When we launched the Accelerating Change Together (ACT) research programme in 2020, we set our ambitions high. It was the UK’s first cross-sector research project, bringing to the fore the experiences and views of UK financial services’ employees and executives to champion faster and more significant change with regard to diversity and inclusion. Over the course of Year 1, we had over 1,700 respondents to the quantitative research, with 79 women involved in the qualitative study. We want Year 2 to include many more views.
The first piece of new research is 100 Diverse Voices: the Future of Work, which sees the LSE – our academic partner – and its team at The Inclusion Initiative, led by Dr Grace Lordan, interview 100 men and women across all levels of seniority in financial services firms. This research is underway and the report is due in September.
Later in the year, we will also be publishing a second set of quantitative survey findings – again managed by our research partner, The Wisdom Council – to supplement the conclusions of 100 Diverse Voices. And it is on this project that we are asking for your help given we want to multiply the number of respondents.
Already putting forward candidates and offers to share survey links with their distribution lists are: industry bodies, such as the Chartered Banker Institute and Scottish Financial Enterprise; education and training providers, such as Blackbullion and Corndel; and other third sector organisations, such as GAIN (Girls Are Investors). We are also seeking new partnerships beyond Year 1’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and AFME (The Association for Financial Markets in Europe). And lots more companies – too many to name here – have signed up to provide candidates for the research, or to help underwrite the financial cost as ACT sponsors.
And we are looking to collaborate and share insights – where it will add value – with other teams researching diversity and inclusion in financial services, such as those working with HM Treasury on its Women in Finance Charter commitment, and with organisations that seek to empower women beyond our sector, such as The Female Lead.
But we need more ACT sponsors and supporters, industry associations, recruitment firms, regulators and WIBF institutional members to help us. So, if you believe your firm can get involved – whether to help us with the research itself or to provide financial support – please get in touch with Nicky.King@wibf.org.uk.