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CFA Institute Publishes Draft Voluntary Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Code for the Investment Profession in United States and Canada for Public Consultation

Code outlines six Principles to drive greater diversity, equity, and inclusion within the investment industry; drafted with participation from industry leaders

New York City, United States 07 Jul 2021

CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, announces today the publication of the first draft of a voluntary Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Code for the investment industry in the United States and Canada. 

The draft DEI Code represents collaboration between CFA Institute and a Working Group of industry leaders to foster a commitment that will lead to greater inclusion of wider viewpoints from diverse talent, which should result in better investment outcomes and help create better working environments. The draft is intended to elicit feedback on the proposed Principles outlined within the DEI Code from industry participants, regulators, and other stakeholders. 

“As the first female President and CEO of CFA Institute, I may be evidence of the progress the investment industry is making on gender diversity, but I am also profoundly disappointed by its inability to grapple with the broader issues of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Margaret Franklin, CFA, President and CEO of CFA Institute. “It is my sincere hope that this first draft of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Code will be an accelerant to igniting the change we need across the investment profession. I commit CFA Institute to be the first signatory of this new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Code upon release of the final version.”

Sarah Maynard, ASIP, CFA Institute, Global Head, External Inclusion & Diversity, added: “Sustained change is never easy, and we recognize that the industry has made attempts before to advance DEI without lasting impact. We also understand the importance of improving equity, while acknowledging the magnitude of the task. With this in mind, the Working Group focused these efforts within the workplace where the members have direct agency and influence as investors. We have confidence that a commitment to the DEI Code will foster greater inclusion in the industry.”

The draft DEI Code outlines six key Principles within the following categories:

  • Pipeline
  • Talent Acquisition
  • Promotion & Retention
  • Leadership
  • Influence
  • Measurement

Each signatory will commit to working on these Principles as well as collaborating with others in the field, striving towards the goals and promoting the ideals throughout the industry. Signatories will be required to report annually, leveraging a designated, confidential Reporting Framework.

CFA Institute will report its overall findings on industry progress on an annual basis. CFA Institute will also convene annual roundtables for signatories to share their implementation of tested practices. The DEI Code Working Group, itself a highly diverse team, consists of members of the CFA Institute Inclusion & Diversity Steering Committee, Diversity Equity and Inclusion practitioners, and investment professionals. 

Justine Phoenix, Head of Diversity Project North America at Nicsa, a not-for-profit trade association striving to connect all facets of the global asset management industry, represented Nicsa on the DEI Code Working Group. CFA Institute is proud to involve Diversity Project North America in this important work and believes this model of collaboration with Nicsa, and other influential entities, is necessary to expand the pipeline of underrepresented groups in the investment industry.

Jim Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of Nicsa commented: “Nicsa’s Diversity Project North America is pleased to have collaborated on this important initiative and commends CFA Institute and its members for taking actionable and measurable steps towards advancing a diverse workforce that is inclusive and equitable. We fully support CFA Institute on this effort.”

The DEI Code has been published on the CFA Institute website. Comments on the draft should be provided in the Response Form and submitted to [email protected] within the 60-day consultation period, which closes on 4 September 2021. Any individual, group, or organization may submit comments using the response form on the website, and they need not be from the US or Canada. CFA Institute anticipates undertaking future work in other regions of the world on the DEI Code.

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion of ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. Our aim is to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. There are more than 170,000 CFA® charterholders worldwide in 164 markets. CFA Institute has nine offices worldwide and there are 161 local societies.

For more information, visit www.cfainstitute.org or follow us on Twitter at @CFAInstitute and on Facebook.com/CFAInstitute.