Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity challenges entrenched attitudes and biases, providing different perspectives, and ultimately leading to better business decisions and enhanced market competitiveness.

At Valentine Thomas & Partners we understand the importance and the necessity of diversity in the workplace. It is well recognized that a diverse workforce can help businesses become more adaptable and allow them to better serve the needs of a wider range of clients.

Valentine Thomas & Partners is dedicated to promoting a diverse corporate culture in which different backgrounds and perspectives are not only represented but encouraged. Our research process is fully inclusive regardless of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, or ethnicity.

Best Practice

Addressing diversity in the sector continues to be a core focus for investment management firms. We observe this is being done with mixed success, that said many firms have made great strides in increasing the number of female and ethnic minority staff at both the junior and senior ranks but there is still a huge amount of work to do.

In our role as a leadership advisory firm, Valentine Thomas & Partners observe the following core areas to focus on to increase the likelihood of attracting the best diverse talent from the external market.


  • Conduct a deep analysis to understand where the challenges are internally on diversity.
  • Personalise the business case for diversity and make it realistic.
  • Make it compulsory for every job description to be gender neutral.
  • Appoint a diverse 'sponsor' internally for the search to show commitment to the process.


  • Where possible create flexibility within the mandate to allow a greater chance of hiring a diverse candidate.
  • Look at potential step-up candidates or returners who may not have a 'current' track record.

External Networks / Initiatives

  • Firms that are involved with, and actively encourage, diverse networks and projects will reap the rewards.
  • Firms are increasingly creating their own internal initiates to engage/inspire diverse talent.


  • We observe a number of firms still struggling to set up in order to attract a diverse talent base.
  • Firms that can change mindset to offer returnships, high level internships and flexible working arrangements (remote working / job share etc) will benefit in the long term.
  • Whilst Covid has presented many workforce challenges it has shown that firms / people can work in a remote environment successfully. Whilst every firm is on a journey we see this as a benefit for diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Message from the Top

  • Diversity initiatives must come from the top of the organisation.
  • Candidates in a search process will pick up if the business does not have diversity as a core value of the firm or as part of the broader strategy.

Hiring Managers

  • Hiring managers must be able to evidence they have a diverse long/short list.
  • Hiring managers need to be supported through this process as it is more than just 'meeting statistics'.
  • Once a diversity hire has been made in the hiring manager and team need to make sure there is ongoing support around onboarding etc.


  • Several firms expect through 'outsourcing' diversity it can be solved by a third party. Whilst that will address certain issues, it does not solve for the long term.
  • People must be vested in a slow and often long term process to achieve diversity.
  • Stakeholders views will be challenged along the way.