A Message from our CEO - Advancing DEI at Commonfund

November 4, 2021 |
2 minute read

Commonfund Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report - A Message from our CEO

For the past two years, we have been living in a digital world of Zoom, MS Teams, WebEx and other video formats. It has indeed been a fascinating and challenging time for us all. We all learned to work from home, to establish new forms of communication, and to build new work formats and cultures that will forever change the workplace.

And yet, as we hit the COVID airbrake on our economy, we faced an even more critical crisis in the United States—the crisis of racism and discrimination. This stain on our society is not new, it has been embedded in our culture for hundreds of years. The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others ignited a social awakening and racial reckoning like never before.

As a result, it is time for Commonfund to be critically conscious of our efforts to lead the movement in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) not only for our firm, but also for our constituents and society more broadly. A just society requires that we all believe in, and have access to, the bounties of capitalism and democracy. And yet, our society still has a long way to go to ensure that access is open to all— everyone counts, or no one counts.

At Commonfund, I am proud to see that our differences bring us together rather than push us apart. An important development of our digital workplace has been the democracy of the video screen. Whether you are on a Zoom call or a MS Teams video or whatever digital format that you may use, everyone gets the same amount of digital space. There is no privilege or entitlement on a video screen—racial and gender barriers fall away—everyone is equal. As we Return to Office, we must stay connected and continue to push forward and educate ourselves and our constituents on how DEI is not only an advantage for all but also a necessity for society.

"This report represents a crucial aspect of Commonfund’s commitment to fostering and advancing DEI at our firm, in our industry and in society."

Manson  Mark Anson, CEO & CIO, Commonfund

Therefore, Commonfund has established specific initiatives and accountability structures to create, nurture, and build a culture of inclusivity that celebrates diversity and recognizes the equity it brings to the table. As an affirmation of our commitment, we present our first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report. We recognize that increasing diversity, equity and inclusion requires a dedicated effort with a long term horizon. We also recognize that while we have put extensive effort into advancing DEI within our own walls and among the managers with whom we work as well as the asset management industry in general, we still have work to do. Diversity is too critical a mission, and too special a privilege, to rest on any laurels or past accomplishments.

This report represents a crucial aspect of Commonfund’s commitment to fostering and advancing DEI at our firm, in our industry and in society. It is often said that “What gets measured, gets done.” Transparency and accountability are critical if we are to make progress on DEI over the years to come. This inaugural report provides an accounting of the work we have done to date and sets a baseline for work yet to be accomplished. To that end, we will publish this report every other year—alternating it with our larger Corporate Responsibility Report—to document our progress on the journey.

Download Commonfund's 2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report


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