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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is part of who we are. It is vital to the future of our business

Diversity Equity and Inclusion

HSBC D&I Video

Mental Health Awareness



We are proud to join LGBT GreatLGBT Great


To achieve our DE&I ambition, recognising that equity and inclusion is global and diversity is more nuanced locally, we have identified four overarching objectives for HSBC Asset Management:

1
To increase awareness of different DE&I dimensions & unconscious biases across 100% of our workforce; and improve inclusive leadership behaviours

2
To increase the representation of women in senior roles, by also creating a larger pool of talent at lower levels

3
To increase the representation of key identified Minority Groups (Ethnicity, Disability, LGBTQI+) in senior roles, by also creating a larger pool of talent at lower levels

4
To apply these learnings for business commercialisation (e.g. enhancing DE&I criteria in ESG screening of investment opportunities; and the creation of specific DE&I thematic products for our clients).

A blueprint for furthering Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the investment industry

ozge
Ozge Usta
Head of Sustainability Delivery

 

It has been over two years since I became the co-chair of HSBC Asset Management’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (‘DE&I’) programme. In my role the learning never stops, and it has been fascinating to discover just how vast and multifaceted the DE&I landscape is. The investment industry has certainly made some notable progress on improving DE&I, however, it started from a low base and there is still a lot of work to be done. Based on my own learnings, I have outlined five key actions that companies could aim to implement to further the progress of DE&I.



1. A company’s overarching DE&I vision should reflect the markets that the company operates in and its initiatives customised according to cultural and national contexts.

For international organisations, basing its DE&I strategy on definitions that are western centric may not be helpful. It is important that a company’s DE&I strategy reflects where an organisation is based and includes locally relevant initiatives. By way of an example, Southeast Asia is one of the most diverse regions in the world, with more than 100 ethnic groups and 655 million people speaking over 1,000 languages and dialects. To be successful in this region, the DE&I initiatives need to reflect this exceptionally rich breadth of peoples, ethnicities, and creeds.

2. Start your initiatives even if you are still working on gathering diversity data.

Diversity data is usually based on self-declaration and, in most cases, is incomplete and sensitive to handle. Without understanding the true starting point, it is difficult for an organisation to clearly define its progress. This will be tough to perfect and while working on gathering more data, companies should not wait to begin their initiatives.

Sometimes, targets set as a percentage of leadership being women or people of colour may risk masking some more inherent biases around the roles with influence in the company. What are the key decision-making roles and how can you build a diverse team within these roles? It is important to look at this level of detail.

While inclusion is very difficult to measure, there are tools out there that can help companies to gauge how their people are feeling on an ongoing basis. Technology can help you in this space.

3. Think outside the box on recruitment and retention.

On recruitment (and promotions), companies should consider recruitment channels from outside of their traditional bases. This can involve looking at candidates with transferrable skills in different sectors or creating programmes for people who may have left the industry, to make it easier for them to come back. Companies should also think about their long-term recruitment pipeline, and work on increasing the pool of applicants from the next generation.

To improve retention, it is important for companies to listen to minority voices and to demonstrate that they are being heard by taking action in response to their feedback. If heading up a large function, companies should ensure that they know who their talent is and try to get to know them personally. It is also important to consider the diversity of succession plans, and if finding it to be lacking, analyse why and use the levers to develop the right people.

4. Create a roadmap for equitable career progression.

Once people are in your organisation, there may be some that need more support, whether via learning and development programmes or sponsorship. Ultimately, however, visibility is the key to career progression, making it vital for organisations to identify ways of creating visibility for a wider pool of people and finding the hidden talents in the process.

DE&I needs to be fully embedded within the company’s strategy and not simply labelled as a side initiative. Just like any other strategic KPI, you must follow the progress made with your DE&I KPIs on an ongoing basis as part of regular business reviews.

Role-models are critical sources of inspiration. People like to see others like them in their organisation, both as peers but also as senior leaders.

5. Create an environment where everyone feels included and able to contribute to discussions.

When you feel different to everyone else in a meeting room or on a video call, much of your attention is focused on trying your best to ‘fit-in’. Your confidence builds when there are a few more others in the room who are also ‘different’ to the norm, which allows you to direct your energy towards developing new ideas and innovation. That is when cognitive diversity kicks in and companies can begin to reap the rewards of lots of different brains focusing on strategic plans and solving problems.

It is important for senior leaders from under-represented backgrounds to be visible and share their stories. They are your natural diversity influencers in the organisation. When working in diverse teams which are truly inclusive, companies can include many more viewpoints when focusing on the problem and avoid any blind spots. With innovation often being ignited through the intersection of disciplines and by bringing people from different lived experiences together, this also presents a great recipe for new idea generation.

The tone from the top is a key factor to success. Companies need their executive leadership team to endorse its DE&I programme and assign an accountable executive who will act as the voice of the collective group. Demonstrating commitment at that level helps to bring people together and incentivise teams to be more open and dedicated to creating real change.

I am transgender

Trans Day of Visibility

I think I’ve always known. It was clear I wasn’t like anyone else I knew in some ways. Throughout my life, I was told to push it away. Act normal. Be normal. Drown it. Focus on school. Focus on work. I was told I’d be happier, I’d feel better. Stop, they would say, normal people don’t move that way. I’d dread every day. It’s mentally draining pretending to be someone you aren’t but you get good with practice.

When I was young, my classmates would make sure to let me know when I wasn’t properly observing unwritten gender rules – colours, favourite fictional characters, clothes, and so much more. I learned to fear that part of me. I learned to hate it. Later, I grew up reading stories online from transgender and broad LGBTQ+ experiences. People losing family and dear friends, becoming homeless, or being fired. I absorbed that, we become open to misrepresentation, assumptions, and hate when we come out.

I’ve worked with religious and secular counselors, psychiatrists, doctors for 10 years. We tried different solutions because I wished for other solutions. Because I didn’t wish to face that part of me. I really tried. And finally, I crashed. I had nothing more. I was ready to leave. Someone pulled me back. Years ago, I started medically transitioning. But that story is for another time. I was told to write about my transition but I’m not ready.

Back to basics

The transgender community generally includes transgender men, transgender women, and non binary people. Transgender men (“transmen”) are those who transition to men, vice versa for transgender women (“transwomen”), and non binary people (N-b or “enby”) are those who prefer not to be identified with either gender.

To date, only Canada has attempted to include transgender people in official national censuses. There, in 2021, transgender people made up approximately 0.3% of the 15+ population. Representative survey based data from Belgium and New Zealand have shown similar statistics1 but it is possible that these figures understate reality. Some people choose not to come out and others can blend in so – sometimes – they prefer not to call themselves transgender. The 2021 Canadian census also found that amongst transgender individuals, 28% were transgender men, 31% were transgender women, and 41% were non binary. I feel this is important to highlight because I perceive media tends to focus on journeys and challenges relating to only one group.

Since our population is small, I don’t expect most people to understand. Even with more common issues, it’s hard to fully convey how something feels. Can left handed people explain to right handed people why they prefer their dominant hand? Understanding requires trust and empathy. Not everyone can give this right now. But not understanding something doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t exist.

Now that you know some basics, I will move on to try to express how I feel through rough analogies.

I am an immigrant

By birth, I gained citizenship of one country. When my parents were in their 30’s, they decided to immigrate. Through legal processes, I transitioned to being a citizen of another country. Where I live, people refer to themselves as one group in day to day situations as well as on most government forms, regardless of what their skin colour is or what their genes say. This was not always so, however. If I go back 100 years, there were at least two developed world countries that created laws against people of my racial background from immigrating legally. Back then, some would have been disgusted at how my parents and I can call ourselves citizens of my adoptive country today. Some leaders of that era saw people of my racial background as menaces to society. Some may not even have seen us as human. Essentially, back then, what I was at birth would’ve stopped us from immigrating – which is just another form of transitioning.

Now, no analogies are perfect. Biology is often raised when transgender transitions are discussed. I’m not a biologist. But I live in my society. Today, in my country, when adoptive parents give their gift of love and new life to their children, they become parents. In census data for countries of my region, they are grouped as parents. At school, they’re not challenged as non parents. Even between adoptive families and their medical providers, outside of exceptional circumstances, adoptive parents are parents.

I cannot say definitively but this is likely what “transmen are men, transwomen are women” was trying to express. I am not entirely comfortable with that phrase. I personally feel there are some exceptional circumstances. But I that underlying sentiment resonates with me. There is room in society to accept transgender people. But I know it’s going to take time for acceptance. I don’t know how long nor what compromises need to be made though. I don’t have every answer about being transgender.

As I wrote above, my journey has almost been 10 years now. But I have chosen invisibility during past and present Days of Transgender Visibility. It’s tiring enough to transition. As much as it’s important to be visible, I’ve also seen other transgender people in our industry burn out and speak at too many events when they come out.

Just as with every minority experience, standing out and coming out means people may re assess my character. They may forget every kind gesture, support, or help I’ve given before. They may assume my opinions on unrelated issues just because I am transgender. I may actually have no well formed opinion on some transgender related matters. I don’t claim that I know everything about my adoptive or birth country. Why does being transgender have to be any different?

Being transgender is part of who I am

Being an immigrant is part of who I am. Working in HSBC Asset Management is part of who I am. They are facets of who I am but no single dimension should define me. Just as it should be with any other person and in any society. Ideal, I know…. Acceptance of diversity will take lots of time and work. I just wish to be me.

I am not just transgender.

1 The United States, UK, and Ireland have data from crowdsourcing and other non representative surveys. These surveys show transgender people make up approximately 0.5% of those countries’ population.

Rory Muldowney talks about Dyslexia

Rory Muldowney

What is your disability?

Dyslexia.

How long have you known about your disability?

I was diagnosed with the condition at the age of three.

Did you receive adjustments when you were in education?

Fortunately, my condition was spotted early, so I attended a specialist Dyslexic school between the ages of six to nine. Here, I learned coping mechanisms to effectively deal with my condition, enabling me to perform to my true potential in an academic and professional setting. I am now fortunate enough to not require any adjustments in the workplace. Nonetheless, having access to 25% extra time in exams has been an indispensable adjustment in higher education and professional exams.

Would you say your disability impacted your accessibility to higher education?

I am lucky in that I never felt barred from higher education due to my condition. However, throughout my education I perceived “being dyslexic” led to others labelling me as unable to attend the best institutions or do academically challenging subjects.

What are the greatest positives of your disability?

For context, dyslexia simply refers to an individual’s brain being “wired” differently. Illustrated by the physical manifestation of my condition: I am right-handed and left-footed!

Nonetheless, I believe my condition has benefited me in three significant ways:

  1. Diversity of thought: The condition leaves me unable to think like a neurotypical person, forcing me to approach problems and situations from a unique perspective. Leading to distinct outcomes and conclusions from my peers. A skill I aim to effectively leverage as an investment analyst.
  2. Work ethic: The effects of dyslexia on my short-term memory and processing speeds forced me to work harder, and for longer, throughout my academic life to “level the playing field”. Leading to me building an industrious work ethic, that in the long run, helps me outperform.
  3. Resilience: Dyslexia made primary and secondary education arduous. Yet, that hardship is now of incredible value, as it pushed me to build an “anti-fragile” approach to challenges. An approach where you improve from shocks and adversity, versus being weakened by them. A useful trait for working in financial markets!

Do you think society's attitude to dyslexia is changing?

Definitely.

The promotion of neuro-divergent thinking as an asset, as well as multiple high-profile individuals coming forward as dyslexic, has undoubtedly improved society’s view of the condition. A personal favourite is Richard Thaler, a founding father of behavioural economics and Nobel Prize recipient.

Celine Tan shares her journey at HSBC

Celine Tan

Pre-covid one of the biggest galas in the Hong Kong LGBT calendar was NGO, Community Business’ Annual LGBT Awards ceremony. Started in 2014, the evening celebrates LGBT inclusive companies and individuals who have moved the needle on making workplaces more inclusive. It was commonly dubbed Hong Kong’s “Gay Oscars”.  I looked forward to it every year and in 2016 had the pleasure of meeting then CEO of HSBC HK, Ms. Diana Cesar. Community Business Hong Kong LGBT+ (Inclusion) Index ranks employers on their inclusion practices and since inception, HSBC has always consistently been at the top 2.  The brief encounter left a deep impression on me because she was the first C-Suite of any major international bank to have graced the event. She sat at the HSBC sponsored table and stayed throughout. To see Ms. Cesar at the dinner validated in my mind the index’s findings. In 2017, when I was looking for a new career adventure I referenced past years’ indices and only considered firms which were consistently in the top 5. I used it as an objective barometer of the various companies’ culture. Later that year, I joined HSBC. I’m currently serving in Asset Management and am still enjoying my career journey with the bank. 

My journey through the financial services industry:

There has been a fair amount of challenge, which constantly made me feel like my straight friends’ careers were taking off from well paved runways and I was still paving my own in order to take flight. I’ve had well-meaning straight and closeted mentors in my younger years who advised me not to be as out as I was with the good intensions of expediting my career progression. There was a shortage of visible role models who were/are in my position of being out and progressed into management. Under those settings I built my career and became determined to better the industry around me.
16 years ago as a young professional starting out, LGBT inclusion awareness was at its infancy in Asia and there was a form of “don’t ask, don’t tell” within the banking corporate culture. I was desperately looking for a role model whom I could relate to or more importantly to provide me with some sense of security that being out at work will not (at best) limit my career or (at worse) end it prematurely. I spent years looking for “her” (an out senior lesbian executive; a beacon of hope) and eventually gave up. I decided that if I couldn’t find her, I will become “her”.

Since then, on top of my demanding day job I’ve always held down multiple “gay jobs” throughout my career. 

  • 2010 - founded and co-chaired the Goldman Sachs Singapore Pride
  • 2011 - co-chaired Credit Suisse Singapore’s Open Network in 2011 (which broke ground as the first few formal presences of LGBT+ ERGs in Singapore-based companies)
  • 2013-2017 -
    • Co-chaired HK LGBT Interbank Forum, a HK based banking association which rallied major banks and law firms to intervene in the same-sex spousal visa landmark case which was won in July 2018.
    • Fundraiser for the first Pink Dot Hong Kong in 2014.
    • Treasurer and establishing member of Outrunners HK (a sport group under the Federation of Gay Games)
    • Co-chaired J.P. Morgan’s APAC Pride which oversaw 7 local pride BRGs (Business Resource Group)
  • 2017-2021 -
    • founded and co-chaired Lesbians in Finance (LIF), an industry group which aims to support the careers of queer females and allies in the industry
    • Advisory Council of the HK LGBT Interbank Forum advising the newly elected co-chairs.
    • Senior Advisor to the HSBC HK Pride ERG co-chairs
    • Fundraiser for Hong Kong Marriage Equality (HKME) forum

It will be inauthentic if I say it hasn’t been at times an exhausting and stressful journey. Everyone wants change, but few want to lead it. I’m constantly presented with situations and problems most people will never have to grapple with or think about. But it has molded my character and I am stronger for it. On a personal level I get satisfaction leaving a positive legacy by improving the lives of others. On a professional level I’ve gained a wide network of business contacts and exposures I otherwise wouldn’t get in my day job (e.g. Media exposure, public speaking, selling an idea/ addressing objections, rallying people around a common cause, project managing, creating and being on an industry platform etc.). These are all important management skillsets I see as pluses so that when the next bigger challenge comes along, I’m ready.

Where to from here:

I’m currently focused on adding value to our Asset Management clients in the Liquidity space especially in this inflationary environment and look forward to supporting our colleagues who are launching innovative DE&I funds which will help further the global inclusion journey via impact investing. I’m also looking forward to taking more time for myself and continuing my personal development by enrolling for courses in B-schools in the coming year.

Trans Day of Visibility

I am transgender

I think I’ve always known. It was clear I wasn’t like anyone else I knew in some ways. Throughout my life, I was told to push it away. Act normal. Be normal. Drown it. Focus on school. Focus on work. I was told I’d be happier, I’d feel better. Stop, they would say, normal people don’t move that way. I’d dread every day. It’s mentally draining pretending to be someone you aren’t but you get good with practice.

When I was young, my classmates would make sure to let me know when I wasn’t properly observing unwritten gender rules – colours, favourite fictional characters, clothes, and so much more. I learned to fear that part of me. I learned to hate it. Later, I grew up reading stories online from transgender and broad LGBTQ+ experiences. People losing family and dear friends, becoming homeless, or being fired. I absorbed that, we become open to misrepresentation, assumptions, and hate when we come out.

I’ve worked with religious and secular counselors, psychiatrists, doctors for 10 years. We tried different solutions because I wished for other solutions. Because I didn’t wish to face that part of me. I really tried. And finally, I crashed. I had nothing more. I was ready to leave. Someone pulled me back. Years ago, I started medically transitioning. But that story is for another time. I was told to write about my transition but I’m not ready.

Back to basics

The transgender community generally includes transgender men, transgender women, and non binary people. Transgender men (“transmen”) are those who transition to men, vice versa for transgender women (“transwomen”), and non binary people (N-b or “enby”) are those who prefer not to be identified with either gender.

To date, only Canada has attempted to include transgender people in official national censuses. There, in 2021, transgender people made up approximately 0.3% of the 15+ population. Representative survey based data from Belgium and New Zealand have shown similar statistics1 but it is possible that these figures understate reality. Some people choose not to come out and others can blend in so – sometimes – they prefer not to call themselves transgender. The 2021 Canadian census also found that amongst transgender individuals, 28% were transgender men, 31% were transgender women, and 41% were non binary. I feel this is important to highlight because I perceive media tends to focus on journeys and challenges relating to only one group.

Since our population is small, I don’t expect most people to understand. Even with more common issues, it’s hard to fully convey how something feels. Can left handed people explain to right handed people why they prefer their dominant hand? Understanding requires trust and empathy. Not everyone can give this right now. But not understanding something doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t exist.

Now that you know some basics, I will move on to try to express how I feel through rough analogies.

I am an immigrant

By birth, I gained citizenship of one country. When my parents were in their 30’s, they decided to immigrate. Through legal processes, I transitioned to being a citizen of another country. Where I live, people refer to themselves as one group in day to day situations as well as on most government forms, regardless of what their skin colour is or what their genes say. This was not always so, however. If I go back 100 years, there were at least two developed world countries that created laws against people of my racial background from immigrating legally. Back then, some would have been disgusted at how my parents and I can call ourselves citizens of my adoptive country today. Some leaders of that era saw people of my racial background as menaces to society. Some may not even have seen us as human. Essentially, back then, what I was at birth would’ve stopped us from immigrating – which is just another form of transitioning.

Now, no analogies are perfect. Biology is often raised when transgender transitions are discussed. I’m not a biologist. But I live in my society. Today, in my country, when adoptive parents give their gift of love and new life to their children, they become parents. In census data for countries of my region, they are grouped as parents. At school, they’re not challenged as non parents. Even between adoptive families and their medical providers, outside of exceptional circumstances, adoptive parents are parents.

I cannot say definitively but this is likely what “transmen are men, transwomen are women” was trying to express. I am not entirely comfortable with that phrase. I personally feel there are some exceptional circumstances. But I that underlying sentiment resonates with me. There is room in society to accept transgender people. But I know it’s going to take time for acceptance. I don’t know how long nor what compromises need to be made though. I don’t have every answer about being transgender.

As I wrote above, my journey has almost been 10 years now. But I have chosen invisibility during past and present Days of Transgender Visibility. It’s tiring enough to transition. As much as it’s important to be visible, I’ve also seen other transgender people in our industry burn out and speak at too many events when they come out.

Just as with every minority experience, standing out and coming out means people may re assess my character. They may forget every kind gesture, support, or help I’ve given before. They may assume my opinions on unrelated issues just because I am transgender. I may actually have no well formed opinion on some transgender related matters. I don’t claim that I know everything about my adoptive or birth country. Why does being transgender have to be any different?

Being transgender is part of who I am

Being an immigrant is part of who I am. Working in HSBC Asset Management is part of who I am. They are facets of who I am but no single dimension should define me. Just as it should be with any other person and in any society. Ideal, I know…. Acceptance of diversity will take lots of time and work. I just wish to be me.

I am not just transgender.

1 The United States, UK, and Ireland have data from crowdsourcing and other non representative surveys. These surveys show transgender people make up approximately 0.5% of those countries’ population.

Rory Muldowney

Rory Muldowney talks about Dyslexia

What is your disability?

Dyslexia.

How long have you known about your disability?

I was diagnosed with the condition at the age of three.

Did you receive adjustments when you were in education?

Fortunately, my condition was spotted early, so I attended a specialist Dyslexic school between the ages of six to nine. Here, I learned coping mechanisms to effectively deal with my condition, enabling me to perform to my true potential in an academic and professional setting. I am now fortunate enough to not require any adjustments in the workplace. Nonetheless, having access to 25% extra time in exams has been an indispensable adjustment in higher education and professional exams.

Would you say your disability impacted your accessibility to higher education?

I am lucky in that I never felt barred from higher education due to my condition. However, throughout my education I perceived “being dyslexic” led to others labelling me as unable to attend the best institutions or do academically challenging subjects.

What are the greatest positives of your disability?

For context, dyslexia simply refers to an individual’s brain being “wired” differently. Illustrated by the physical manifestation of my condition: I am right-handed and left-footed!

Nonetheless, I believe my condition has benefited me in three significant ways:

  1. Diversity of thought: The condition leaves me unable to think like a neurotypical person, forcing me to approach problems and situations from a unique perspective. Leading to distinct outcomes and conclusions from my peers. A skill I aim to effectively leverage as an investment analyst.
  2. Work ethic: The effects of dyslexia on my short-term memory and processing speeds forced me to work harder, and for longer, throughout my academic life to “level the playing field”. Leading to me building an industrious work ethic, that in the long run, helps me outperform.
  3. Resilience: Dyslexia made primary and secondary education arduous. Yet, that hardship is now of incredible value, as it pushed me to build an “anti-fragile” approach to challenges. An approach where you improve from shocks and adversity, versus being weakened by them. A useful trait for working in financial markets!

Do you think society's attitude to dyslexia is changing?

Definitely.

The promotion of neuro-divergent thinking as an asset, as well as multiple high-profile individuals coming forward as dyslexic, has undoubtedly improved society’s view of the condition. A personal favourite is Richard Thaler, a founding father of behavioural economics and Nobel Prize recipient.


Celine Tan

How I joined HBSC:

Pre-covid one of the biggest galas in the Hong Kong LGBT calendar was NGO, Community Business’ Annual LGBT Awards ceremony. Started in 2014, the evening celebrates LGBT inclusive companies and individuals who have moved the needle on making workplaces more inclusive. It was commonly dubbed Hong Kong’s “Gay Oscars”.  I looked forward to it every year and in 2016 had the pleasure of meeting then CEO of HSBC HK, Ms. Diana Cesar. Community Business Hong Kong LGBT+ (Inclusion) Index ranks employers on their inclusion practices and since inception, HSBC has always consistently been at the top 2.  The brief encounter left a deep impression on me because she was the first C-Suite of any major international bank to have graced the event. She sat at the HSBC sponsored table and stayed throughout. To see Ms. Cesar at the dinner validated in my mind the index’s findings. In 2017, when I was looking for a new career adventure I referenced past years’ indices and only considered firms which were consistently in the top 5. I used it as an objective barometer of the various companies’ culture. Later that year, I joined HSBC. I’m currently serving in Asset Management and am still enjoying my career journey with the bank. 

My journey through the financial services industry:

There has been a fair amount of challenge, which constantly made me feel like my straight friends’ careers were taking off from well paved runways and I was still paving my own in order to take flight. I’ve had well-meaning straight and closeted mentors in my younger years who advised me not to be as out as I was with the good intensions of expediting my career progression. There was a shortage of visible role models who were/are in my position of being out and progressed into management. Under those settings I built my career and became determined to better the industry around me.
16 years ago as a young professional starting out, LGBT inclusion awareness was at its infancy in Asia and there was a form of “don’t ask, don’t tell” within the banking corporate culture. I was desperately looking for a role model whom I could relate to or more importantly to provide me with some sense of security that being out at work will not (at best) limit my career or (at worse) end it prematurely. I spent years looking for “her” (an out senior lesbian executive; a beacon of hope) and eventually gave up. I decided that if I couldn’t find her, I will become “her”.

Since then, on top of my demanding day job I’ve always held down multiple “gay jobs” throughout my career. 

  • 2010 - founded and co-chaired the Goldman Sachs Singapore Pride
  • 2011 - co-chaired Credit Suisse Singapore’s Open Network in 2011 (which broke ground as the first few formal presences of LGBT+ ERGs in Singapore-based companies)
  • 2013-2017 -
    • Co-chaired HK LGBT Interbank Forum, a HK based banking association which rallied major banks and law firms to intervene in the same-sex spousal visa landmark case which was won in July 2018.
    • Fundraiser for the first Pink Dot Hong Kong in 2014.
    • Treasurer and establishing member of Outrunners HK (a sport group under the Federation of Gay Games)
    • Co-chaired J.P. Morgan’s APAC Pride which oversaw 7 local pride BRGs (Business Resource Group)
  • 2017-2021 -
    • founded and co-chaired Lesbians in Finance (LIF), an industry group which aims to support the careers of queer females and allies in the industry
    • Advisory Council of the HK LGBT Interbank Forum advising the newly elected co-chairs.
    • Senior Advisor to the HSBC HK Pride ERG co-chairs
    • Fundraiser for Hong Kong Marriage Equality (HKME) forum

It will be inauthentic if I say it hasn’t been at times an exhausting and stressful journey. Everyone wants change, but few want to lead it. I’m constantly presented with situations and problems most people will never have to grapple with or think about. But it has molded my character and I am stronger for it. On a personal level I get satisfaction leaving a positive legacy by improving the lives of others. On a professional level I’ve gained a wide network of business contacts and exposures I otherwise wouldn’t get in my day job (e.g. Media exposure, public speaking, selling an idea/ addressing objections, rallying people around a common cause, project managing, creating and being on an industry platform etc.). These are all important management skillsets I see as pluses so that when the next bigger challenge comes along, I’m ready.

Where to from here:

I’m currently focused on adding value to our Asset Management clients in the Liquidity space especially in this inflationary environment and look forward to supporting our colleagues who are launching innovative DE&I funds which will help further the global inclusion journey via impact investing. I’m also looking forward to taking more time for myself and continuing my personal development by enrolling for courses in B-schools in the coming year.


ozge

A blueprint for furthering Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the investment industry

It has been over two years since I became the co-chair of HSBC Asset Management’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (‘DE&I’) programme. In my role the learning never stops, and it has been fascinating to discover just how vast and multifaceted the DE&I landscape is. The investment industry has certainly made some notable progress on improving DE&I, however, it started from a low base and there is still a lot of work to be done. Based on my own learnings, I have outlined five key actions that companies could aim to implement to further the progress of DE&I.

Human CEO of the year

Stuart White, CEO UK & Global Head of Strategy, HSBC AM, has won the Human CEO of the Year award at the TLC Lions Being Human Awards 2023. The award recognises Stuart for his commitment to human leadership and the work he has done in humanising the workplace.

Human CEO of the year

External Recognition and Awards: HSBC AM DE&I Programme

2023

  • Won the Judges’ Choice Award at Citywire Gender Diversity Awards 2023
  • Won the Diversity Award at Insurance Asset Management Awards 2023
  • ‘Highly Commended‘ for Championing Gender Inclusivity at FTAdviser Diversity in Finance Awards 2023. We were also finalists in:
    • Championing LGBT Inclusion
    • Employer of the Year (Large firm)
  • Finalists in the following categories at Women in Investment Awards 2023:
    • Investment Industry Contribution to Gender Diversity & Inclusion
    • Investment Industry Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year (Ethnicity Initiative)
  • HSBC AM achieved LGBT Great iiBT Gold Standard in 2023 for best-in-class LGBTQ+ DE&I culture and practices
  • Stuart White, CEO HSBC AM UK & MD Official Sector Institutions, won the ‘Human CEO of the Year’ award at the TLC Lions Being Human Awards 2023 for his commitment to human leadership and the work he has done in humanising the workplace
  • Ozge Usta, HSBC AM Head of Sustainability Delivery and Sponsor of Global Mentoring Programme, was ‘Highly Commended’ for ‘Mentoring’ at Women in Investment Awards 2023
  • Joanna Munro, Stuart White, Xavier Baraton and Ozge Usta were named in the ‘Top 50 Executive Allies’ by LGBT Great in 2023
  • Farah Bouzida and Sanjay Paramesh were named in the ‘Top 50 Gamechangers’ by LGBT Great in 2023
  • Achieved Gold standard in India Workplace Equality Index 2023

2022

  • Won two awards at Citywire Gender Diversity Awards 2022:
    • Most improved retention rates (female PM retention last 10 years)
    • Best AUM split (funds managed by male/female PMs)
  • Won the Diversity Award at Insurance Asset Management Awards 2022
  • Finalists in ‘Championing Social Mobility’ in the FTAdviser Diversity in Finance Awards 2022
  • Stuart White, Ozge Usta, Joanna Munro and Xavier Baraton were included in the ‘LGBT Great Top 50 Executives Allies’ in 2022
  • Celine Tan and Ozge Usta were recognized as ‘Top 1000 Role Models’ by LGBT Great Project 1000
  • Erin Leonard, Global Head of Sustainability, was included in the ‘Top 100 Women in Finance’ in 2022 by Financial News
  • Kate Hassey, Head of Distribution Oversight, Fund Operations, HSBC AM, was included in the ‘LGBT Great Top 100 Gamechangers 2022’
  • Tim Roberts, Senior Customer Marketing Manager, won the ‘Diversity Project’s Champion Award’ in 2022

We are proud to support The Diversity Project which is an industry-wide initiative whose purpose is to accelerate progress towards an inclusive culture in the investment profession.

Diversity Project Stuart White, Chief Executive Officer in the UK and HSBC Asset Management’s Global Head of Strategy is a member of the Diversity Project ( www.diversityproject.com ), a UK based cross-company initiative championing a more inclusive culture within the savings and investment profession. Stuart is a member of the Diversity Project’s Advisory Board and CEO committee and an active spokesperson for better diversity, equity and inclusion in the asset management industry.
Employee Networks

Gender commitment

As part of the HSBC Group, we signed up to join the 30 per cent Club in 2018 (to reach 30 per cent women in senior leadership roles by 2020), and we achieved 30.3 per cent in 2020. We have extended our aspirational target for women in senior leadership to achieve 35 per cent by 2025. Indeed, female representation on HSBC Asset Management’s Global Leadership team is currently 39.2 per cent (11 out of 28). In fact, 9 of the 18 entity CEOs across HSBC Asset Management are female, with six being appointed in 2021.

HSBC AM is also a signatory to the industry-wide 30 by 30 initiative (30 per cent of female PMs by 2030). We have several levers, programs and a strong culture of diversity and inclusion that have led to steady progress and a current 25.6 per cent of female PMs in our traditional asset classes. In Alternatives, we have evolved from where we were 18 months ago in terms of female leadership in Investments – which was already relatively strong compared with the market. We then had 5 women in leadership roles and now have 8. We are therefore confident that we will reach and exceed the 30 per cent target well ahead of 2030.

We have joined the Hong Kong Board Diversity Investor initiative, pledging to support the targets to achieve 25 per cent female representation on boards of listed companies by 2025, and 30 per cent within six years (by 2028).

We received a number of awards in 2022, notably Citywire Gender Diversity Award for:

  • Most improved retention rates (female PM retention)
  • Best AUM split (funds managed by male/female PMs)

Some ongoing and new initiatives by the company in 2022 include:

  • AFL (Acceleration Female Leaders programme): The programme runs annually and aims to improve representation of females at senior levels by strengthening the leadership pipeline. The focus is on increasing the visibility of high performing females, sponsorship and networking, whilst driving their engagement and enhancing their leadership capability.
  • Diversity Project – DP Pathway: Industry initiative to train female colleagues from functions outside of investments who want to become portfolio managers. Four colleagues have been selected for the 2022 programme.
  • Asset Management Mentoring programme: This programme is employee-led and adds value by pairing mentors and mentees based on their individual needs and skills. The programme includes training, workshops and networking opportunities to make the most of our global mentor-mentee community and learn from others.
  • Succession Planning for Roles: Carried out annually for appropriate identification and succession planning of Business-Critical Roles.
  • Programme in HK in partnership with ‘Inspiring Girls’: Thinking about the next generation, in HK, we are sponsoring ‘Inspiring Girls’ charity with an aim to raise the aspirations of school-aged girls and paving the way for future generations of women to take their place in the world of asset management and finance. We have also partnered with the CFA Institute in India to hire female interns from underprivileged backgrounds.

We also aim to build more diverse investment committees to ensure that our female managers have as many opportunities to influence the decision-making process within our investment committees.

Senior women within HSBC Asset Management’s Global Leadership Team include CEO HSBC Alternatives; Global Head of AM Compliance; Global Head of Sustainability; CEO Asia Pacific; Global Head of Marketing & Client Experience and Head of Sustainability Delivery.

We are also committed to understanding the interplay, or intersectionality, between the areas such a gender, race, ability, sexual orientation and identity, mental health, social mobility and religion. We continue to work with external experts to learn more about how our colleagues who fall into more than one underrepresented group experience our working environment and what we can do to provide an inclusive culture that allows all colleagues to thrive.

Ethnicity commitment

We are enhancing our data to support an evidence-based approach to driving change, especially around our minorities balance commitments and senior leadership representation. A self-identification campaign was run throughout 2022 to encourage people to volunteer their information. In countries where we are legally and culturally able to collect this information, 71.2 per cent of employees (in the UK) have disclosed their ethnicity, of which 17.4 per cent are of a racial and ethnic minority background. We are committed to the Diversity Project’s 90 per cent race and ethnicity diversity data disclosure goal in the next 2 years.

Listening sessions, via an external consultancy, were conducted across our global employee base in 2021, to better understand the lived experiences, feelings of belonging, and barriers to career progression of employees who identify themselves as ethnic minorities. We have used the feedback from the listening sessions to build a framework and action-plan for initiatives in 2022. The core pillars of our strategy are: psychological safety and inclusion, career development, internal talent mapping, retention, and external hiring.

Our organisation has taken the following actions in 2022 to improve race and ethnicity DE&I, and will continue to add to these and evolve them further in 2023:

  • Role modelling and advocacy from the Executive Committee
  • Role modelling and advocacy from allies in the organisation
  • Role modelling from black and ethnic minority talent
  • Engagement with the Diversity Project’s Race & Ethnicity Workstream
  • Engagement with the 10000 Black Interns programme
  • Engagement with the #TalkAboutBlack initiative
  • Exploring the Ethnicity Pay Gap within the organisation
  • Signed up to the Race at Work Charter
  • Deliberate and structured career planning of black and ethnic talent
  • Ensuring that all acts of racism are dealt with seriously and action has been taken
  • Ensuring that safe channels have been created where black and ethnically diverse talent can raise unfair treatment

We are taking action to improve opportunities for black and ethnic minority employees through the Accelerating into Leadership programme. We are a signatory to the 10,000 Black Interns initiative (https://www.10000blackinterns.com/) and hired our first summer intern from this programme. In 2023, we have continued our commitment to the 10,000 Black Interns initiative with an increased YoY pledge to hire 4 interns through this hiring channel for our 2023 Summer Internship intake. Hiring distribution is to be spread across Alternatives, Mainstream Investments, Product and Compliance. Candidate assessments are underway and expected to complete by end Q1 2023.

HSBC Asset Management had also made a commitment to join the Investment Association’s ‘Change the Race Ratio’ pledge which had the aim of increasing ethnic minority representation on companies. We also plan to promote 1 to 2 Black heritage colleagues to a more senior level every year.

Did you know?

        Sylvia  Maria Elena  Dr. Ellen Ochoa  Esteban Hotesse

  • Sylvia was a Venezuelan-Puerto Rican transwoman, a pioneering LGBT activist who fought tirelessly for trans rights and credited as the person who “put the “t” in LGBT activism.”
  • Maria Elena is the longest running female news anchor on U.S. television.  With over 30 years on screen, she is the first Latina to receive a Lifetime Achievement Emmy.
  • Dr. Ellen Ochoa is an American engineer, former astronaut, former director of Johnson Space Center and in 1993 became the first Latina in space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.
  • Esteban Hotesse was an Afro-Latino born in the Dominican Republic, Hotesse become a member of the first all-black group of military pilots in the U.S. Armed Forces - the Tuskegee Airmen - during World War II. 

Social mobility

Social mobility is an area that is sometimes overlooked as it may not be easily identified. Our Social Mobility workstream have educated all of us in how giving a chance to an individual could lead to a cohort of loyal and effective employees. Our aim is to bring in fresh perspectives and diversity of thought into our firm and disrupt any “group think” we may be having. We believe that “Talent is everywhere, but opportunities are not".

In 2022, we signed up to UK Government’s Kick-start scheme (https://www.investment2020.org.uk/news/governments-kickstart-scheme), in partnership with Investment 20/20, and had provided six month placements to two young adults on Universal Credit in the UK from social mobility and diverse backgrounds. Since then, we have placed one of the young adults in a permanent role in the Client Operations Business and the other’s contract has been extended.

We committed to at least one social mobility candidate for our Internship programme and have signed up to the 10,000 Black Interns programme for the second year (and took on our first black intern and have offered him a permanent place on the AM Graduate Programme). In 2022, we also launched our UK Apprenticeship programme with four new hires, obtaining an ongoing permanent headcount of six apprentices each year starting in 2023.

We are working with a broad range of social mobility charities, schools and higher education authorities with focus to mentor young talent that is underachieving due to socio economic circumstances. In April 2022, we worked with the Diversity Project’s upReach initiative to provide work experience for a week to seven university students in the UK from social mobility and diverse backgrounds.

In June and August 2022, we worked with the wider HSBC Early Careers Team to organise a five-day Work Experience Programme to over 55 students in the UK in the later years of full-time secondary education, sixth form or college from social mobility and diverse backgrounds. The programme has been set up with the idea to help young people from different social-economic backgrounds to gain an insight into a professional environment, as well as the banking industry, to gain insight into the different roles and functions across HSBC, as well as improving their personal and employability skills. As we had an overwhelming response from the students, we are aiming to host one hundred students in August 2023.

In 2022, we took on four degree-apprentices under the HSBC Degree Apprenticeship Programme. We also partnered with University of York Investment Fund, supporting our Global Head of Institutional Business with a £3k sponsorship of the York University Investment Association annual event. The Investment Fund provides any proceeds over £20k from the ‘Griff’ Fund to support financial education in local schools and providing support to underprivileged via local charities.

HSBC Group Inclusion, along with HSBC Asset Management, have launched the social mobility question initially on our UK HR system to collect social mobility information from our employees; this will allow us to start making progress with our data collection and make further changes to support Social Mobility in the workplace.

We produced a case study on Social Mobility for the Inclusive Leadership Guide for CEOs for the Diversity Project and were shortlisted for the FT Advisor awards 2022 for Social Mobility.

Ability

Despite 80 per cent of people acquiring a disability while in employment, the majority hide in plain sight. Only 6.3 per cent of them, according to Business Disability Forum, self declares as disabled. Without being aware, we may disregard the needs of our colleagues and make their contribution more difficult. Our goal is to highlight the importance of mainstreaming disability issues and encourage open dialogue about what it is to be different and how departments in Asset Management can support each team member’s needs. We are committed to the UK Government’s Disability Confidence scheme, of which the bank is classed as a Grade 3 - “Leader” and ensure regular training for new employees is implemented. We hope to undertake our own DC assessment specifically for Asset Management in 2023 so we can be fully compliant.

Timothy Roberts, our co-lead also co-chairs the Disability workstream at the Diversity Project (www.diversityproject.com). These initiatives help not only ensure a strong culture of disability inclusion in HSBC Asset Management and also the wider HSBC, but also in the Investment Industry in a meaningful way.

In 2022, many of our employees were featured in National Inclusion Week and Disability Confident #WeAre role model programme. We published a variety of posts on social media around Disability and Neurodiversity. We commemorated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDOPWD) by observing a Purple Sock Day and publishing articles in our internal newsletter to highlight disability awareness.

Our Disability workstream is co-chaired by Timothy J Roberts (Tim) and Jason W Hampton.

Tim is profoundly deaf and has been since birth due to his mother contracting Rubella during pregnancy. A common occurrence in the 1970’s, which led to many babies being born with disabilities. Tim is part of the HSBC Ability network and London Pride committee as well as co-chairing the Disability workstream of the wider external Diversity Project, which seeks to improve diversity within the Investment Industry.

Jason was one of the 80 per cent of individuals who develop some form of disability in adult life. An infection left Jason being single sided deaf. Jason is a long standing Governor at an under privileged 6th form college that prides itself on lifting students up to achieve goals and has dedicated learning infrastructure for students with disabilities.

Our Mission

We are committed to creating a workspace where people of all abilities can succeed without barriers. Our goal is to increase awareness, foster a culture of inclusion and help people in HSBC Asset Management remove impediments in business structures that prevent people with disabilities from thriving and contributing value.

With one in four US adults and one in five UK adults living with disability, being inclusive is not just a compliance task or the right thing to do, it is also good business. We believe that over 1 billion people worldwide with disabilities and long-term conditions enhance the social and economic health of our societies. By increasing access to people with differing abilities, we open ourselves up to new ways of thinking and higher levels of innovation.

Driving awareness and inclusion

Despite 80% of people acquiring a disability while in employment, the majority hide in plain sight. Only 6.3% of them, according to Business Disability Forum, self declares as disabled.

Without being aware, we disregard the needs of our colleagues and make their contribution more difficult. Our goal is to highlight the importance of mainstreaming disability issues and encourage open dialogue about what it is to be different and how departments in Asset Management can support each team member’s needs. A strong culture of disability inclusion in Asset Management and also the wider HSBC, will ensure that everyone can contribute to their business area in a meaningful way.

Hiring and supporting people with disabilities

We are encouraging not just Asset Management but the wider bank to adjust their recruitment process to promote employment for people with disabilities (only 1 part of the bank has this accreditation). Our goal is to ensure the whole bank is Disability Confident Status by May 2022.

Creating accessible environment for all

Accessibility is a precondition for an inclusive society and the provision of flexibility to accommodate each user’s needs and preferences. It ensures that persons with disabilities can exercise their rights and are empowered to participate fully in society on equal terms with others.

In addition, by avoiding the issues that make interaction difficult, inefficient, physically tiring, or impossible for someone with a disability, we can create a more delightful experience for everyone.

Videos and Documents

(webinar from 28 Jan)

A panel featuring Diversity Project Disability workstream members and the co-chair of HSBC Asset Management, Tim Roberts sharing their unique experiences of how they have personally navigated remote working and some advice that you might find useful in your department/area.

(webinar from 27 Jan)

Presentation from the LocWorldWide43 conference by Linda Russheim, The Diversity Project and HT Financial Marketing, and Sabina Jasinska, StoneShot on Designing for Accessibility: Compliance, Creative Challenge or Opportunity to Achieve Superior User Experience.

What actions can you take?

HSBC Asset Management is participating in being involved in the Disability Confident scheme which is only held by the retail bank right now. Let us know if you want to be involved.

More info on the Disability Confident scheme

Looking for interns? Focus on diversity recruiting efforts with Change 100, a programme of paid summer work placements for students with disabilities.

Learn about Change 100 internships

Whether you are starting your disability inclusion journey, scaling up or leading the charge, join The Valuable 500, the global CEO community revolutionising disability inclusion through business leadership and opportunity. HSBC is part of this change and Caroline Casey is keen to help us out.

Join Valuable 500 to help build an inclusive world

Resources

Disability and the work of the DP Disability Workstream, ESG Clarity magazine

Firms ‘must embrace disability’ – Letter urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take measures to increase the number of disabled people in workforce
Scope Get inclusive - Access to work Toolkit
Scope – Disability facts and figures

Partners

scope

Scope is a disability equality charity in England and Wales, providing practical information and emotional support as well as campaigning relentlessly to create a fairer society.

https://www.scope.org.uk/

leonard-cheshire

Change 100 is the flagship programme of paid summer work placements, professional development and mentoring. It matches talented university students and recent graduates with any disability or long-term condition with progressive employers.

https://www.leonardcheshire.org/

business-diability-forum

Business Disability Forum is a not-for-profit membership organisation that exists to create a disability smart world by linking businesses, disabled people, and government.

https://businessdisabilityforum.org.uk

disability-confident

The Disability Confident is a UK government scheme designed to encourage employers to recruit and retain disabled people and those with health conditions. It is voluntary and has been developed by employers and disabled people's representatives.

https://disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk

Mental Health & Wellness

The workstream exists to facilitate the efforts by HSBC Asset Management to support the mental health and wellbeing of our colleagues. To that end there has been increased senior leadership communication related to mental health related topics, including the need for adequate time off, increased flexibility around deadlines, ways of working and expectations around deliverables. Our Employee Assistance Programmes are available in all our locations as part of our benefits, and since 2022, our employees have free access to the Headspace application, with an aim to help build resilience through meditation. We publish a monthly “Wellness Wednesday” newsletter to promote topics and awareness related to mental health and provide contact points for help and support on a global basis. We also have relevant trainings around mental health on HSBC University for every employee to access.

In June 2022, we launched our Global Mental Health Ambassadors initiative, which included 13 colleagues who have volunteered to be ambassadors from across the world and make themselves available to colleagues if they wish to reach out. This initiative aims to help remove the stigma around mental health and encourage all to speak up and seek timely support. We organised a three-hour training for the mental health ambassadors in association with CMHA.

Last but not the least, we hosted two mental health webinars in October 2022 to raise awareness about mental health where colleagues from different areas and geographies shared their personal mental health journeys.

LGBTQI+

Our commitment to DE&I and the LGBTQI+ community remains robust as we strive towards building a more inclusive environment within HSBC AM. In 2022, we heard inspiring coming out stories, celebrated Pride Month and hosted/participated in a plethora of events.

We participated in the Out Leadership European Summit 2022 and aim to increase AM participation in this global network. We are also partnering and collaborating with LGBT Great (https://www.lgbtgreat.com/) to broaden our 2022 strategic focus on specialised training & awareness, grooming mentors & allies, leverage industry insights, policies, benchmarks and so on.

Our senior leaders at the helm remain active proponents of DE&I and Stuart White, Chief Executive Officer in the UK and HSBC Asset Management’s Global Head of Strategy, has been chosen as LGBT Great’s 2021 Global Top 100 Executive Allies for his steadfast contribution to the LGBTQI+ community from among nominations across 55 firms globally. In 2022, Kate Hassey, Head of Distribution Oversight, Fund Operations, has been included in ‘LGBT Great Top 100 Gamechangers 2022’. As part of our LGBT+ DE&I Strategy, we have two HSBC AM ManCo members who are sponsors of the LGBT+ DE&I initiatives: Xavier Baraton, HSBC AM Global CIO, and Joana Munro, CEO of HSBC Alternatives.

The community isn’t complete without Allies and we have fostered a growing network of Allies and our AM LGBT+ Allyship fireside chat had a diverse group touch upon their personal experiences and the need to be active champions to make a difference. We are actively nurturing the importance of being Out and support our colleagues by providing opportunities through the OutLeadership/OutNext nomination to emerging leaders to connect, drive and influence changes and be heard.

We are also participating in a firm wide initiative for employees to self-identify their Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation data making it our first step towards many to understand the nuances of our people instead of making broad generalizations.

Key initiatives and achievements in 2022

  • Submission of iiBT Benchmarking Questionnaire to LGBT Great
  • Conduct of awareness Training session through: LGBT+ Lens investing, LGBT+ Ally through the HSBC Degreed platform, and a dedicated ManCo reverse-mentoring session
  • Participation in LGBT Great Mentoring program – 8 people from HSBC AM participated
  • Hosting the OutLeadership European Summit VIP dinner
  • Kate Hassey featured as a key speaker at the first OutWomen event
  • Joanna Munro featured in the IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia) and NCOD (National Coming Out Day) events
  • Celine Tan Featured as LGBT+ role model during the Pride Month social media campaign
  • Hosting of Fireside Chat on National Coming Out Day
  • Launch of myGwork hiring platform in the UK to improve the hiring of LGBT+ profiles
  • HSBC ranked Gold Employer and Top 100 Employer by Stonewall 2022
  • HSBC India won the India workplace Equality Index Gold Employer Award 2022 for the third year in a row

A chat with Joanna Munro, Co-sponsor of LGBTQI+ workstream

Joanna Munro

Why are you personally passionate about diversity, equity & inclusion?
I’ve been very fortunate in the opportunities I’ve had and I want to make sure there is fair access to opportunities for everyone.

Why are you specifically interested in supporting LGBTQI+ equity and inclusion? 
I have bisexual and transgender close family members and my eldest child is non-binary: in educating myself I realise how, completely unintentionally, I have been non-inclusive in the past and so I’m really committed to creating that inclusive environment for all LGBTQI+ colleagues.  

What do you see as the biggest challenge for the LGBTQI+ community in this day and time? 
I understand that people are nervous about coming out, particularly in the working environment.  Allyship is critical for that but I know many allies with good intentions aren’t sure how to support their LGBTQI+ colleagues.

What do you hope to achieve from your sponsorship of LGBTQI+ work stream?   
I hope to show how important LGBTQI+ inclusion is to the AM leadership team, to increase awareness and particularly to encourage Allyship among all colleagues.

What one thing will you do to create leadership opportunities for LGBTQI+ people?  
I am keen personally to mentor an LGBTQI+ colleague and to benefit from their reverse mentoring: that will help me understand what blocks there are for LGBTQI+ colleagues in developing their careers. 

If you have one piece of advice for LGBTQI+ colleagues in HBSC Asset Management, what will it be and why? 
We want everyone to be able be their authentic selves at work, so if you can do that, great and if you aren’t comfortable, there is the LGBTQI+ network and colleagues, so do reach out as we are all keen to help.

Investments: DE&I within RI/ESG Investing

DE&I is an important part of the ‘S’ in our ESG evaluation and engagement with companies. Social factors encompass a variety of different issues including human capital management, health and safety, and supply chain labour standards. We consider product suitability, product safety and quality, and chemical safety as well as trusted data and technology depending on the company or sector. We also look at demographics and the digital divide, as well as financial exclusion, access to healthcare, and nutrition and health. We look at a company’s gender pay gap, the percentage of women in leadership positions and the policies around diversity and inclusion. We also have AI tools to screen ESG controversies where DE&I can be captured at the company level.

In terms of incorporating DE&I into Sustainable Investing, there are three key components:

1. DEI integration structure

In 2022, we introduced the multi-pillar structure for DE&I Investment workstreams, based on discussions in 2021. It includes the Hiring, Training and Performance Forum (HTP) forum, led by Regional CIO Asia Pacific; DE&I Investment integration led by Global Head of Stewardship; and thought leadership publications led by Global head of Investment Content, Research and Analysis. At the HTP forum, we created a manager guide to ensure DE&I principles are embedded into recruitment processes, and piloted a library of performance objectives for the investment function that follow DE&I principles. In integration, we created a proprietary DE&I engagement framework based on proprietary insights from over ten DE&I workstreams within asset management. We proceeded with selecting a DE&I scoring provider to complement this framework and for peer benchmarking. This is followed by the establishment of a new DE&I Investment Steering Group, led by nominated representatives from each DE&I workstreams to ensure that all aspects of diversity and inclusion are considered in our engagement approach

2. Voting

In 2022, we introduced five thematic voting arrangements: (1) Say on Climate; (2) Say on Diversity; (3) Say on human rights; (4) Say on Nature; and (5) Say against excessive pay.

3. Engagement

ESG issues were raised in engagements with 2,150 companies and other issuers during 2022. DE&I related engagements, which cover health and safety, human rights and inequality, were covered in 1,471 meetings.

Working Parents

The Working Parents Group creates a network to provide resources and support to address the priorities of working parents and Carers. We work together with senior leaders to engage and influence HSBC policy and culture from the top down, offering guidance and education to address different biases that impact our colleagues.

We launched a new Parental Transition Coaching benefit for all employees in 2021. Expectant and new parents can take part in a parental transition coaching programme, aiming to help colleagues manage their career alongside a happy home life. It consists of online resources, workshops and individually tailored 1:1 coaching with external coaches. People managers, with team members who are taking parental leave, have the opportunity to attend a workshop for managers too.

In 2022, Parental Transition Coaching has had an uptake of c56 people across the group with Asset Management being part of this. We have also sought to support and encourage the taking of paternity leave amongst our male employees and to highlight the firm-wide support for paternity leave by running spotlight interviews on our male colleagues who have taken paternity leave.

Spirituality and Self-Knowledge

The Spirituality and Self-Knowledge work stream was established to promote freedom of thought, conscience and religion across HSBC Asset Management. Our key objective is to share knowledge about the importance and benefits of exercising self-knowledge and cultivating a deeper sense of how we interconnect within ourselves and the ones around us. Our initiatives include creating an open space where concepts around spirituality and self-knowledge can be freely shared and explored among colleagues offering insights on how to pursue well-being across all areas of our lives.

In 2022, the spirituality and self-knowledge workstream has provided thought leadership content for our internal newsletter on a wide range of topics and given a platform for AM colleagues to understand and discuss wider topics influencing our well-being and inner peace.

Veterans

The Veterans workstream of AM DE&I was created in 2022. We reviewed veterans hiring schemes of other organisations and have now launched a 'best of breed' UK hiring scheme for veterans and service leavers to hire directly into open roles across the business.

Nicolas Moreau

Nicolas Moreau, Global CEO
Passion: Inclusion & Allyship

I have always believed that for an organization to be performing at its best needs both a diversity in the composition of its team, whether origin, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation, but also that everyone should feel included in the team. I have seen too many teams, projects or investments fail because of a lack of diversity, or because people didn’t dare to express their views, or to be their own self. That’s why I am a fervent advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

 

 

Stuart White

Stuart White, Global Head of Strategy & UK CEO; ManCo sponsor of the DE&I programme. Member of the Advisory Board of the Industry’s Diversity Project
Passion: Inclusion, Allyship & Mental Health & Wellness

I am a passionate believer in the positive impact that DE&I can have on any organisation in terms of harnessing the benefits of diversity of thought and creating a better and more effective place to work. I am a supporter of all aspects of DE&I but have a particular interest in allyship with the belief that organisations supporting DE&I will be more successful, will grow faster and will create more opportunities for all colleagues. I am also passionate about mental health awareness having experienced periods of my life and my eldest daughter’s life where turning a negative into a positive has led to resilience and a different perspective. Being more open and removing the stigma associated with mental health is a very important to me and this awareness I believe will lead to a more inclusive, supportive and effective working environment for all.

 

 

Joanna Munro

Joanna Munro ,CEO of HSBC Alternatives
Passion: Gender & LGBTQi+

I’ve been very well supported in my career and able to access interesting opportunities, as well as manage my work/life balance with part time and flexible working. I really want to make sure that both men and women are able to grow their careers and manage their balance in the way that works for them a nd I believe that when people feel good about their whole lives they are able to bring the right energy and enjoy their work. I’m now also happy to be a co sponsor for LGBTQI+ I think of myself as open and inclusive but I have close family members who are transgender and seeing the world through their eyes, I realise how much more we have to do to create a n environment that is truly inclusive for everyone.

 

 

Xavier Baraton

Xavier Baraton, Global Chief Investment Officer
Passion: DE&I in Investments & LGBTQi+

Early in my life I have been the witness of pre conceived ideas and of exclusion. From school to university years, I could see how damaging this could be for anyone being stigmatised or discriminated, draining their energy and sometimes leading them to renounce to their aspirations or dreams. Th is has been the foundation of my engagement on ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation and of my belief that defending any aspect of diversity would raise awareness on every aspect of it. Inclusion came later in my professional career, when I could observe and hopefully build inclusive work environments, where success results in all our colleagues being confident in their fair chance to contribute and reach their goals. Today, besides supporting DE&I in all relevant aspects of our investment practices and culture, I am extremely proud to be co sponsor f or LGBTQI+. On this front, I partly owe my attention to my children, now two young adults, and can feel how much more efforts and commitment our society and our organisation have to demonstrate to be truly inclusive. I am keen to lead and contribute.

 

 

Daisy Ho

Daisy Ho, CEO Asia Pacific
Passion: Gender Balance

Gender balance and ethnicity diversity are very close to my heart as a Chinese female leader. It was a lonely journey during early part of my career. I didn’t see a lot of similar faces like myself and I had to find my own way. Fortunately, I am blessed and thankful for those who gave me the opportunities and trust. Therefore I am passionate to share my experience to support the others who face similar challenges like my old self. I was told once by a young female talent seeing is believing. Let’s work together to build an inclusive work environment.

 

 

Thorsten Michalik

Thorsten Michalik, Global Head of Wholesale & Partnerships
Passion: Social Mobility

For me social mobility is about “getting in”, “getting on” and “removing” the class celling. I want to make sure that we within Asset Management create an environment where people born into low income families have the chance to prove their talent via internship, apprenticeships and graduate programmes. Once “in” we have to support those talents to “get on” and help them to expand their network, skill sets and give them a “seat at the table”. It took me a while to get in, but I got a fair chance via hard work, dedication and exceptional mentors to prove myself. I want to make sure that we make the financial industry a better place via DE&I and social mobility is an integral part of it.

 

 

Nirmal Kumar

Nirmal Kumar, Global Head of Human Resources
Passion: Inclusion

At various points in my life, I have felt excluded as a result of where I come from, my hierarchy in the organisation, ethnicity or for having a different point of view. I have felt the most energised when I have been part of teams where every voice mattered. I am passionate about contributing to an environment w here every person has an equal and fair chance to succeed.

 

 

Edmund Stokes

Edmund Stokes, Global Chief Operating Officer
Passion: Ability (Disability & Neurodiversity)

Individually, our family, friends and our colleagues may be impacted by a variety of impairments hearing, vision, mobility, mental health, learning disorders, neuro diversity and long term health conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart conditions. I have immediate family members who are impacted t his is just part of life. I would like to help further develop an environment that supports those who are impacted, directly or indirectly, by such life events.

 

 

Erin Leonard

Erin Leonard, Global Head of Sustainability
Passion: Working Parents , Ability (Disability & Neurodiversity ) & Social Mobility

The challenge of developing a career at the same time as growing a family is the very definition of stress, but the rewards are immense. I have found so much support from colleagues across the business, and I am passionate about helping others manage through the ups and downs of working parenting. HSBC offers amazing flexibility to support individuals in finding the right balance to fit their personal goals. I look forward to connecting with more of my co workers on the topic of finding the right work life balance.

 

 

Alan Corr

Alan Corr, Global Chief Financial Officer
Passion: Ethnicity

As a member of a multiethnic family, I am passionate about ensuring our workforce reflects the societies we work and live in.

 

 

Matteo Pardi

Matteo Pardi, Head of International Markets
Passion: Gender Equity

I have experienced the value and beauty of diversity across my entire life for me as an individual, for society and for organizations. Even today as Head of International Markets, Diversity is the essence of my role.