Jonathan Bell Lovelace believed that fundamental research is essential to achieving superior long-term investment results. The small company he founded in 1931 has grown into one of the world’s most respected financial institutions.
Life at Capital Group
Capital was among 222 organizations that participated in the 2017 Women in the Workplace study, a landmark research initiative designed to help companies better understand the challenges facing working women in corporate America. Now in its third year, the study is a collaborative effort between LeanIn.Org—a nonprofit founded by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and McKinsey & Company.
This was Capital’s first time contributing to the study, which highlights important trends across companies and industries (including a classification for asset managers and institutional investors). In addition to benchmarking our diversity practices against other employers, it affords us access to thought leaders and best practices from other organizations.
“Learning from our peers has already begun,” says Jim Evans, HR Senior Manager and head of Capital’s diversity and inclusion efforts, who recently attended the presentation of the 2017 Women in the Workplace results in New York. “I met with representatives from other companies who are working through the same challenges that we face. Gaining insight into how they’re creating a more inclusive culture helps Capital improve as well.”
The study collectively represents the experiences of approximately 12 million people based on data reported by the participating organizations and the direct input of 70,000 employees. Companies contributed internal data on promotions, attrition, and diversity policies and programs; at the same time, employees completed a survey that gauged their personal workplace experiences, including career opportunities and work/life perspectives.
The study found that while the commitment to gender equality is rising steadily in corporate America, common hurdles are inhibiting rapid progress.
The findings reveal a workplace reality that differs for women and men. Women are 18% less likely to be promoted and are underrepresented throughout the corporate ladder. Gaps appear early in their career trajectory and widen with advancement into senior leadership roles. There are also differences in pay and position, with men being more likely to get what they want without having to ask for recognition such as compensation increases or promotions.
Not surprisingly, women and men view equality efforts underway in their companies quite differently. While the majority of men surveyed think their companies are doing enough to advance greater gender equality, most women view the efforts as nascent and needing more focus and commitment.
Capital’s results largely mirror the broad survey findings and, in some categories, are better than average when compared to other participating asset managers and institutional investors. Our overall gender diversity is higher than our industry competitors, as highlighted recently in the Financial Times.
Over the past few years, Capital has launched several initiatives to bring greater awareness to these challenges and develop programs to make our environment more inclusive.
Specific efforts underway include providing every associate the opportunity to participate in Unconscious Bias dialogue sessions in 2018 and launching programs like CAPtivate and CAP@city, which are helping women and minorities become more familiar with the investment services industry and aware of the opportunities available to them here at Capital. And, we have several communities designed to support women at Capital—collectively they have hundreds of active members.
“We’re excited to be part of this important study as it affirms that Capital is taking the right steps toward building a more inclusive workplace,” reflects Human Resources Director Sally-Ann Tschanz. “It also helps us understand the work we have in front of us—we realize we’re not yet where we want to be. This is a sustained, long-term effort and we’re committed to making progress on gender equality, and to creating a more inclusive environment for everyone and a better outcome for our investors.”