By Luuk Jacobs
By Eva Keogan
By Jonathan Max
By Luuk Jacobs
By Andy Milner
By Jonathan Max
Really interesting Policy Paper from the IA which certainly highlights the fundamental changes underway across the industry, particularly against a backdrop of increased regulation and technology disruption.
Clearly the 'people' aspect is key, would be great to find out more about the Talent and D&I Strategy @gillian.painter?
By Eva Keogan
We all want to love our jobs but what if the environment you are working in doesn't love you back? That's something many women are facing daily. Sexism is such an old fashioned concept and it’s really time for it to go, but it still exists. How can firms stamp it out when it seems to be ubiquitous?
You may have spotted the headlines recently about the Lean In survey which found 60% of male managers are ‘uncomfortable participating in a common work activity with a woman, such as mentoring, working alone, or socialising together’.
The choice of wording used is a bad start as it immediately puts the man in the role of the victim, with him being the one made to feel ‘uncomfortable’. And the study finds even worse thinking.
Apparently, senior male professionals are less likely to fraternise with junior females than they are with junior males. This is underpinned by these startling statistics:
Men are 12x more likely to hesitate to have 1-on-1 meetings with women Men are 9x more likely to hesitate to travel together for work with women Men are 6x more likely to hesitate to have work dinners with women
And to top it off, 36% of men say they’ve avoided mentoring or socialising with a woman because they were nervous about how it would look.
If we look at these figures from the other side it becomes even more alarming – women are 12x less likely to get a meeting with a senior manager. Women are 9x less likely to get go on business trips. Women are 6x less like to be invited to work dinners.
Yet this doesn't seem to be a case of fixing one problem and causing another, as 57% of women still report that they’ve experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace.
So what exactly is going on here? It's surely enough to put many women off working in a corporate environment altogether.
Data and Facts
While it’s always difficult to apply generic survey data to a particular industry – especially when it’s a sample size of 2000 and generated in the US – there’s no denying that these issues are global, and that sexism and sexual harassment are still rife in the City of London.
In 2017, the FTfm Women in Asset Management Survey found 70% of women have been the subject of sexism. That’s pretty depressing.
It’s really important for everyone to enjoy work – we work longer hours in the UK than our European counterparts and the City is no exception. But while on the one hand we have diversity drives, returnships and Gender Pay Gap reporting designed to give women and other groups support and reassurance through legislation and behaviour change campaigns, recent stories coming out of the City at large show types of misconduct such as sexism, exploitation and at the very least crass jokes, are by no means going away any time soon.
The Toxic City?
News stories around sexism in the City aren't positive at the moment - here are just some which have made the news:
James Conmy and his ‘glazed ring’ comment ended up with him being fired. The Bloomberg exposé The Old Daytime-Drinking, Sexual-Harassing Ways Are Thriving at Lloyd’s which contributed to the banning of alcohol. Coutts is facing a significant pay out to a female employee of its ‘unspoken culture of sexism’. In February 2019, the FCA met Nathalie Abildgaard, a former employee of IFM Investors, an Australian investment manager with an office on Gresham Street, to discuss her claim that a senior manager sexually harassed her on a work trip – she has settled out of court this April for a six figure sum.
With all of this on the table it’s quite easy to lose faith in change at all but we just can’t give up and go home if we want to see change.
Who is responsible?
Organisations themselves are responsible for their own culture but they need more than a gentle nudge. Campaigns such as Women in Finance are pushing for the numbers of women in the industry to increase.
The Investment Association also has a role to play. It currently campaigns around Diversity & Inclusion as well and while it has written to FTSE 350 companies about diversity it has not been so vocal about sexism in the industry itself – but is this something it should champion or should it tackle broader issues? The Diversity Project, the campaign set up to promote Diversity & Inclusion in the industry has a broad remit across the diversity spectrum and is a force for good overall but holds no power to enforce rules or regulation.
All the above are working towards change but it is only when there is jeopardy, or high stakes, we will see any kind of radical reform or progress.
Calling out to the FCA
When it comes to any kind of enforcement, the FCA is the only organisation with real teeth and it has stated over the last few months sexual harassment falls within its remit, so perhaps we will start to see some tangible movement on the issue.
Speaking at City and Financial's Women in Finance Summit 2019 this month, Nausicaa Delfas, executive director of international at the FCA, pointed to an increase in non-financial misconduct as a threat to the sector's diversity.
"This type of serious misbehaviour is toxic to a working environment and can lead to bad outcomes for customers, staff, stakeholders and the firm. In our view, tolerance of this sort of misconduct would be a clear example of a driver of unhealthy culture. This area clearly requires management attention and a broader change in the firms’ mindset."
Will this effect change?
First and foremost, we’ve seen little change in the Gender Pay Gap reporting figures so should women expect much else to change? Yes of course women should.
According to Wealth Manager ‘The FCA has said firms need to demonstrate good practice in purpose, leadership, rewarding and managing people, and governance arrangements.'
With SMCR coming into play in December 2019, company culture is being given increasing importance in the Investment Management sector, and the risk of high profile fines for senior management and directors from the regulator may encourage organisations to stamp out any form of misconduct – sexual or otherwise – more quickly than before.
Let’s hope 2020 sees a step change in stamping out sexism and misconduct for once and for all and we can all enjoy our jobs, regardless of gender or identity.
By Luuk Jacobs
We partnered with Imperial College Business School for a panel discussion about the Impacts of FinTech to careers in Investment Management. We were keen to marry up the collective experience of the panel, and their insights and views, with the audience. Equally we wanted to get a feel for what the next generation of Investment Management professionals should set in their sights.
Based on the findings from our soon to be published report The Disrupted Career - FinTech, Investment Management and future careers, we created a truly interactive debate as we put the questions we used in our survey to our audience, enabling to give real-time feedback via the AlgoMe Community mobile app.
The panel consisted of Rob Carter, CEO, AlgoMe and Ruben Lara, Chief Data Officer, Standard Life Aberdeen, and Henrik Grunditz, Co-Founder & Chief Revenue Officer, Hivemind, a FinTech that is helping companies create value from complex data sets. The Moderator was Anne-Louise Burnett, Centre Manager, Imperial College Business School Centre for Global Finance & Technology.
The key questions that were discussed were:
Do I understand typical career paths in Investment Management?
The combined experience of our panel is both lengthy and varied. For example, moving from working within an investment company, joining a consulting company and also joining other industries where core skills are transferable (eg. within data science), indicated that careers are fluid and certainly not predefined. The key trend however was all the panel members, throughout their careers. kept developing and adding to their skillsets.
Are career paths less well defined due to the changes happening in the industry?
There was a general view that indeed career paths are now less well defined than before, and technology and general innovation were changing these paths as existing positions in the industry will likely be displaced by other new ones. The new careers demand an understanding of data and how they can be leveraged to create efficiency, greater understanding of clients, investments and decision making. As the technology impact is just starting to hit the Investment Management industry, career paths will be impacted in the next 10 years to a great extent, beyond what we imagine today. Some research indicates that 90% of today’s jobs will not exist in 10-15 years.
What skills will be the most important to develop careers in Investment Management?
As already mentioned, skills linked to data science will be important. Along with this, the ability to interpret what it presents, to further support risk management, controls, understanding of clients and trends in the market as well as supporting (investment) decision making. These skills will be in demand for both junior and senior positions and given the technology developments ahead of us will likely change and become more complex.
What will, and what can, you do to progress your career?
The panel indicated that if they were looking at their 20-year younger self, they would not have seen themselves in the positions they are today. Nevertheless, a key ‘red line’ through their careers was the development of their main professional interest and continuously developing the associated skills, be it business management, data and analytics, or information systems engineering. All equally being influenced by the need of these aforementioned hard technology skills.
Rob Carter stressed the value of having mentors throughout your career, people that can guide you and hold a mirror up for you. Hendrik Grunditz mentioned the benefits of networking, staying in touch with people and create a reputation of being nice, delivering constant high quality and be committed. Ruben Lara added to this the need for the softer skills and ability to influence, manage stakeholders and communication.
We believe the Investment Management professional career is about to change direction, and for some this will be a radical change. It seems everyone is in agreement and there are very exciting times ahead, especially for those with a passion for technology and change.
By Eva Keogan
Direct quote from Investment Week: The number of firms in the UK reporting their Gender Pay Gap (GPG) figures by the deadline has fallen by more than a thousand, amid claims firms have restructured businesses or transferred staff to avoid being obliged to report, or have ditched reporting altogether under the perception they will not face repercussions.
Is anyone working for a company which has done this? Is it time to name and shame as has been threatened before? Your thoughts are welcome.
This is quite worrying to read and it's not just Investment Week which has reported on this but to down size companies so they are below the 250-person threshold for reporting is incredibly cynical. Has anyone found evidence of this? Also, using Brexit as a smokescreen is not going to wash next year.
Gender pay gap reporting falls as asset managers unveil mixed results
WWW.INVESTMENTWEEK.CO.UK More than 1,000 fewer firms reveal figures