Working Together to Foster Authenticity
Since joining Barings, I have been on a continuous listening tour and am excited to share my early observations and plans as we start to shape our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy—with the ultimate goal of creating an environment where everyone can authentically be themselves and find success.
Our recent employee engagement survey revealed a respectable DEI score, suggesting Barings has laid good foundations. Along with leadership trainings, several Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have provided spaces for employees to relate to or support one another through similar backgrounds and shared experiences.
DEI for All
I’m originally from North Carolina, and moving to Charlotte therefore feels like returning home. The most rewarding part of my career to-date has been helping to build corporate structures and cultures. As we move forward at Barings, we want to give everyone an opportunity to better understand their individual and collective roles within our DEI strategy, and to use our resources to make sure that DEI reflects and supports us all.
Our DEI Focus
While these plans will continue to evolve, we will focus our efforts in three areas: learning, measurement and programs.
- Learning: Our learning focus will help us define what diversity, equity and inclusion mean to us in the most inclusive way possible. We will expand training at the firm to include associates at all levels, as well as provide targeted training for inclusive leadership. These plans will start to roll out in Q2 and continue with facilitated conversations throughout the year.
- Measurement: We need to know where we are to establish where we are going. To that end, we will be increasing our self-identification options to better understand who works at Barings and what resources are needed to support the community. We want to get better at assessing our talent pool, identifying opportunities to recruit people with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and equipping business leaders with the information necessary to understand the diversity within their teams.
As part of our measurement efforts, we will also ask our clients what they are doing from a DEI standpoint, both in terms of their demographics and their actions.
- Programs: We want to capitalize on the energy surrounding our ERGs and help provide them with more structure and support. We will cultivate programs around allyship and cultural understanding, and work with leaders and associates to define Barings’ cultural norms. Our external partnerships and programs will be key to strengthening our DEI strategy.
Working with our partners
DEI is multi-faceted and extends not only across our entire business, but also to our partners. Although our initial focus will be on our employees and workplace, we will simultaneously look at how we use DEI to improve client services, how we allocate resources to ensure supplier diversity, how we aid diversity in our communities through Barings’ Social Impact initiatives, and how we discuss where we are on our DEI journey across the globe.
We look forward to working with you as we embark on this evolving journey. DEI is a marathon not a sprint, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead Barings on this path.