Only 1.4% of total U.S.-based AUM is managed by diverse-owned firms, as of September 2021, according to a Knight Foundation report released at the end of 2021.
Despite the size and importance of the investment management industry, many observers have pointed to its lack of diversity. Previous studies, commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, have concluded that women and minorities were dramatically underrepresented in the mutual fund, hedge fund, private equity, and real estate industries.
It is important to ensure that a firm and investor’s values are aligned when choosing which fund managers to allocate assets to. Large asset managers, which hold considerable assets and market share, are in a unique position to redefine the industry and create an environment around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Invesco, the asset manager behind the popular and highly rated Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ ), has made considerable progress on its commitment to improving diversity and inclusion. Last year, the firm earned 100% on the 2021 Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and the designation of being one of the best places to work for LGBTQ equality.
The four components to the firm’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy include: purpose and priorities, ensuring D&I is a key part of how the firm operates; talent, enhancing diversity and representation by focusing on recruitment and advancement of diverse colleagues; belonging, ensuring an inclusive culture where all colleagues feel safe and supported; and client and community, moving the industry and Invesco’s communities forward.
Invesco has set well-defined goals to guide its efforts in creating a more diverse and inclusive environment.
In 2020, Invesco launched its first global #CountMeIn employee self-identification campaign, which enables employees to provide demographic data beyond gender, including sexual orientation, gender identity, race and ethnicity, veteran, neurodiversity, and caregiver status.
The data gathered from the campaign has helped inform Invesco’s diversity strategy and ensure a more inclusive culture for all. The firm also intends to use the results of the data capture campaign to set goals to further increase racial representation.
The most senior leaders of Invesco’s business have diversity and inclusion goals, both individually as part of their annual performance goals and for their teams, according to the firm’s website.
During 2020, 58% of the candidate slates were gender diverse, and 78% of the interview panels were gender diverse. Invesco’s goal is to ensure that 95% of all candidate slates and interview panels are gender diverse. The firm is also tracking candidate slates for racial diversity to help further enhance its talent acquisition practices, according to the firm.
Notably, the firm has taken an activist approach to furthering D&I interests beyond its own operations.
Invesco signed a pledge for racial equity, the Confluence Philanthropy 2020 Belonging Pledge, committing to identify industry-wide barriers and the technical resources required to advance the practice of investing with a racial lens.
In 2021, the firm joined the State of Connecticut Corporate Call to Action: Coalition for Equity & Opportunity, committing to disclose workforce data aimed at furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Invesco participated in the Atlanta Committee for Progress Pledge and signed a joint letter of Commitment in 2020 to support the passage of the Georgia Hate Crimes Bill, which aimed to address economic and racial disparities.
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