We have discussed the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in a number of blogs previously.
A key facet of sustainability is getting the most constructive impact for society as a whole with the most appropriate resources that we have. That is often people. Those people can have different backgrounds, different ways of thinking and different starting points. With an equitable view point we can create a culture that includes these diverse viewpoints and skills for the benefit of all.
So far in The Sustainable Investor, we have discussed DEI in companies and ultimately in the performance of their listed securities, i.e. investments. And what about those doing the investing: the fund managers?
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At this point you're probably wondering what the image of HAL 9000 from 2001:A Space Odyssey has to do with DEI.
In a 2020 study, Morningstar research found that there were more UK funds run by people called 'David' or 'Dave' than run by women. One year later and things had improved from 7.2% of funds run by women to 7.7%, but still only marginally. It also showed that in Italy, more funds are run by men called 'Andrea' than run by women. A more recent update though from March 2022 found that the outlook had improved (albeit including a change in methodology) with 17.8% of funds managed by women compared with 7.2% by 'the Daves'. But the point of concern remains. Investment management is still quite undiversified (no pun intended).
A study by Statista found that as of 2022, in the broader financial and insurance sector there were just over one million people involved with 45% women. However, 22% of those women were part-time compare with only 3% of the male employees.
A study by the FSCB in 2020 found that whilst in their survey 52% of respondents identified as female with 46% identifying as male (the balance as other gender including for example non-binary), there was a big drop off in representation from junior to middle management grades particularly when ethnicity was taken into account.