In March 2019, FIA unveiled a board-level Diversity Committee and an initiative addressing the importance of diversity and inclusion in our industry. The committee, chaired by board member Alicia Crighton from Goldman Sachs, includes senior representatives from FIA member firms, as well as FIA senior staff. Collectively, this group ensures the topic of diversity and inclusion stays on the agenda across events and board discussions as well as considering practical steps to foster a culture of inclusion in the industry.
The initiative’s mission is as follows:
FIA recognizes the benefits that diversity and inclusion can bring to an organization. FIA is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion and will strive to encourage, support and celebrate the diverse voices both within the organization and the industry at large.
Since the March announcement, we have taken steps towards furthering that mission. The most important was putting the topic on the agenda and drawing on efforts underway at many member firms to advance the discussion. FIA cannot address this problem alone, but we can provide forums for meaningful discussion, networking, education and mentorship.
Conferences and events
FIA has featured dedicated panel discussions on diversity and inclusion at our major conferences. FIA has also highlighted women keynote speakers and role models, including:
- Dame Helena Morrisey, Author, A Good Time to Be a Girl, & Founder, 30% Club
- Reshma Saujani, Founders, Girls Who Code
- Laura Kuenssberg, Political Editor, BBC
- Margaret Brennan, CBS News
- Doris Kearns Goodwin, Author
We have tracked the number of women speakers at our major conferences, helping us improve the ratio of diverse speakers. Last year’s percentages of women speakers were as follows:
- FIA/SIFMA AMG Asset Management Derivatives Forum: 33%
- Boca: 22%
- L&C: 37%
- IDX: 22%
- Expo: 27%
- FIA Asia: 24%
In addition to tracking the percentage of women speakers at our conferences, we have also begun tracking the percentage of women attendees, which shows that industry has some way to go to encourage participation from a broader range of the population.
Following our experiences in 2019, we are making a commitment to increase the percentage of diverse speakers at our events. Our aim is to have at least 30% diverse speakers at all our conferences. This will mean that FIA will not host panels that do not include at least one woman or other diverse speaker – reflecting also the policy among a growing number of organisations not to put forward representatives to speak on panels of only men speakers. We welcome the support of our industry partners in fulfilling this approach.
Next generation support
During our London IDX and Chicago Expo conferences, we hosted personal development sessions with groups of industry members nominated by their senior managers and reflecting FIA’s objective of enabling the career progression of a diverse and inclusive future industry leadership. We are now working with those groups to identify the next steps that FIA can take to continue to support this progression and recognize emerging talent.
The board remains committed to addressing the importance of diversity and inclusion in our industry. 2020 will see a continuation of FIA’s efforts to promote diversity, through its communications, conference programming, committee participation and other channels. FIA will explore other ways to shine a light on emerging diverse talent. We also believe it is important to work in partnership with the industry broadly and our members in particular to identify practical steps that can be taken to further this initiative.
We want to hear from you – what is your organisation doing in terms of diversity and inclusion? How can FIA partner with such programs or other existing networks to provide meaningful support? What topics would you like to see addressed by FIA on this issue?