Aviva Investors fully supports The Diversity Project’s efforts to promote greater inclusiveness in the investment industry. We believe that gender diversity is important for morale, productivity and performance across our business.

Aviva Investors is proud to be part of The Diversity Project, which aims to create a truly diverse and inclusive UK investment and savings industry with the right talent to deliver the best possible results for our clients and to reflect the society we serve.

The mission

The Diversity Project was launched in early 2016 when a group of leaders in the investment and savings profession, including Aviva Investors, decided to act to accelerate progress towards an inclusive culture within our industry. The Diversity Project provides recognition that future success – for our clients, members, employers and shareholders – requires an inclusive culture.

Development of the Project’s strategy will be led by a CEO and Chair Advisory Council, of which Euan Munro is a member of, and implemented through a Steering Committee responsible for co-ordinating and delivering activities. There are then further members from all levels of the industry, who help deepen the work through individual engagement. In all cases, volunteers are driving change.  

I’m delighted Aviva Investors is supporting such an important initiative as The Diversity Project. Diversity isn’t a ‘nice to have’: as investors, we have long held the belief that diversity has a positive impact on performance in the companies we own, so it is absolutely right that we hold ourselves to the same standards.

Euan Munro

Chief Executive Officer

The vision

The members of The Diversity Project believe that recognisable and measurable progress can be achieved over the Project’s five-year timeframe. It aims to achieve diversity across all dimensions, including gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background, LGBTI+, age and disability. Metrics to assess progress will be published following an analysis of the industry’s existing position across these dimensions.

The Diversity Project is founded on the belief that an inclusive culture across all levels supports more effective teamwork, gives wider perspectives, better investment decisions, improved results for our clients and ultimately more sustainable businesses.

The strategy

The Project spans the whole range of the profession: asset owners, fund managers, fund selectors, pension consultants, actuaries, trustees, wealth managers and the professional standards and trade bodies. 

The Project will share best practice, and where there are gaps establish new ones to help create a more diverse industry at all levels from intake to senior leadership and the board. The Project does not duplicate efforts that are already working, but seeks to amplify existing initiatives through a joined-up and intensive approach with a sense of urgency.

Sharing best practice

In March 2016 we introduced a programme of Maternity Coaching to attract, retain and nurture talent. Designed for employees who are pregnant or planning to adopt a child, the one-on-one coaching programme provides advice and support throughout the three stages of the maternity process: pre-maternity, maternity leave and the return to work. The course also offers coaching to fathers taking paternity leave.

Our Maternity Coaching case study  appears on the Diversity Project website where you can find out more about this initiative.