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Investment Association launches report to promote LGBT+ inclusivity in the asset management industry

Friday 06 July 2018

The Investment Association (IA) has today published ‘Bringing our Whole Selves to Work’, the organisation’s first report into the LGBT+ experience in asset management, which sets out twelve key steps organisations can take to create more inclusive workplaces.

The publication of the report comes a day ahead of the Pride march in London and follows a roundtable discussion the IA hosted with more than 20 IA members and allies from LGBT+ networks. The discussion was chaired by OUTstanding, the membership organisation for global business focusing on LGBT+ issues and discussed the issues facing LGBT+ colleagues in the workplace, suggesting practical solutions to support people coming out and being out at work.

The IA’s report proposes twelve practical steps for employers and employees working in asset management to help showcase the industry as LGBT+ inclusive, including:

  • Demonstrating during the recruitment and induction process that the firm is welcoming of LGBT+ employees, for example by using LGBT+ symbols on corporate branding, and highlighting the existence of LGBT+ networks in the workplace.
  • Considering intersectionality, so that all aspects of the LGBT+ agenda are valued equally.
  • Encouraging heterosexual and cisgender colleagues to participate in LGBT+ networks and events to show LGBT+ colleagues that they have allies in the organisation.
  • Ensuring firms with foreign offices are aware of local laws and social attitudes towards LGBT+ people, and considering how to support and protect employees around the globe, especially those who have to work or travel to countries where being LGBT+ is still illegal.
  • Alongside the release of the report, the IA has been demonstrating its own commitment to supporting LGBT+ colleagues by changing the organisation’s logo to the rainbow flag on all social media, email signatures and on the website.

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:

“I am passionate about helping the industry demonstrate to existing employees and potential new recruits that it is an LGBT+ friendly place to work. This report, based on experiences of LGBT+ people across our membership, will debunk certain myths about LGBT+ employees and help organisations ensure they have the right framework in place to ensure they are welcoming places to come out and be out.

“Everyone should feel able to bring their whole selves to work. Whilst legislation over the last decade has rightly given LGBT+ colleagues the rights and protections others can enjoy, culture and preconceptions don’t always follow changes to the law. It’s crucial that we constantly look at how we can be more supportive of LGBT+ colleagues in our industry, and this report sets out some practical steps we can all take today to ensure that everyone feels comfortable being themselves at work.

“From making it clear during recruitment that firms are welcoming to LGBT+ employees, to building a network that includes non-LGBT+ allies, or to ensuring that senior leaders actively demonstrate their support to LGBT+ colleagues, there is plenty that organisations can do to ensure they’re fostering inclusive environments. I will personally be sponsoring this report’s findings at the IA and ensuring that its recommendations are implemented.”


Notes to Editors:

To view the full report: https://www.theinvestmentassociation.org/assets/fi...

  • An ally is somebody who does not identify as LGBT+, but supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBT+ social movements, and challenges homophobia and transphobia.
  • Cisgender is a term for people who identify as the gender they were assigned at birth.
  • Intersectionality considers various characteristics, such as sexual orientation, gender and ethnicity do not exist separately from each other but are complexly interwoven.
  • LGBT+ means Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender plus. The ‘plus’ is inclusive of other groups, such as asexual, intersex, queer, questioning etc.
  • Transgender is a term for an individual who does not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

A full copy of the ‘Bringing our Whole Selves to Work’ report can be above. The full list of recommendations is as follows:

  • Look for ways to demonstrate that your company is welcoming of LGBT+ employees during the induction of new staff.
  • Demonstrate your support of LGBT+ employees by asking about their non-work life in the same way that you would for any other employee. Don’t push employees to share their private life if they appear reluctant
  • Companies should foster an inclusive environment because it is the right thing to do and not for fear of causing offence or generating complaints from LGBT+ staff.
  • While some LGBT+ people may feel confident and comfortable being out at work it might be that networks and LGBT+ support mechanisms are most essential for, and most appreciated by, the people who are least vocal about their sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Look for ways for different staff networks to work together – such as a joint event between LGBT+ and women’s networks – to ensure that different LGBT+ perspectives are considered.
  • Ask whether transgender people are properly served by your LGBT+ policies and initiatives.
  • Encourage the inclusion of allies in your company’s LGBT+ networks and programmes.
  • Senior leaders in your company should actively demonstrate their support for LGBT+ employees and participate in LGBT+ networks and events.
  • Offer all employees the chance to take part in training so that they can broaden their understanding of LGBT+ issues. It is better that such training is not compulsory to ensure that only those who actively want to take part do so.
  • Employers should consider ways of creating virtual LGBT+ networks to enable LGBT+ staff across different locations to connect. Consider too whether you could support a Pride event outside of London.
  • Encourage your LGBT+ and ally employees to collaborate with employees from other firms in order to build bigger networks and share best practice.
  • Make sure you are aware of the laws and social attitudes relating to LGBT+ people in the countries where you carry out your business. Consider how you can support and protect all employees around the globe.

For media enquiries:

Ben Rathe, Senior Communications Manager: ben.rathe@theia.org
T +44 20 7269 4655

Helen Ayres, Media Relations Manager: helen.ayres@theia.org
T +44 (0)20 7269 4696

About the Investment Association:

  • The IA champions UK asset management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 240 members manage £6.9 trillion of assets and employ 93,500 people across the UK.
  • Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for
  • the economy, so everyone prospers.
  • Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:
    • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
    • Help people achieve their financial aspirations
    • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
    • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital.
  • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.
  • The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages 37% of all assets managed in Europe.
About OUTstanding
  • OUTstanding is part of INvolve: www.involvepeople.org
  • INvolve is a membership organisation championing diversity and inclusion in business. It sits above OUTstanding, EMpower and HERoes, membership initiatives working respectively across LGBT+, ethnic minority and gender diversity. Through the delivery of events, programmes, thought leadership and advisory services INvolve helps member firms drive cultural change and create more inclusive workplaces. In addition, OUTstanding, EMpower and HERoes publish role model lists annually in partnership with the Financial Times, celebrating business leaders and future leaders who are leading the charge in their respective diversity spheres.

Other asset management sector initiatives to improve inclusion and diversity in the sector include:

  • Investment20/20 promotes entry-level talent, diversity and inclusion within the investment industry. Investment20/20 has recruited and supported over 1,300 trainees and apprentices for its nearly 40 partner firms from the investment and wealth management sector since it was founded five years ago by Andrew Formica, Joint-CEO Janus Henderson Investors and Nichola Pease, Former CEO of J O Hambro Capital Management.
  • LGBT Great is a global investment industry initiative to create and develop LGBT+ inclusion through insights, visibility and outreach. Our mission is to profile and attract 1000 LGBT+ individuals and Allies for the industry in the next 5 years. The Role Model programme provides investment firms and individuals with that safe space to open the conversation. At a recent workshop one employee came out to the rest of the team which encouraged others to follow.
  • Chris Cummings, CEO of the Investment Association, is on the CEO advisory board of The Diversity Project, which is a project that seeks to accelerate progress towards an inclusive culture in the investment profession. LGBT Great is working in partnership with the Diversity Project on their LGBT workstream to help improve the perception of the investment industry in creating more inclusive cultures.