CEO, Jupiter Asset Management
Emerging Talent and Inclusion Lead, Jupiter Asset Management
A robust diversity and inclusion strategy can benefit a company by ensuring it has access to the best talent, without bias towards gender, ethnicity, age, sexuality, background and disability.
“Some people have a misconception about diversity and inclusion (D&I)” says Andrew Formica, CEO of London-based fund management group, Jupiter Asset Management.
“D&I doesn’t simply mean making sure an organisation is open to people regardless of their gender and race – important though that is. It’s about being open to everyone, regardless of age, religion, background, sexuality and disability, too.”
“I’ve always been a strong believer in D&I,” says Formica. “It’s an area I’ve focussed on both as a fund manager – creating a team of very different people and then getting the best out of them – and as a CEO.”
Inclusion is just as important as diversity. Probably more important, because it allows diversity to grow.
At a country level, industry level and company level, diversity and inclusion can deliver massive benefits, he says. “Our clients are diverse, so it’s important that we mirror them. New and existing employees see this as a valuable characteristic of the organisation and the way it treats people.”
Indeed, Formica is so passionate about D&I, he set up a careers website called Investment 2020 to improve diversity and inclusion in the asset management industry.
How an anonymised recruitment process can benefit you
The trouble is, some firms embrace diversity but completely forget about the ‘inclusion’ part of the equation.
“Companies can bring in people who think differently and bring a different perspective,” says Formica. “But if they put them in the corner and don’t allow them to contribute, then they quash the benefit of diversity. Actually, inclusion is just as important as diversity. Probably more important, because it allows diversity to grow.”
To encourage candidates from every part of society, it is important to signpost how your company is accessible to employees with disabilities, both during the recruitment process and on joining the organisation.
Anonymised applications mean: “From a business perspective you want to ensure you’re hiring the best people,” says Sabrina Summers, Jupiter’s Emerging Talent and Inclusion Lead. “So, for entry level, we recommend moving away from CVs and, instead, asking applicants to complete an online form that removes names, links to social media, university attendance, and dates of birth.
This stops managers going straight to the things that are traditionally thought of as ‘important’ and gets them to think about what they need from the candidate.” In a trial last year, the company saw a big boost in the diversity of applicants.
As for the future of D&I, Summers hopes that, one day, companies won’t even need to talk about it, because building a diverse team will just come naturally. “Companies need to create an environment that cares about everyone, respects everyone, learns from everyone and sees the value of everyone,” she says. “That’s why you must embed inclusion into everything you do.”