Black Women in Asset Management (BWAM), a non-profit organisation promoting the advancement of black women working in the asset management industry, is delighted to announce Ares Management, BlackRock, Federated Hermes, Helios Investment Partners, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, M&G plc, Maniyar Capital, Morningstar, Inc. and State Street Global Advisors as new institutional members.
The association writes that black women remain vastly underrepresented at all levels within the investment industry. A 2019 report by the Investment Association showed that less than 1 per cent of investment managers in the UK are black. BWAM aims to drive positive change by providing black women with tools needed to thrive, while also encouraging firms to create more inclusive environments. The organisation writes that since formation in 2019, it has quickly become a valuable community for investment professionals, lawyers, consultants, administrators, and other advisors in the asset management field. To date, BWAM has over 700 members.
BWAM Chair and Co-Founder, Jacqueline Taiwo, says: “Our new institutional members represent over USD17 trillion of AUM in the global asset management industry. We are thrilled to be able to partner with a wide cohort of investment firms to advance BWAM’s mission to connect and empower black women working across the investment ecosystem. Their support will accelerate BWAM’s impact in 2022, allowing the organisation to bring in new resources, and offer more career development, networking and visibility opportunities for black women in asset management. We also look forward to expanding our existing outreach initiatives to encourage more young black women to pursue careers in investment.”
Institutional membership in BWAM provides firms with a number of benefits to enhance their diversity strategies, the organisation says, including access to exclusive roundtables that offer fresh insight on how to recruit, retain and advance black women in their organisations. These roundtables are facilitated by diversity, equity and inclusion experts and explore important topics such as psychological safety, allyship and inclusive leadership.
Indhira Arrington, Managing Director and Global Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Ares Management says: “Ares is committed to building meaningful relationships with partners who focus on advancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in our industry and communities, and we are very excited to work with Black Women in Asset Management to help drive systemic change in our industry. We look forward to furthering the mission of ensuring Black women have access to the support and resources necessary to flourish in their careers.”
Justine Anderson, EMEA Chief Operating Officer at BlackRock, says: “At BlackRock, we are committed to helping build a better, fairer society and the mission of Black Women in Asset Management (BWAM) is firmly aligned with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy. We know that empowering young black women in the early stages of their careers is essential for advancing and retaining black women leaders, whose positive impact within our workforce drives improved outcomes for our clients, our shareholders and all our stakeholders. That is why we are excited to sponsor BWAM and work together to drive the positive impact of the talented black women who work in asset management.”
Eoin Murray, Head of Investment at Federated Hermes says: “Federated Hermes are thrilled to partner with Black Women in Asset Management. Advancing and retaining black women across all areas of the investment industry is critical to securing the diverse and inclusive workforce that will improve outcomes for our clients.”
Christina Drews, Partner, Chief Operating Officer, Member of Executive Committee at Helios stated: “Helios is pleased to join the Black Women in Asset Management organisation as an institutional member and sponsor. In addition to this new partnership, Helios recently became a signatory of ILPA’s Diversity in Action initiative, reflecting our longstanding commitment to gender equality and increasing representation not only at our own firm, but also within our portfolio companies. As a pioneering investor on the African continent and certified B Corporation, over 60 per cent of our staff come from minority ethnic backgrounds and 40% is female. Joining BWAM will further our engagement in empowering black women working across the investment ecosystem.”
Mark McLane, Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Well-being at M&G plc says: “M&G is very proud to sponsor Black Women in Asset Management (BWAM). We’re committed to creating an inclusive culture and, with our goal of 40% of senior leaders to be women and 20% to be from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background by 2025, we share BWAM’s ambitions. We look forward to working with BWAM to support women from Black and Ethnic Minority backgrounds to advance their careers within asset management and the wider finance industry.”
Dhamesh Maniyar, CEO of Maniyar Capital says: “We are very pleased to partner with BWAM as a part of Maniyar Capital’s commitment to diversity. We believe that a diverse team, broadly defined, enables our firm to work at its highest potential, which in turn leads to the best possible outcomes for our clients. We look forward to working with BWAM as we seek diverse and talented candidates for positions at our firm.”
Paul Malone, Head of Morningstar UK & Executive Sponsor for EMEA Black, Caribbean & African Employee Resource Group, says: “I am proud that Morningstar has become a corporate partner of Black Women in Asset Management (BWAM). We aim to provide a workplace that welcomes, celebrates, invests in, and empowers all. Through this partnership, we will work with BWAM to advance and encourage women from black and ethnic minority backgrounds to pursue new and existing careers within the wider finance industry, as well as in asset management.”