OPINION: Greater diversity cannot come soon enough

Added 7th November 2016

There is an aspirational timbre to the slogan “Make America great again” that belies its dog-whistle like nature.

OPINION: Greater diversity cannot come soon enough

While some hear it clearly as a rallying cry, for others America has never been greater. For those on the other side of the divide, calls to return the country to a less inclusive past don’t register at all. At best, they appear tone-deaf, at worst, deeply troubling.

From the outside that slogan and the campaign around it look like the wild flailing of a group of people conscious that their in-built head start is slowly being eroded – in any situation, it is harder to win when the dice are not loaded in your favour.

Similar arguments can be made for much of the rhetoric around the UK’s referendum on the EU and for the rise of many other nationalist movements globally.

In the context of this growing nostaligic nationalism, it is deeply encouraging to see the launch of the Investment Association’s Diversity Project.

First announced in June, the initiative (which launches on Tuesday) aims to “target diversity in its broadest sense for investment and savings firms, aiming to tackle gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background, degree discipline, sexual orientation, age and disability.”

"In any situation, it is harder to win when the dice are not loaded in your favour."

While it is in part driven by a “recognition that current diversity levels are unacceptably low”, the call for greater diversity are by no means purely altruistic.

For many years, investment managers have been preaching the benefits of diversification and there is finally a growing acceptance of the fact that these benefits extend further than just asset classes.

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About Author

Geoff Candy

Group digital editor

Geoff Candy joined Portfolio Adviser as News Editor in May 2014. He has been a financial journalist and broadcaster since 2005 and, in that time has worked in both South Africa and the Netherlands, covering everything from high street retailers and construction companies to mining and insurance.

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