Diversity and Inclusion  

Diversity in Finance Awards - who's on the shortlist?

Diversity in Finance Awards - who's on the shortlist?
 Last year's DIFA awards (2019)

Diversity and inclusion are no longer nice-to-haves but a business imperative in financial services.

The Financial Conduct Authority itself has, on several occasions over the past 12 months, indicated it will be looking into diversity and inclusion as part of a company’s culture when it comes to doing its supervisory work.

And it goes without saying that company reputations are on the line if they fail to not only implement but also carry through positive changes that improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

There are many stand-out companies in the world of financial services that have gone the extra mile.

The Financial Adviser Diversity in Finance Awards 2020 showcase those companies whose diversity and inclusion strategies have been exceptional, whether in recruitment, product development, improving flexibility for their workforce and listening to the real experiences of their employees.

The DIFA 2020 candidates demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion above and beyond a mere tick-box approach, and it was not easy to come up with shortlists of two to three names. In many cases, there was only a hair’s width between some of the entries.

This was particularly the case in the Individual Diversity Champion award, which received an incredible number of entries, and each candidate was an inspiration to our judges.

Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, commented: “We must all work to create a culture where people feel supported and comfortable to speak up.”

Some of the awards did not ask for submissions but candidates were chosen based on overall work in 2019 to improve diversity and inclusion for their colleagues, advisers and consumers. The editor will unveil these worthy winners in September.

Thank you to all who entered and thanks also to our panel of judges: Liz Field, chief executive of Pimfa; Priscilla Baffour, global head of diversity and inclusion for the Financial Times; Adam Thorpe, operations director for Randstad Client Solutions; Sanjay Sood-Smith, executive director of workplace and community programmes for Stonewall; and Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society.

The shortlists (in alphabetical order) for the DIFAs 2020 are:

• Championing Disability Inclusion: Bank Austria; Cura Financial Services; and MUFG.

• Championing Gender Diversity: Morningstar UK; Standard Life Aberdeen; and St James’s Place Wealth Management.

• Championing LGBTQI+ Inclusion: Legal & General Investment Management; St James’s Place Wealth Management.

• Championing Race Diversity: To be unveiled at the awards ceremony in September.

• Championing Social Mobility: Investment Association; NatWest.

• Championing Women’s Equality: Dynamic Planner; Exante; Sesame Bankhall Group.

• Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year: Now:Pensions; Royal Bank of Scotland; Zurich.

• Diversity Champion of the Year (individual): Alison Jefferis, Columbia Threadneedle; Beena Joseph, WisdomTree; Dennis Owusu-sem, BMO Global Asset Management; Helen Walpole, MetLife; Ijeoma Okoli, JPMorgan Asset Management; Tali Shlomo; formerly of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

• Diversity Marketing & Recruitment Initiative of the Year: AJBell; Royal Bank of Scotland; PensionBee.