LGBT Great launches first ever LGBT+ employee survey in Investment Industry - Media Release

Fri, June 01, 2018

LGBT Great, created by Matt Cameron of The Ocean Partnership, today announced the launch of the first LGBT+ study to examine the experiences of 100 LGBT+ individuals working within the investment industry. The Ocean Partnership is the recruitment and inclusion firm dedicated to the investment industry led by Matt Cameron and Clare Scott. Cameron has recently launched LGBT Great with the aspiration to drive LGBT+ talent diversity and inclusion across the sector and as the global industry network.

This first-ever study has been developed in partnership with LGBT Capital which is the first specialist investment firm focused exclusively on the LGBT market. The study was commissioned as a result of the perceived lack of diversity in the investment industry and because of the fact that many firms are simply overlooking LGBT+ inclusion. In addition, the study examines the perspectives of 100 LGBT+ individuals who are currently working within the sector and is designed to provide useful insights to both investment firms and LGBT+ and individual allies.

LGBT Great believes that in an ever changing world the investment industry needs to adopt a new and radical approach to all spectrums of diversity in general and LGBT+ in particular. The recent Mercer and Diversity Project benchmarking study found that the industry brand is stuck in a stereotype and that hiring and promotion is perceived to be exclusive. Given that the business is made up mostly of one type of gender and sexual orientation there is significant work to do to truly embed equality and workplace inclusion. Science says so. The good news is that there is some appetite for change but what we can concluded is that such large homogeneity is a key barrier to the diversification. 

Another survey found that LGBT+ talent continues to be undervalued which has a negative impact on employee potential and employer brand. The same study also estimated that as many as 90% of employees believe that ‘out’ and visible LGBT+ leaders are crucial. Yet most investment firms do not have any LGBT+ presence at all let alone ‘out’ LGBT+ leaders. In addition, there are more people than ever before identifying as LGBT+ and even non-LGBT+ individuals are looking for signs of LGBT+ inclusion as the litmus test when choosing a potential employer. So the lack of LGBT+ inclusion in the sector means that there is a real problem when it comes to talent. This ripple effect could also mean less returns for investors. 

As a starting point, the study concluded that that investment firms need to do more for LGBT+ talent and established 5 clear insights: 

  1. Banter is the number one concern for LGBT+ individuals.
  2. LGBT+ policy formation and implementation is important.
  3. There is a lack of LGBT+ visibility and in particular role models and networks.
  4. LGBT+ inclusion matters in talent attraction and retention.
  5. LGBT+ inclusion is very important to people aged 25-44.

Paul Thompson, Founder of LGBT Capital said that “LGBT Capital is pleased to partner with LGBT Great on this important initiative for the investment management industry. Our research has shown that there is a business benefit to LGBT+ inclusion and having a diverse workforce and we believe this initiative will support the development of LGBT+ inclusion within the industry”.

Matt Cameron, Founder of LGBT Great said that “We are delighted to collaborate with LGBT Capital on our first piece of research and we are proud that this is the first study of its kind. The good news is that the investment industry is making some progress in developing workplace inclusion but individual firms need to do a great deal more for LGBT+ talent. This all starts by clearly establishing the visibility of LGBT+ individuals and allies who are already within the sector but also by giving people a voice to inspire progress. This is a key component of the LGBT Great programme and we will keep driving this forward with both action and momentum. It is exciting that there is real appetite for change and we hope that this study will provide some useful insights into the everyday lived experiences of LGBT+ individuals working in the industry. Thank you to everyone who participated and we look forward to building on this further”.

The LGBT+ market is vast and growing. LGBT Capital estimates that the LGBT+ population in the UK alone counts over 5 million individuals and represents some £110 billion in spending power per year. Investment firms would do well to start ‘investing’ in LGBT+ talent by doing more to make this talent feel welcome. 

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