IVCA Feature: The Debate Over DEI, As Reported in the Online Press

May 17, 2023

Continuing a series of articles based on the IVCA Spring Luncheon last month, this topic was near and dear to moderator Johara Farhadieh (Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of the Illinois State Board of Investment) … DEI or Diversity, Equity, Inclusion. Throughout the financial world, DEI has become important not because firms “have to do it,” but because such policies, due to an evolving social and global environment, leads to better outcomes for all.

The origins of the term DEI has its roots in the 1960s U.S. civil rights movement, where an increasingly diverse country expanded the demand for equal consideration, primarily at that time for race, but also rooted in the feminist movement and gay liberation as well. Today there is a recognition that in the workplace and within the investment space, DEI is one of the significant checkmarks that creates value.

But like all movements, there is an inevitable backlash, and DEI has become a front and center culture war issue. There are many voices out there, so below is a sampling of articles online exploring this hot topic, with the focus on the Venture Capital and Private Equity industries.

LinkedIn.com, ’Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Private Equity

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion considerations reveal a company’s efforts to ensure they cultivate a positive working environment. This working environment must be welcoming to individuals with less-privileged identities. DEI-conscious companies advocate equality in terms of gender, ethnicity, culture, class, sexuality and, more. Crucially, these companies understand the value of embracing our differences.

READ MORE: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/diversity-equity-inclusion-dei-private-key-esg/?trk=pulse-article_more-articles_related-content-card

Forbes.com, Evolution, Not Just Change: The State Of Diversity, Equity And Inclusion In The Venture Capital Industry’

The desire for positive change in the venture capital (VC) industry is clear, however there is still much work to be done to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The VC industry has significant influence in driving the US economy, which is why we examine its progress related to DEI.

READ MORE: https://www.forbes.com/sites/deloitte/2023/05/03/evolution-not-just-change-the-state-of-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-in-the-venture-capital-industry/?sh=d65c97261cc2

Fortune.com, Diversity is Not Hurting the Financial Sector

Just a few years earlier in 2020, DEI professionals moved to the forefront of corporate hiring after the George Floyd racial protests, and major companies flush with cash declared their commitments to tackle inequalities in their organizations. In tighter financial times, DEI is likely to be considered an expendable part of a company. Despite evidence suggesting that inclusive organizations are more nimble and adaptable to change when the economy sours, DEI is still often considered the fat to be trimmed.

READ MORE: https://fortune.com/2023/03/17/diversity-not-hurting-financial-sector-inclusive-organizations-money-worthand-disproving-dei-expendability-narrative-banks-finance-trier-bryant/

WeForum.com, Do You have Diversity Fatigue? Here are 5 Ways for Businesses to Get Out of Their DEI Slump

Diversity fatigue is setting in and DEI (diversity, equity & inclusion) professionals are throwing in the towel amid a lack of support from company leaders. The pandemic has set back inclusivity agendas, including gender parity, LGBTQIA+, racial and disability rights, say experts. tA new report highlights five ways to make companies’ DEI policy a success.

READ MORE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/04/how-businesses-can-beat-diversity-fatigue-dei/

MorganStanley.com, Podcast: ’Meaningful DEI Is a Long-Term Investment

This is Part of Morgan Stanley “Invested At Work” Podcast Series: “Many workers expect that organizations will have a DEI program. For some, a comprehensive DEI plan is table stakes. For others, it is approached as a one-time policy change. The reality is that ensuring an active, permanent, responsive DEI plan requires investment and commitment. Want to know how to treat DEI like a strategic long-term investment and help your employees meet their goals while building financial confidence?”

LISTEN HERE (23 MINUTES): https://www.morganstanley.com/atwork/podcasts/meaningful-dei-investing-invested-at-work

Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center YouTube, ‘DEI at the Core of Your Business’

As businesses of all kinds search for innovative ways to stay on a trajectory of success, one critical factor is often overlooked: the people behind the process. Supporting the team that drives the mission of the business forward trickles down to all parts of the business. Thankfully, we’re seeing that support from leadership expanding beyond traditional perks and benefits as the value of workers becomes more deeply protected in our governing systems.

WATCH HERE (60 MINUTES): https://www.youtube.com/live/6b7KWsR6qoE?feature=share

The next IVCA event is on May 25th,“2023 M&A Deal Terms Study – How it Relates to Your Business,” Sponsored by Cooley LLP, presentation by SRS Acquiom. For details, click here. For all the upcoming IVCA events, click here.

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