New York, May 21, 2020
Today is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development so it is opportune to take a moment to see how the recent changes in the workplace has effected diversity for fund administrators.
Working from home has become the new norm with the arrival of COVID-19. The Fund Administration industry has had little choice but to adapt and adjust quickly. For those firms with strong diversity and inclusion infrastructure already in place, the transition has been significantly smoother.
Long before the outbreak, Centaur Fund Services had embraced flexible working arrangements as a way to promote work/life balance. Karen Malone, Founding Partner of Centaur, has always been a strong advocate for diversity and flexibility in the workplace. As part of her vision for 2020, she anticipated an increasingly diverse workforce and more flexible working arrangements being put in place for the industry. Although not expecting such a rapid and radical transformation, she reflects on the current and future implications of the coronavirus on the way the funds industry works.
A FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE BECOMES THE NORM
The Covid-19 coronavirus has caused one of the greatest workplace transformations of our lifetime. Our way of communicating, both personally and professionally has radically changed the way people communicate, work and learn.
On this transformation, Karen says, “Administrators have been forced to make major changes to preserve the health of their employees. Some of these firms have traditionally been reluctant to adapt flexible working arrangements. However, smart administrators are quickly realizing that there has been a positive side to this change: As teams are encouraged to work from home, management are seeing unanticipated benefits to these arrangements, such as improved productivity, greater flexibility and of course, radically reduced commute time.”
THE MOVE TOWARDS AN INCREASINGLY DIVERSE WORKFORCE
Centaur found the adjustment to flexible working very straightforward as the infrastructure was already in place for employees to work from home. This is rooted from a firm belief in the benefits of a diverse workforce. Karen explains, “Diversity is key to successful companies: It has been proven countless times in recent years that the more diverse your team is, the more successful your business will be as employees bring different outlooks, backgrounds and perspectives into the mix.”
She continues, “Offering a remote option improves accessibility which opens up the door to a larger talent pool that is more diverse. Location is no longer an issue so teams can be made up of people living anywhere. This means that there is a higher chance of employing people from different locations, backgrounds and cultures, who give different perspectives to the industry.”
FLEXIBILITY IS KEY, COMMITMENT IS PARAMOUNT
Flexible administrators are quickly adapting to remote working and flexible work hours. However, implementing long term policies takes commitment.
Karen explains, “Diversity and inclusivity have always been part of Centaur’s culture. We believe in the importance of human communications and encourage our teams to connect over shared interests. This is currently done through a range of technology platforms. We are so proud of how our employees have seamlessly embraced remote working.”
She concludes, “Successful administrators must constantly adapt to market forces and diversify their service offering accordingly. Covid-19 is a game changer with regards to flexible working and Centaur is embracing the positive sides of these changes to ensure that diversity remains fundamental to the firm.”