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CFA Institute Launches Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Code for the Investment Profession in US and Canada

Signatories will commit to six defining principles to drive cultural change

New York City, United States 24 Feb 2022

CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, today launched a comprehensive voluntary Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Code for the Investment Profession in the United States and Canada (“DEI Code”).

The DEI Code aims to foster commitment from institutions to DEI action that will lead to greater inclusion of wider viewpoints from the best talent, which will lead to better investment outcomes, help create better working environments, and generate a cycle of positive change for future generations. CFA Institute today becomes the first signatory to the DEI Code.

Today’s release follows a two-year plus industry-wide consultation and drafting process. The Code calls for signatory organizations to commit to six metrics-based Principles. In addition, signatories commit to accelerating and amplifying the impact of their commitment by making the economic, business, and moral case for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Further, in Canada, signatories commit to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada Call to Action #92 and to embracing Indigenous reconciliation.

Margaret Franklin, CFA, President & Chief Executive Officer, CFA Institute comments:

“To build an industry that is more representative and resilient, far more needs to be done across all aspects of DEI. We recognize that the words diversity, equity, and inclusion mean different things to different people, and each part of the globe may be in a different stage of the DEI effort. We aspire to bring more markets into this work, but we have started in the US and Canada to ground our efforts and to provide us with a path forward. The DEI Code results from industry collaboration that has brought forth strategies that can enable the necessary cultural change within firms. I am immensely grateful to the dedicated efforts of the DEI Working Group members for their leadership in bringing this Code forward for the investment profession.”

The six Principles of the DEI Code require commitment to:

Pipeline: Expanding the diverse talent pipeline;

Talent Acquisition: Designing, implementing, and maintaining inclusive and equitable hiring and onboarding practices;

Promotion and Retention: Designing, implementing and maintaining inclusive and equitable promotion and retention practices to reduce barriers to progress;

Leadership: Using our position and voice to promote DEI and improve DEI outcomes in the investment industry. We will hold ourselves responsible for our firm’s progress;

Influence: Using our role, position, and voice to promote and increase measurable DEI results in the investment industry;

Measurement: Measuring and reporting on our progress in driving better DEI results within our firm. We will provide regular reporting on our firm’s DEI metrics to our senior management, our board and CFA Institute.

Sarah Maynard, ASIP, Global Head, External Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, CFA Institute comments:

“Over successive generations, the investment industry has lacked the knowledge, experience, and, frankly, motivation to build DEI into the framework and culture of organizations. That is now changing. Increasingly, responsibility for DEI is moving to business owners with DEI goals embedded in long-term business strategy. There is no finish line, and effective change will require iterative, continuous improvement with commitment from every individual. It will also require trust, leadership and stringent data handling protocols. Data collection is a tool for greater understanding and wider culture change and is essential to our accountability as DEI Code signatories.”

Code signatories will provide a confidential, annual progress report to CFA Institute using an accompanying Reporting Framework. In turn, CFA Institute will report on industry-level statistics once a critical mass of signatories is reached. Signatory organizations must meet the following foundational reporting requirements within two years of becoming a DEI Code signatory:  

  • An adopted DEI policy and statement;
  • An established senior leadership ownership and oversight governance process; and
  • An implementation plan to integrate DEI within the signatory organization’s people processes and policies.

The DEI Code Working Group consists of members of CFA Institute DEI Steering Committee, DEI practitioners, and investment professionals. The Group shared a common belief that progress required commitment from the senior leaders at investment organizations who would have to both lead by example and hold their organizations accountable. Members came from organizations such as State Street Global Advisors, CalPERS, Columbia Investment Management Company, Northern Trust Asset Management, and many more.

To view the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Code for the Investment Profession (United States and Canada) visit here. Implementation Guidance and a Reporting Framework are also available here.

On 10 March 2022, Sarah Maynard, ASIP, will host a CFA Institute webinar presentation about the DEI Code. More information and online registration is available here

Notes to Editors

Public consultation and industry collaboration have informed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Code (United States and Canada). In March 2020, the CFA Institute DEI Working Group began to develop a set of principles to drive greater diversity, equity, and inclusion within the investment industry. The resulting set of principles formed the basis for a DEI code. In July 2021, CFA Institute published an Exposure Draft of the DEI Code seeking industry, regulatory, and public comment on the proposed scope, structure, and Principles for the Code. Materials concerning the development of the DEI Code, including the Exposure Draft and Comment Letters, are available here.

Implementation Guidance for DEI Code signatories draws on findings from the CFA Institute Experimental Partners Program, published in Accelerating Change: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Investment Management. The Experimental Partners Program was designed for investment industry organizations in North America and ran from July 2019 to December 2020. Overall, 83 percent of participating organizations were in the United States, 10 percent in Canada, and 7 percent in Australia. Participating organizations provided quarterly updates to CFA Institute about DEI actions that worked and actions that did not.

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 economics grow. There are more than 175,000 CFA charterholders worldwide in 160 markets. CFA Institute has nine offices worldwide and there are 160 local societies. For more information, visit www.cfainstitute.org or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter at Twitter at @CFAInstitute.