The CFA Institute says more than 100 financial industry organizations in the United States and Canada have signed up to the institute’s first voluntary diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) code for the investment industry.

Launched in February 2022, the DEI code requires signatories to “amplify the impact of their commitment by making the economic, business and moral case for diversity equity and inclusion,” the CFA Institute wrote in a statement about the program’s success one year after its launch.

They say signatory organizations have US$11.2-trillion in assets under management, approximately 10 per cent of the investment industry’s assets under management globally. Although the code was only launched in Canada and the United States, the CFA Institute is exploring how it can also be introduced in the United Kingdom and across Europe.

In addition to their commitment to making the business case for DEI initiatives, signatories also commit to providing a confidential, annual progress report to the CFA Institute, which will in turn aggregate reporting data to provide new industry-level action data, beginning in the second half of 2023.

Other obligations include the adoption of a DEI policy and statement, work to establish senior leadership ownership and oversight of DEI governance processes and work to implement a plan to integrate the principles within the organizations’ people processes and policies. In Canada, signatories additionally commit to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada Call to Action #92, which calls on the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and apply its principles, norms and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples, their lands and their resources.