Reboot Race to Equality Index: UK financial services sector shows small signs of improvements for ethnic minority employees year-on-year, but still a long way to go

by | Nov 28, 2022

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The latest Race to Equality Index1 from Reboot – a campaign group of senior financial services professionals working to maintain the dialogue on race and ethnicity in the workplace – shows that the average Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) score for financial services firms has improved from 65 to 67 (out of an optimal 100) in the last 12 months.

The research shows that ethnic minority employees who work in large firms, and those who are 30-34 years old have felt the greatest improvements when it comes to financial services companies becoming more diverse, equitable and inclusive places to work. Meanwhile, hedge funds and insurance companies have seen the greatest improvements by subsector, climbing from 65 to 68, and 66 to 68 year-on-year, respectively.

While the improvements both hedge fund and insurance companies have made in the past 12 months have helped to establish both sub-sectors at the top of D&I league table for the financial services industry, asset management companies are lagging behind and is the only sub-sector that has regressed, declining from 66 to 64 this year.

The 2022 Race to Equality Index, which is in its second year also found that large organisations ($10 billion or more in revenue) registered an index score of 70, up from 67 last year. 30 to 34 years olds were also more positive year on year, scoring 70 this year, compared to 65 last year.

 

Noreen Biddle Shah, founder of Reboot, commented: “Increased efforts to boost diversity, equity and inclusion within the industry have been a commercial reaction as well as a socially conscious one. Multiple studies have concluded that a diverse workforce boosts profits, innovation, creativity, and productivity. It can also improve decision making and risk outcomes. And while it’s promising to see that there’s been a slight uptick in the overall average index score over the past 12 months, our upcoming report highlights that there is still much more to be done to level the playing field for ethnic minority groups within financial services.”

Justin Onuekwusi, co-founder of #TalkAboutBlack, commented: While this change suggests that we’re heading in the right direction, we must challenge ourselves as to whether incremental changes are really enough. In addition, with both economic and financial conditions likely to be more challenging over the next couple of years, it will be interesting to see if the momentum can be maintained.”

Dimple Mistry and Sachin Bhatia, co-leads of the Diversity Project Race and Ethnicity Workstream, commented: “With there so being many great initiatives to drive change, we would expect the asset management industry to be leading the way. Albeit slow, progress has been made in some areas, but we must ramp up our efforts. We know many asset management firms have put tangible actions in place to attract, develop and retain diverse talent, however this score does highlight that the industry as a whole still has work to do and needs to ensure that creating inclusive cultures remains a firm strategic objective with clear measurable actions.

 

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