December 3, 2018 / News

SJP and Fidelity become founding members of LGBT initiative

By Sonia Rach, Portfolio Adviser

Investment firms praised for leading the agenda on workplace inclusion

SJP and Fidelity become founding members of LGBT initiative

St James’s Place (SJP) and Fidelity are among the founding members of a global membership initiative for the investment industry to encourage LGBT+ inclusion globally.

Legal & General, T Rowe Price and Northern Trust round out the remaining founding members for the initiative, which is led by LGBT Great, an industry organisation launched one year ago.

Matt Cameron, managing director of LGBT Great, says: “The sector needs to develop LGBT+ inclusion at home while also developing a broader external agenda too. There is a real opportunity to integrate LGBT+ issues into active portfolio allocation and investment strategies to help drive forward global equality and human rights.”

A recent study revealed diversity and inclusion based on sexual orientation improves the financial performance of firms.

LGBT Great’s project director Peter Hall, said that the first five firms to join have “shown boldness and bravery” and have “stepped up” to lead the agenda forward across the sector; “the timing has never been better”.

INVESTMENT INDUSTRY DIVERSITY BENCHMARK

Meanwhile, LGBT Great is introducing an industry benchmark for inclusion across investment firms, which will measure, review and track progress.

Bev Shah, CEO and founder at Cityhive, which has collaborated with LGBT Great over the past year, welcomed a tool for financial firms to measure their performance. The tool is made up of nine core areas based on internal and external inclusion indicators.

“We have seen where there is a measurable the dial starts to shift, like with gender pay gap numbers and Women in Finance Charter pledges. The shift is not going to be quick as it is structural, but noise is being made and heard.”

Cameron said the industry is beginning to open its doors to LGBT+ talent and that embedding inclusion policies and tools provides an opportunity to tackle the sector’s diversity deficit.

As well as Cityhive, LGBT Great has worked with the Diversity Project, Investment2020, NICSA, The Guild of Investment Managers, LGBT Capital, My G Work and The Investment Association over its first year since launch.

– This article first appeared on ESG Clarity‘s sister site Portfolio Adviser.