ILN Launches an Inclusion Playbook To Help Investors Assess and Engage on Inclusion Throughout Their Portfolios

Mar 24, 2022

The Network of 13 global institutional investors representing $10 trillion AUM endorses a set of inclusion metrics that they will begin integrating into portfolio assessment and engagement


March 24, 2022– The Investor Leadership Network (ILN) today released its latest investor resource, an Inclusive Finance Playbook. The Playbook provides investors with the business case for inclusion, inclusion metrics, and case studies on how ILN members are beginning to put the metrics into practice.

The Playbook has been developed in partnership with Diversio as part of the ILN’s Diversity in Investment Initiative, which aims to unlock higher social and financial returns by developing actionable resources to help investors better engage with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

After conducting internal research of its members’ approaches to DEI last June in the report Creating a More Inclusive Economy: Practical Insights from Global Institutional Investors, members of the Diversity in Investment Initiative found that when paired with diversity, inclusion was a better indicator of team performance and financial returns than diversity alone. The ILN recognized an opportunity to help improve and standardize investors’ measurement and engagement around inclusion and decided to create the Inclusive Finance Playbook.

The Playbook offers investors two tiers of metrics– fundamental and advanced– that can be used to assess organizations at different stages of their DEI journeys. Investors are encouraged to assess all organizations’ DEI policies, talent acquisition strategy, employee engagement strategy, and diversity data transparency. More advanced companies can also be assessed on culture, management, workplace safety and flexibility, career development and advancement opportunities, and turnover equity. As evidenced by the case studies in the Playbook, ILN investors are beginning to integrate these metrics into their investment activities.

Amy Hepburn, CEO of the ILN Secretariat, commented, “ILN members know that an organization can only benefit from the perspectives and backgrounds introduced by diverse employees if its culture and policies support their success and wellbeing. Inclusion is the key that unlocks diversity’s high returns.”

“It is clear to investors that inclusion is a material issue, but until now, investors have not had the proper guidance to most effectively measure and engage on inclusion. ILN’s Inclusion Playbook and its Inclusion Metrics mark the beginning of a new era of investors’ approaches to DEI. We hope that the Playbook will help drive DEI outputs meaningfully across the private sector,” added Ziad Hindo, Chief Investment Officer of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Co-Chair of ILN’s CIO Roundtable.

To ensure that the Inclusive Finance Playbook would fill an industry-need, ILN hosted two Standard Setter Inclusion Roundtables in November 2021 and February 2022 to gain feedback on the resource and its metrics from leading standard setting organizations.

Jennifer Choi, Managing Director of Industry Affairs at Institutional Limited Partners Association, said, “ILPA is excited to see ILN investors advancing their assessment of inclusion and making their best practices and metrics available to the broader industry. Given the reorganization of talent that we’ve seen over the past year, whether or not employees feel safe and properly supported at work is undoubtedly a material issue for investors. ILN’s Inclusion Playbook fills a gap in the way DEI has been addressed so far; we encourage investors to take inspiration from this report to start measuring and engaging on inclusion.”

“Investors are uniquely positioned to influence the speed and success of the transition to a more inclusive and equitable economy. The ILN’s Inclusion Playbook is another concrete, actionable tool put forward by our Network. Working with standard setters and hearing from them that the Playbook will help drive DEI actions in the financial industry is a great validation of our cumulative efforts”, said Helen Beck, Co-chair of ILN’s CIO Roundtable and Executive Vice-President and Head of Equity Markets at CDPQ.

ILN members will continue to use the Inclusive Finance Playbook to inform their portfolio management strategies and urge other investors to do the same.


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