PIMFA’s Liz Field explains the thinking behind their Diversity and Inclusion Awards

Liz Field
Photo of PIMFA's Liz Field.

By Liz Field, Chief Executive of PIMFA.

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in the workplace has never before had so much value placed on it. Almost every industry is trying to increase levels of D&I, and for good reason. People from different backgrounds, cultures and experiences have a greater degree of neurodiversity which has been shown to challenge group think, helping to improve decision making, and as a result, a company’s bottom line. In fact, research by McKinsey shows improving gender parity within the workplace could realistically add £150 billion to UK GDP by 2025 and that improving racial and ethnic diversity within an organisation can positively impact financial performance by up to 35%. The same research shows firms with greater gender and ethnic diversity on their executive teams are 21% to 33% more likely to outperform on profitability than their counterparts. In other words, not only is there a compelling social case for increasing D&I in your workplace but it makes sound business sense too.

Findings from the Social Mobility Commission also underline that inequality persists between the poorest and richest students at all stages of both the education system and the workplace. The better off are still 80% more likely to make it into professional jobs than those from working class backgrounds. For example, someone is 17 times more likely to become a lawyer if their parents were. And just 12% of chief executives come from working class origins. So, our profession is likely to be missing out on excellent young talent because of barriers to access and awareness, which need to be addressed urgently.

In the FCA spotlight

Recent moves by the regulator have also added a sense of urgency to the debate. For the last five years, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been ramping up its work on D&I, working with HM Treasury to launch the Women in Finance Charter. And recently the FCA’s chief executive, Nikhli Rathi, made clear the regulator will be making more definite inroads into how firms approach D&I followed by a discussion paper on the topic. In July, the FCA launched a consultation on proposals to improve transparency for investors on the diversity of listed company boards and their executive management teams.

Fit for the future

In our five-year Manifesto, produced in consultation with our member firms and refreshed last year, PIMFA set out an objective to help create a sector that is fit for the future. In order to fulfil that objective, we have started work on developing, supporting and encouraging initiatives that are working to create a more diverse & inclusive industry, for the advancement of our industry, our clients, the professionals who work within it and for aspiring new talent. This is why PIMFA has launched its inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Awards.

We believe there are pockets of great D&I practice that remain hidden or unrecognised throughout our industry. We want the PIMFA D&I Awards 2021 to be an opportunity for firms and individuals to be recognised for the wonderful work being carried out. Entry to the PIMFA D&I Awards is free and open to all firms and stakeholders in the wealth management, investment services and financial advice sector – members and non-members alike.

Get involved

We have spent the last couple of months encouraging all organisations, large or small – at whatever point they are on with their D&I journey – to enter. Whether you are just starting out and looking for inspiration and ideas or are further along and can share experiences and insights, we want to hear from you about the work you have been doing. The awards have eight categories, being:

1. (Firm) Inclusive Talent Management Award (small firm 1-50 employees)
2. (Firm) Inclusive Talent Management Award (small/medium firm 51-200 employees)
3. (Firm) Inclusive Talent Management Award (medium firm 201-500 employees)
4. (Firm) Inclusive Talent Management Award (large firm 501+ employees)
5. (Individual) Rising Talent Award
6. (Firm) Best D&I Initiative Award
7. (Firm) Best Approach to Wellbeing Award
8. (Individual) The Overall D&I Champion Award

The D&I Awards judging panel is comprised of renowned leaders in the sector including representatives from organisations such as Raymond James, LGBT Great, Brown Shipley, Royal London, EY and others. Judging has just commenced.

The awards are also being widely supported by sponsors including Royal London, Worksmart, Morningstar, Raymond James, Interactive Investor, Fidelity, Sesame Bankhall Group and Rosie Reynolds Marketing.

We hope the awards will prove a high-profile opportunity to raise awareness of the fantastic work you and/or your firm have been doing over the last 12 months. We want the awards to showcase new initiatives and provide inspiration and ideas for everyone within the industry. We also expect the awards to be an opportunity for some to have their expertise in D&I policy recognised and to be an opportunity for those people to share their experiences and insights.

For further details including closing date and to enter the awards visit: https://www.pimfa.co.uk/event/pimfa-di-awards-2021/ 

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