Investment: Firms should be open about LGBT+ recruitment

Creating an inclusive workplace is vital to retaining professionals, industry association says

The UK’s investment managers and asset management trade body has published a report encouraging firms to actively support their LGBT+ staff.

The study, called Do you remember the first time?, is based on two roundtable discussions in the UK, hosted by the Investment Association and M&G Investments.

The discussions brought together openly LGBT+ employees and allies to come up with recommendations on how the investment management sector can attract and retain LGBT+ talent.

Matt Cameron, managing director of financial services representative organisation LGBT Great, told International Adviser: “It is encouraging that many firms across the investment and savings industry, especially investment managers, are marking Pride this year.

“This report from the Investment Association portrays the negative stigmas attached to the LGBT+ agenda which must be addressed.”

Visibly open

The recommendations mostly revolved around the concept of visibility, which can be a first step to creating an inclusive environment.

This can range from briefing recruitment consultants about valuing diversity, to showing support by wearing lanyards and badges, as well as providing rainbow stationery.

“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people make an immeasurable contribution to society, the City and investment management,” said Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association.

“Their lived experiences enrich our industry and their voices, opinions and experiences help investment performance, widen horizons and discourage groupthink.”

Support is needed too

But it’s not all about rainbows. Firms must encourage their staff to feel comfortable at work too.

The creation of diversity networks and extending participation to all members of staff, whether LGBT+ or not, can make a great difference.

“As we look to the future, it is critical that we all work together openly to achieve the positive transformation required which does not marginalise or increase negative perceptions,” Cameron added.

“This includes asking those people that are not LGBT+ their perspectives too so that the agenda can be progressed in the context of everybody and in the broadest possible sense.”

Influencing the future

That also extends to the younger generation of professionals. Employers should be seen to be open about their lives and experiences if they expect their employees to feel comfortable about disclosing theirs, the Investment Association found.

“Our new report showcases some investment managers’ pioneering work in LGBT+ inclusion and encouraging LGBT+ people to feel welcome and celebrated being unashamedly themselves at work,” added Cummings.

“If we harness these policies, especially in relation to recruitment, we can ensure our industry stands out from the crowd, and LGBT+ people starting their careers know investment management is a career path open to them.”

This story originally appeared in International Adviser, a Last Word Media publication and the industry media partner of LGBT Great, a financial services representative organisation focusing on diversity and inclusion.

Cristian Angeloni

Cristian Angeloni is a news reporter at International Adviser.

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