Guest Blog: DPNA Industry Engagement & Events
The Diversity Project North America connects industry professionals to collaborate on the issues and opportunities that are driving DEI in asset management. The Engagement & Events Committee shares findings and ideas with the broader industry community.
Recently, the Industry Engagement & Events Committee met to discuss the content presented at the recent Fearless Leadership Symposium with the goal of summarizing and sharing the most tangible takeaways from the event.
The FLS focused on practices that enhance productivity and promote the long-term sustainability of the asset management industry. The event brought together an industry that has quickly come to terms with the “WHY?” of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and homed in on the “HOW.”
Below is a look at the ideas that bubbled to the top. For more ideas and takeaway, watch the FLS highlights video.
Set a purposeful mindset.
Among mindsets that shape behaviors and cultivate corporate cultures are self-awareness, courage, vulnerability, and empathy. When it comes to DEI, industry leaders must “own it” and check their motives regularly. One effective daily “to do” is to ask yourself “what didn’t I get right” today, reflect on the answers, and change course if needed.
Actively practice giving and accepting feedback.
Constructive feedback is an essential part of “feeling seen” and “being heard.” It can be a critical factor in retaining rising talent.
Make time for it: Add #FeedbackFridays to your weekly calendar, and allow yourself an hour, a half hour, even fifteen minutes to purposefully ask yourself: “Who did I give feedback to this week? Who did I recognize? Who didn’t I recognize, and why?”
It’s also a great time to challenge yourself with: “Who did I get feedback from this week and what did I do with that feedback?”
Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
If you’re afraid of not doing the right thing, don’t hide behind “I’m not going to say anything that may get me into trouble.” Open yourself to making mistakes and accept the process of recovering from those mistakes. Watch The White Male Dilemma.
Ensure clarity of purpose.
Make sure your firm has a clear purpose that employees can relate to and get behind. Look for diversity of thought, but not diversity of values. Clearly stated corporate values that are shared by employees build connections over a common cause and a strong corporate culture.
Be an ally.
Explore how you can be an ally/advocate for historically marginalized employees and peers. Take the time to explore different perspectives.
Watch How to Support Transgender Colleagues.
Watch How to Re-Engage Working Moms into the Talent Pipeline.
Expand opportunities beyond your inner circle.
Think about your own management style and evaluate your typical “Go-To People” – Who do you turn to for help with challenging issues? Who do you count on when you need something done very quickly? For most managers, this inner circle is relatively small. Challenge yourself to broaden this list, or completely change it up. Ensure that you are giving everyone across the organization the opportunity to learn and contribute.
Reevaluate your tolerance for second chances.
Mistakes happen in business. For start-ups, new hires, and rising leaders, mistakes are a chance to learn and improve. Executives with oversight of employees, vendors, and/or relationship management should evaluate their own reactions to such situations. Are you giving certain employees, vendors, investment teams more second chances than others? If so, why?
These are just some of the many takeaways from the 2022 Fearless Leadership Symposium. Employees of registered firms can access session replays here.
Note: The observations contained in this work represent the thoughts of individuals comprising Nicsa committees. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Nicsa or any of its member organizations. Nothing herein is intended to be or should be construed as legal advice.