Aberdeen Standard Investments is a proud member of the Corporate Call to Action: Coalition for Equity & Opportunity (CCA). Corporate Call to Action is a corporate social justice initiative launched in September 2020 by the Connecticut Office of the Treasurer in partnership with the Ford Foundation to confront long standing racial economic disparities in the United States and their impact on the nation’s economy. The coalition aims to dismantle systemic racism with actions that address issues of racial injustice and inequity, which constrain and undermine economic growth.

As a member of the CCA, Aberdeen Standard Investments will establish long-term, measurable efforts that address issues of racial justice, unlock economic opportunities in underserved communities, and advance prosperity for all.

In our first set of commitments, in January 2021, we agreed to publicly disclose workforce demographic data reported to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, known generally as EEO-1 data, representing the group’s first measurable commitment toward increasing diversity, transparency and accountability in financial services. These disclosures will allow us to track and measure progress toward greater diversity within our organization by race, ethnicity and gender. As a second step of this initiative, we will call on our portfolio companies to do the same. This effort in transparency is a reflection of our shared commitment to racial diversity, and we’re joined by many partners in the coalition who are committed to set this new industry standard on workforce diversity.

Additionally, we have participated in numerous working group sessions to shape other priority areas to increase racial equity internally and externally. Within the CCA we have collectively identified four pillars of commitment that serve as collaborative and measurable actions coalition members will take to address racial economic disparities over the next five years. These four pillars include: supplier diversity, investing in underserved communities, building a diverse talent pipeline and improving workforce equity and transparency. The initiatives have significant potential for increasing impact for communities of color. In the initiative’s next phase we will work with coalition members to develop action plans for both individual and collective action that will push forward industry wide change. We are dedicated in taking action by implementing customized internal and external programs, and regularly reporting on our progress publicly.

At Aberdeen Standard Investments, our commitment to diversity and growing an inclusive workplace begins with our purpose, “together we invest for a better future.” We work together to positively impact the lives of our employees, clients, communities and shareholders – this includes racial equality. In order to fulfill this purpose, we must continue to drive the commitment to inclusivity and diversity for all, both internally and externally.  We have various initiatives to promote inclusion within our company which are key areas of focus for us.  In addition, one of the ways that we can have a major impact externally is in our investment approach. Challenging companies on their approach to diversity and inclusion will continue to be a core element of our ESG engagement. To do this effectively, we must be able to set an example and demonstrate leadership.

...we believe that the promotion of diversity and inclusion in all forms will maximize returns and support long-term shareholder value.

As investors, we have both the responsibility and enormous power to address systemic discrimination that exists in the U.S. and beyond. Furthermore, as long-term investors we believe that the promotion of diversity and inclusion in all forms will maximize returns and support long-term shareholder value. 

CCA takes a “mirror and window” approach to driving change — looking in the mirror to recognize where financial institutions can internally improve representation and equity for employees, as well as looking through the window to understand how the financial services industry can implement external programs and investments that further racial equity. The outlined commitments, combined with public workforce demographic disclosures, create and nurture an environment that allows investors, consumers and employees to hold the financial industry accountable for and measure progress toward better diversity, as it aligns with their purpose and values.

We are grateful to be a part of the CCA, as it provides us the opportunity for active collaboration, enhanced transparency, accountability and support in our diversity and inclusion journey.

We are committed to continuing to do the work together with coalition members, to have an even greater impact on the communities in which we work and live to drive change and improve diversity, equity and inclusion across the United States.