Standardizing investors’ approaches to DEI to maximize the power of diverse talent in inclusive cultures, yielding greater, more sustainable returns.

The ILN believes that diverse teams working in inclusive environments make better, more sustainable decisions that yield greater returns. As we transition into a sustainable economy, the ILN aims to be a catalyst and market leader for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) integration, providing a pathway from which investors can draw guidance.

Despite progress, diverse groups remain underrepresented in investment and senior management roles, especially in the financial industry. Because of their size, reach, and resources, institutional investors are uniquely positioned to influence a more inclusive world by advancing diverse talent internally as employers, as well as externally as active asset managers and asset owners.

Committed to tracking progress and making an impact on sectors with an underrepresentation of diverse talent, the Diversity in Investment initiative aims to open opportunities for diverse talent in finance and investment worldwide and to increase the presence of diverse leaders throughout the private sector.

Committee Lead

Marlene Puffer, Ph.D., CFA, ICD.D, Chief Investment Officer, AIMCo


The initiative focuses its efforts on the four following pillars:

Attracting and Retaining Talents

Evolve perceptions by demonstrating that women and other people belonging to underrepresented identities can be successful in the investment management industry.

Influencing Decision Makers

Engage ILN leaders on the importance of a diverse talent pool and factor diversity throughout investment processes, both internally and with our partners.

Rethinking the Workplace

Ensure that organizations are gender neutral and more inclusive in order to drive top talents’ fulfillment as well as innovation and business performance.

Building Accountability

Report metrics to increase transparency on diversity, equity and inclusion, and effect change through measurable and observable commitments.

Advancing the ‘S’ in ‘ESG’ Through an Inclusive Finance Initiative

The ILN knows that if investors fail to elevate social metrics to the maturity of environmental metrics, investment firms and our portfolio companies will be left vulnerable to important risks. 

Through its Inclusive Finance Initiative, the ILN develops resources to help member firms and the wider investment industry factor DEI across all identities into their operations, both as employers and investors. 

This initiative began with the publication of a “state of the industry” report that assesses ILN members’ strategic approaches to DEI to identify best practices, challenges, and areas of opportunity for investors to double down on the ‘S’ in ‘ESG.’

A principle finding in this report was that when paired with diversity, inclusion was becoming a better indicator of team performance and company returns than diversity alone. Further, by measuring inclusion, investors found that they could drive better DEI outcomes in areas where they otherwise had limited access to diversity data.

ILN investors identified an opportunity to help investors improve their measurement of and engagement around inclusion by solidifying the business case for inclusion, introducing a reliable set of inclusion metrics, and demonstrating their best practices in implementing the metrics. 

This opportunity informed the creation of ILN’s Inclusive Finance Playbook.

The Inclusive Finance Playbook provides investors with:

  • The business case for assessing and engaging with inclusion;
  • Sets of fundamental and advanced inclusion metrics;
  • Case studies on how ILN members are using the metrics in practice.

The Inclusive Finance Playbook gained the support of several leading standard setters in November 2021 and February 2022.

ILN continues to work with investors and standard setters to implement the Playbook’s guidance across the finance industry.

Read the Inclusive Finance Playbook’s press release.

Access the Inclusive Finance Playbook’s executive summary.

If you would like more information on our Inclusive Finance Initiative, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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