Firms encouraged to help staff with ‘gay job’ in new LGBT+ inclusion report

The Investment Association (IA) has today launched a new report aimed at helping employers recruit and retain LGBT+ talent and build inclusive workplace environments where LGBT+ employees feel welcome and valued.

The launch of the report, ‘Do you remember the first time?’ comes days before the Pride in London march, where for the first time, firms from across the investment management industry will be marching together, under and next to the IA banner.

Drawing on the experiences of LGBT+ professionals who were asked about their first time coming out in the investment management industry and what encouraged them to come out, the report provides a number of recommendations on how to recruit and retain LGBT+ talent, including:

  • Hardwiring diversity into the recruitment process. Companies should brief recruitment consultants that they value diversity and inclusion in all forms. They should be clear and unambiguous in job adverts about welcoming LGBT+ applicants specifically, and discuss diversity and inclusion at interviews. A starter pack for all new employees with details of diversity and inclusion networks, rainbow lanyards and stationery, and inviting all new staff to diversity and inclusion network talks, could also make a big impression.
  • Having a queer eye for the LGBT+ ally. To make a real impact on the experiences of LGBT+ people at work, the support of friends and colleagues is vital. Handing out badges, stickers, flags or posters for allies to show support at their desks and around the workplace can really help make LGBT+ colleagues feel comfortable, as can incorporating the rainbow flag into your company logo. Running staff diversity network membership drives and encouraging all staff to join at least one can also build up ally support.
  • Helping employees manage their ‘gay job’ alongside their day job. Many LGBT+ employees give up their time to participate in their company’s diversity networks and, by extension, help build the reputation of their company as an LGBT+ inclusive employer. Companies should therefore look to support employees who volunteer in LGBT+ networks, and train line managers to support a team member who volunteers with diversity initatives.
  • Do ask. Do tell. For young people, starting their professional lives can be a steep and challenging learning curve. One judgment they will make is whether to share their non-work life with colleagues. Whether LGBT+ or not, employers should set a positive example by talking openly about themselves and their life outside work, and take an interest if someone says they are LGBT+.
  • Taking LGBT+ people seriously at work. Firms should ensure they have policies on the issues affecting LGBT+ employees, including healthcare and childcare for same-sex couples, as well as a dedicated trans inclusion policy. Publicly pledge to honour LGBT+ inclusion as part of company culture.

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:

“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people make an immeasurable contribution to society, the City and investment management. Their lived experiences enrich our industry and their voices, opinions and experiences help investment performance, widen horizons and discourage group think.

Our new report showcases some investment managers’ pioneering work in LGBT+ inclusion and encouraging LGBT+ people to feel welcome and celebrated being unashamedly themselves at work.

If we harness these policies, especially in relation to recruitment, we can ensure our industry stands out from the crowd and LGBT+ people starting their careers know investment management is a career path open to them.”


Notes to Editors: 

To read a copy of the full report, click here.

The report is based on two roundtable discussions hosted by the IA at M&G Investments and Baillie Gifford in London and Edinburgh in May 2019. The roundtables bought together LGBT+ employees and allies from across the investment management industry.

This report follows a previous report into the experiences of LGBT+ people in the investment management industry, ‘Bringing Our Whole Selves to Work’ published in July 2018.

    For further information, please contact:

    For media, to receive the full consultation document, please contact Helen Ayres

    Ben Rathe, Senior Communications Manager: [email protected]

    T +44 (0)20 7269 4620; M +44 (0)7508 724 066

    IA press office: [email protected]

    About the Investment Association (IA):

    • The IA champions UK asset management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 250 members manage £7.7 trillion of assets and the asset management industry supports 100,000 jobs across the UK.
    • Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for the economy, so everyone prospers.
    • Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:
      • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
      • Help people achieve their financial aspirations
      • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
      • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital.
    • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.
    • The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages 35% of all assets managed in Europe.