While official diversity, equity and inclusion policies have been widely adopted by U.S. institutional asset management organizations, these policies have made little difference to the makeup of executive ranks, according to a survey by Meketa Investment Group.
The survey, which was based on responses provided by 420 U.S. institutional asset managers, found by the end of 2023, 84 per cent of institutional asset managers expect to have formal DEI policies in place, up from 78 per cent this year. However, more than half (56 per cent) of these policies exclude executive or board director positions from their mandates and just a third (36 per cent) relate to non-executive senior manager positions.
Two-thirds (66 per cent) of institutional investors have made public statements in support of DEI initiatives and almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of asset manager boards regularly review DEI policies. A quarter (24 per cent) of institutional asset managers now extend DEI policies to include an evaluation of the diversity of service providers, up 33 per cent from the results found in a similar survey issued last year.
The survey also revealed the majority of institutional asset managers don’t track differences in compensation between white and other employees, as well as between male and female employees. While 46 per cent of institutional asset managers tracked their gender wage gap, just 35 per cent of respondents said their organization tracked ethnic wage gaps.
“We believe investment managers can further differentiate themselves by implementing a range of DEI-focused initiatives such as diversifying boards, expanding ownership, ensuring that there are policies and committees to support DEI at all levels,” said Peter Woolley, co-chief executive officer of Meketa, in a press release. “Such efforts will more fully encourage diversity and inclusion in all its forms, strengthening organizations and outcomes for our clients.”