CFA Institute launches UK edition of DEI Code

In a progressive stride towards inclusivity, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute has unveiled the UK version of its voluntary Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) code for the investment profession.

Following in the footsteps of its American and Canadian counterparts, this new initiative is set to make waves in the investment community. With 160 companies already adopting the North American versions, the UK edition further paves the way for investment organisations to bolster their commitment to DEI and drive meaningful change, irrespective of their size and nature.

A deep dive into the DEI code

The CFA Institute has delineated that signatory firms pledge their allegiance to six metric-based principles. These principles are not just mere tick-boxes but are instead reflective of the commitment to harvest the benefits of diverse viewpoints. By doing so, these firms aim to achieve superior investment results, create a thriving work environment, and instigate a cycle of positive transformation in forthcoming years.

Here’s a breakdown of the six principles:

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 an organisation’s position and voice to promote DEI and improve DEI outcomes in the investment industry;

5. Influence: using an organisation’s role, position, and voice to promote and increase measurable DEI results in the investment industry;

6. Measurement: measuring and reporting on CFA’s progress in driving better DEI results within the Institute.

Accountability and reporting mechanisms

To maintain transparency and ensure that the commitment to DEI isn’t just on paper, the code obligates its signatories to submit a confidential annual progress report, aided by a designated Reporting Framework. The CFA Institute, in reciprocation, has pledged to disclose industry-level data once a significant number of signatories come on board.

Roadmap for signatories

To ensure that DEI isn’t just a fleeting trend, the CFA Institute has set a tangible roadmap for its signatories:

– Within a span of two years post their commitment, signatories must institute senior leadership ownership coupled with an oversight governance process.
– An essential requirement is the formulation of a formal, publicly accessible communication which would encapsulate the organisation’s DEI strategy, commitments, overarching goals, and policy.
– To weave DEI into the very fabric of the organisation, an actionable implementation plan focusing on integrating DEI into its people, processes, and policies is paramount.

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