The investment industry should employ people from a wider socio-economic background, professionals say.
Seven in 10 investment professionals want more emphasis on promoting this element of diversity in the sector’s workforce.
The results are from a survey by professional body CFA UK, which sought members’ views on inclusion. There were 445 respondents.
Survey respondents felt that the most pressing diversity issue in the sector currently is ‘creating an inclusive culture’, narrowly beating ‘the gender pay gap’, CFA UK said.
Juliet Bullick, chair of the CFA UK Inclusion & Diversity Network, said: “This survey shows that socio-economic inclusion is at the forefront of investment professionals’ minds, and with good reason, so we are now taking this next step.
“Over the coming months the network will focus on defining the key goals and actions that can help both our individual members and the partner firms make more progress in this important area.”
Other top diversity and inclusion priorities include supporting mental wellbeing, physical disabilities and wider recruitment from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.
Will Goodhart, chief executive of CFA UK: “There is still much work to be done to improve gender balance in the sector, but as a profession, we must recognise the importance and benefits of diversity and inclusiveness in their broadest sense.”
He added: “If the profession is to reflect the society we serve, we must make it possible for people from all backgrounds to play a role and to have every opportunity to succeed.”
Some CFA UK members felt greater efforts should be made to address inequalities at an earlier stage, particularly at school and university level, in order to widen the recruitment pipeline.
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