Equity, diversity, and inclusion in the UK investment management industry

The Investment Association (IA) and WTW’s Thinking Ahead Institute have released a report on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the UK investment management industry. Their findings are based on questionnaire responses from 52 UK investment and fund management firms who collectively represent 75% of total UK assets under management and employ 78% of those directly employed by the investment management industry in the UK.

The report provides a detailed look at diversity data collection across the industry and how this information can shape EDI strategies to foster inclusivity and attract and retain diverse talent. 

Why firms collect diversity data

Firms were generally taking a proactive approach to collecting data on the diversity of their workforce. The top three drivers for doing so were:

  1. To gain a better understanding of the makeup of the workforce (65%);
  2. To foster an inclusive corporate culture (60%); and
  3. To use data to better inform EDI initiatives and interventions (48%).

Apathy and lack of trust amongst staff were key hurdles faced by firms in data collection, highlighting the importance of ensuring they understand why their data is being collected and how it will be used.

EDI initiatives

In terms of what firms are doing to promote and embed EDI:

  • Many are reviewing their recruitment practices, and more than 77% use inclusive job descriptions;
  • 79% are engaged in partnerships with external diversity and inclusion-focused initiatives and organisations;
  • Nearly two thirds of firms are actively working on building awareness of the industry among young people; 
  • 60% provide EDI training for those involved in interview processes;
  • 54% use recruitment agencies specialising in the recruitment of diverse candidates; and
  • 96% collect data on two or more attributes and 71% collect against four or more attributes, with age, gender and ethnicity having the highest response rates. 

Although data on socio-economic background and caring responsibilities are not widely collected, this may become more widespread in the wake of the proposals outlined in the recent FCA and PRA consultation papers. We summarise the regulators’ proposals here

Having reliable diversity data will be essential for staying on top of the fast-moving regulatory landscape on EDI.

The report can be accessed here: Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Data Survey 2023