UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), an international investor network aimed at establishing a sustainable global financial system, released a report calling on investors to improve their performance on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues, as reported by ESG Today on February 7. The report proposed for investors a series of measures to address DEI in their organizations, portfolios, and society at large. The report emphasized that DEI issues are human rights issues and deserve as much attention from investors as that on climate change.
The PRI noted the progress on gender diversity in the report and saw that as a good starting point for addressing DEI. Nevertheless, the organization stated that investors must rise above gender diversity to encompass inclusion and equity, ensuring that different groups in society can access positions with decision-making power, and everyone in society enjoys fairness of treatment and outcomes. According to PRI, mentions of DEI in its signatories’ proxy voting policies have risen from 6% in 2017 to 21% in 2020, while the mentions of DEI within the PRI’s Reporting Framework also witnessed steady growth from 2014 to 2019. The DEI considerations, together with the growing importance of ESG, will transform the fund industry in the coming years, according to Ernst & Young’s (EY) 2021 Global Alternative Fund Survey.