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Sustainable finance: The financial sector must build D&I momentum

Income, racial and gender inequality have been at the top of the news agenda for months. The financial sector now needs to go beyond programmes, initiatives and box-ticking and embed diversity and inclusion into all it does.


Events of the last few months, from the pandemic to protests ignited by the killing of George Floyd in the US, have thrust racial, ethnic and gender inequality into the spotlight.

Financial institutions are rethinking their approach to diversity and inclusion: indeed, over 70% of respondents to a survey during a recent Euromoney webinar said that their institution is doing just this.

In addition to pledging funding to minority communities, banks and other financial firms are assessing how they may be supporting the status quo through their business operations, and therefore what they need to change.

We’ve been looking at how our performance metrics may have meant we have been selecting without considering up-and-coming leaders who may not have the same networks as others - Brandee McHale, Citi

Adebola Osakwe, global head of inclusion and diversity at global investor KKR, says: “Within finance, those bulge-bracket institutions that have had policies in place for years are fine-tuning their actions – and for those in the US that means a more intentional focus on black and African-American employees. For lack of a better term, we’re seeing a ‘reboot’, a doubling down now around D&I.”

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