Losing out

Research published in March found women to be better traders than men. This hardly came as a shock to everyone in the financial community.

In fact, a quick Google tells you that there have been similar research projects in the past, which came to the same conclusion.

The shock factor is elsewhere.

That’s because, in 2016, women are still such a tiny proportion of the trading workforce, despite the fact they are the better choice.

Internationally, banks, asset managers and financial firms are still not doing enough to recruit workforces which reflect the rich skillset that the global population has to offer.

Gender is one example, but global financial giants – despite their wealth and size – are still not doing enough to address equality across the board. 

And yet, time and again independent research shows the benefits of having a diverse workforce and leadership team.

Chronic under-representation exists in every metric. You can look at statistics on gender equality, ethnic diversity, sexuality or social mobility and the conclusions are striking.

Yes, when there is a ‘promoted’ day – such as the recent International Women’s Day on 8 March – the press releases start landing in journalists inboxes about how much firms are doing. But where is the real proof?

What follows is one day of puff and free publicity for those firms who have seized the opportunity to bandwagon jump. We need to do much more.

Society’s under-represented groups have a lot to offer.

It may be clichéd but they often have overcome adversity in order to suceed.  This ability to succeed against the odds equips individuals with remarkable skills which simply cannot be taught in any classroom.

So, to all those who find themselves in the privileged position of recruiting for the next generation of traders, have a think. 

Your clients will thank you for the different approaches that a more diverse team can bring and statistically, the returns are likely to be better too.

For those who have already started extending down the ladder to a more diverse group – well done.  But remember, it doesn’t start and end with recruitment. Firms also have a responsibility to ensure that these individuals grow with organisations until we one day find ourselves in a financial sector of true equality.

It hasn’t happened yet, but we can only hope that it will.