior leadership to support and influence change, this is a great lesson in how cross-company collaboration can make change happen.

“Through this book we’re endeavouring to spread the word further and reach the army of line managers across the industry in order to maintain current momentum. Our ask is for all industry colleagues to use the book to share the personal stories of the leaders within the Diversity Project to support the change towards inclusive cultures in all our organisations”.

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