The need to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the alternative investment management industry has never been clearer. In this our industry is not alone. 2020 saw protests over Indigenous rights temporarily shut down swathes of a G7 country’s transportation network. It saw global protests sparked by the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police. Those protests, in turn, sparked debates about historical monuments from Baton Rouge to Brussels. The ongoing pandemic, meanwhile, has thrown light on existing divisions. Questions are being asked about why some minority groups suffer disproportionately from the virus, why essential workers beatified as ‘heroes’ needed to use the food bank while they were still alive, and why women continue to shoulder the bulk of housework and child-raising.
In the face of all this, people naturally want to take action. Faced with systemic injustices, members of our industry have asked AIMA what they can do. Many of those people were not in management positions, and most of them were not members of minority or disadvantaged groups. They wanted to know what they could do to help their colleagues, even if they could not directly shape firm policy. More to the point, they wanted to know how they could help without seeming insensitive, or as if they were acting out of misplaced charity.
They wanted, in short, to know how to be good allies.
In conversations with members of our industry around the world, it became clear that being a good ally means doing four things: listening, supporting, educating, and persisting.
Associate, Markets, Governance and Innovation
Coordinator, Government Affairs/Executive Assistant
Associate Director, Markets, Governance and Innovation, AIMA