CFA Institute hopes to drive investment industry's cultural change

The association has launched a voluntary diversity, equity, and inclusion code for investment industry professionals

CFA Institute hopes to drive investment industry's cultural change
Steve Randall

Canada is one of the most diverse nations in the world but does the investment industry accurately represent that?

A culture of truly reflective diversity and inclusion is the intention behind a new set of principles just published by the CFA Institute for investment professionals in Canada and the United States.

“To build an industry that is more representative and resilient, far more needs to be done across all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Margaret Franklin, CFA, the association’s president and CEO.”

The CFA Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Code for the Investment Profession in the United States and Canada (DEI Code) is based on six metrics-based principles that signatories will be expected to uphold:

  1. Pipeline: Expanding the diverse talent pipeline.
  2. Talent Acquisition: Designing, implementing, and maintaining inclusive and equitable hiring and onboarding practices.
  3. Promotion and Retention: Designing, implementing, and maintaining inclusive and equitable promotion and retention practices to reduce barriers to progress.
  4. Leadership: Using our position and voice to promote DEI and improve DEI outcomes in the investment industry. We will hold ourselves responsible for our firm’s progress.
  5. Influence: Using our role, position, and voice to promote and increase measurable DEI results in the investment industry.
  6. Measurement: Measuring and reporting on our progress in driving better DEI results within our firm. We will provide regular reporting on our firm’s DEI metrics to our senior management, our board and CFA Institute.

Signatories are also expected to make the economic, business, and moral case for diversity, equity, and inclusion to accelerate and amplify their commitment.

Different meanings

The DEI Code is being rolled out for Canada and US first but will be expanded and reflect different regional meanings of diversity, equity, and inclusion and other sensibilities.

For example, in the Canadian investment industry, signatories will additionally commit to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada Call to Action #92 and to embracing Indigenous reconciliation.

Within two years of signing the DEI Code, firms will have to report an adopted DEI policy and statement, an established senior leadership ownership and oversight governance process, and an implementation plan to integrate DEI within the signatory organization’s people processes and policies.

Changing times

Sarah Maynard, ASIP, global head, External Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at the CFA Institute says that successive generations have not built DEI into their culture, but that is now changing.

“Increasingly, responsibility for DEI is moving to business owners with DEI goals embedded in long-term business strategy, she said. “There is no finish line, and effective change will require iterative, continuous improvement with commitment from every individual. It will also require trust, leadership and stringent data handling protocols.”