7. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)
Diverse Leadership and Employee Base
We recognize that a diverse set of perspectives is critical to innovation and have built a diverse and inclusive workforce that includes all genders, races, religions and ages, as well as those in the disabled community. We actively seek candidates from different backgrounds and outside traditional fields and reinforce our commitment to diversity through organizational policies, such as mandating fairness and equality for all employees and creating performance appraisal systems that are non-discriminatory. We pride ourselves on the diversity of our employee-base globally and are committed to offering employment to the best possible candidates regardless of whether they require sponsorship. Notably, WisdomTree Europe boasts employees from 20 different nationalities that speak 17 languages and based throughout multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany and Sweden.
The Board’s corporate governance guidelines specify that when considering director candidates, the Nominating and Governance Committee:
- Should take reasonable steps to ensure the Board’s overall composition complies with applicable law regarding diversity matters, including with respect to the number of female directors and directors from unrepresented communities on the Board and to include qualified candidates having diversity inclusive of gender, race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation, in the pool of candidates to be considered by the Nominating and Governance Committee for recommendation to the Board; and
- Should actively seek out highly qualified women and people of color as nominees.
Consistent with our corporate governance guidelines, WisdomTree appointed five highly qualified individuals, Smita Conjeevaram (January 2021), Harold Singleton III (January 2022), Lynn S. Blake (May 2022), Deborah A. Fuhr (May 2022) and Daniela Mielke (September 2022), to our Board.
WisdomTree Board of Directors Gender and Demographic Background
After engaging with an external consulting firm focused on diversity, equity and inclusion in 2020, WisdomTree conducted an employee survey and several focus groups. The output from these exercises were incorporated into a DEI strategic plan and resulted in the formation of WisdomTree’s inaugural employee-led Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council (DEI Council) in 2021. The DEI Council is comprised of senior leaders and employees and provides oversight and guidance in connection with the implementation of programs contemplated by the DEI strategic plan. The DEI Council seeks to foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace culture in support of WisdomTree’s DEI vision.
Its key objectives serve as guiding principles for the firm:
- Equipping employees with the skills, tools, and reassurance for increasing tenacity, building trust across difference, and elevating diverse voices and perspectives;
- Implementing equitable systems and processes that drive increased diverse representation and provide clear pathways for growth and development, engagement, and retention for all employees; and
- Driving clarity and accountability around WisdomTree’s commitment to fostering an inclusive culture where all employees feel empowered to bring their best selves and do their best work.
Achievements since the formation of the DEI Council include:
- A DEI workshop series aimed at giving employees practical tools to use in working to build a culture that welcomes all. Topics have included “Behaviors of Inclusion” and “Authenticity in the Workplace”.
- A “DEI Dialogues” publication issued internally on a monthly basis and covering various relevant topics to raise awareness.
- The launch of an initiative to add pronouns to internal email signatures (on an opt-in basis).
Women’s Initiative Network (WIN)
In 2019, WisdomTree formally launched the Women’s Initiative Network, or WIN, which is an employee-led network designed to offer:
- A community to provide opportunities and support from all genders for women at WisdomTree
- Career development and professional training opportunities
- Female empowerment and leadership within the organization
WIN has held a variety of virtual events for employees to discuss important issues around diversity and racial justice. WIN continues to bring employees together through virtual events to hold these discussions.
Highlights of WIN’s activities include:
- Several successful global events, including a panel discussion on women in the workforce featuring notable guest speakers, an interactive seminar on negotiation skills, workshops and coaching sessions to enhance confidence to speak up, and various roundtable forums
- Informal coffee catch-ups
- Weekly internal “Spotlight” newsletters to increase visibility and raise the profile of our female employees
- Promoting the external visibility of our female colleagues, leading to being shortlisted for DEI Initiative of the Year, Employer of the Year, Advocate of the Year and Next Generation Leader of the Year
- Virtual social gatherings to promote connectivity and increase engagement
- Shortlisted by Women in Asset Management USA for DEI Initiative of the Year, Employer of the Year, Advocate of the Year and Next Generation Leader of the Year