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Jonathan Max

International Women's Day

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Luuk Jacobs

As Helena Morrissey states, the 2019 GPG reporting is likely to show that the gaps will be widening especially in the investment management industry. Is this a surprise and should we be worried that all the attention that is given to diversity and gender equality is not delivering the results aimed for ? Or even worse is there a certain diversity fatigue creeping in?

I believe that it is at least partially part of a normal process of "culture" change and the industry is only just waking up to the fact that the position of women (and other minorities) is as bad as the reports shows. As mentioned in a blog last year "It gets worse before it gets better", the structural changes that need to be made to improve on the GPG reporting will take time and at this stage we probably should be more looking at the measures that are taken by companies to improve the GPG in their companies. If we would see that there are serious programmes designed to improve the opportunities of women in companies and that the participation of women in these programmes is significant, I believe that only then we will start seeing slow improvements in the GPG reporting.

We should however also not forget that we can already visibly improve the situation right now by appointing women in more senior positions as I can not imagine that the talent is not there. The fact that the number of women in the top positions of companies in the FTSE500 has gone down in the last year is simply disappointing and needs to be called out.

As Helena Morrissey states: "Diversity fatigue is actually a thing – before we have even got much diversity. Let’s talk about talent, about results, about performance, about future-proofing our businesses. Let’s put in place (fully, not half-hearted efforts) smart, agile working practices. Let’s talk at schools and universities up and down the country about what it is we actually do, and let’s listen to what is being experienced by women in our industry."

If we achieve that, there lye many years of celebration of diversity ahead of us.





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