Nearly half of UK investment firms have no plans to collect data on neurodiversity and healthcare responsibilities among their staff, a report from the Investment Association has found.
The Investment Association, together with WTW’s Thinking Ahead Institute, has published an industry-wide data report on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) data in the UK investment management industry, based on questionnaire responses from 52 UK investment and fund managers, interviews and other originating data.
The EDI data research found that neurodiversity and healthcare responsibilities are the least collected data among companies, with only 25% collecting data on them, and 42% of companies have no plans to collect data in either area.
Source: EDI Data Study, Investment Association and Thinking Ahead Institute, November 23
Neurodiversity is an umbrella term that encompasses a number of neurodevelopmental disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia (difficulty with movement, order and direction), and dyscalculia (difficulty with numbers, including money and time).
“Although there has been an increase in the number of people diagnosed with neurodiversity in recent years, there are several possible reasons for the low employee declarations,” the report said.
“In addition to people choosing not to disclose for fear of discrimination, neurodiversity diagnoses can be difficult to obtain as demand for diagnostic assessments falls short, especially for adults.”
Last year, neurodiversity consultant Rachel Morgan-Trimmer said ESG clarity neurodiversity was “the next big thing” in EDI.
“Neurodiverse people are the only marginalized group that is skills-based, and yet nine out of ten companies still don’t have neurodiversity on their agenda. Not only are they missing out on talent and losing out to their more inclusive competition, they are also at risk of lawsuits,” she says.
Despite the reluctance to collect data on neurodiversity, the EDI data report states that more than half (53%) of companies are implementing “support measures.” Several measures were found across the board – such as employee groups and networks, and working with industry initiatives – but the report did not outline a hard and fast EDI policy at companies.
Religion and caring responsibilities
While almost half of the companies surveyed (42%) collected data on religion, this was also the area where most companies (52%) had no plans to collect data. The response rate was high at companies that did collect data on healthcare responsibilities and religion.
“Data is the backbone of creating and implementing an effective EDI strategy,” said Karis Stander, director of culture, talent and inclusion at the Investment Association.
“It provides the best possible opportunity to effect change by informing resource allocation, evaluating the success of initiatives, and advancing current and future diversity and inclusion plans.”
Marisa Hall, head of the Thinking Ahead Institute, added: “Unlocking the sector’s progress on equality, diversity and inclusion means we need to measure more than we currently do.”