Breaking the Bias at T. Rowe Price
Women’s History Month began as a weeklong local celebration in Santa Rosa, CA, to commemorate and encourage the study, observance, and celebration of women’s vital role in U.S. history. The popularity of the celebration spread, and in 1980, a consortium of women’s groups and historians—led by the National Women’s History Project (now the National Women’s History Alliance)—successfully lobbied for national recognition. In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8, 1980, as National Women’s History Week, ultimately becoming Women’s History Month in 1987.
This Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, it’s important to not only highlight women’s contributions throughout history, but to also highlight programs and resources designed to break the biases that contribute to women’s continued underrepresentation on higher rungs of the corporate ladder.
According to the 2021 Women in the Workplace report, women in North America remain dramatically underrepresented in the financial services workforce—particularly at the level of senior management and above. This report, a collaboration of McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.Org, reveals a leaky pipeline for female talent, resulting in significant inequality in top leadership roles.
At T. Rowe Price, we are committed and intentional in our approach to attract, develop, and retain women and foster an inclusive culture. Our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts include improving female representation, instilling leadership accountability in building and growing diverse teams, and providing an inclusive culture and experience for our associates and clients.
The firm continues to affect change and drive our mission of increasing gender and race balance through a range of approaches to address the challenges women face in our industry, within specific disciplines, and throughout their career journey.
- Our Women in Sales initiative focuses on leadership and mentorship and creates a more inclusive sales environment to attract, develop, retain, and motivate women in and out of the financial industry. We are expanding this successful program to other divisions across the firm, including our technology and global investment business units.
- The Amplify Voices Advisory Committee supports and informs our ongoing efforts to attract, develop, advance, and retain underrepresented female talent. Composed of senior female leaders representing all areas of the business and with varied experiences and tenure, members have personal experience navigating the corporate space as underrepresented minority talent and can highlight barriers that Black women may face throughout their career.
- WAVE, our business resource group for amplifying women’s voices at T. Rowe Price, focuses on increasing the firm’s ability to attract, develop, advance, and retain more female associates. Employee-led groups like WAVE (which has 2,200 members from offices worldwide) play an essential role in maintaining our culture and ensuring DEI remains at the forefront of our priorities.
- Our Women’s Stock Pitch Workshop prepares first-year female MBA students to research and pitch a stock, a critical component of the MBA internship interview process for research roles in asset management. Participants attend a one-and-a-half-day workshop to learn how to, and build confidence in, effectively pitching stocks while networking with our investment professionals.
- Internships are also a traditional path into investment management. There are many examples of women who are now full-time associates who were introduced to the investment business through our undergraduate and MBA internship programs.
Additionally, we partner with organizations like the Robert Toigo Foundation, whose mission is “to foster the career advancement and increased leadership of underrepresented talent by creating mechanisms for greater inclusion from the classroom to the boardroom.”
We also expand our reach by participating in events such as the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and Lesbians Who Tech, which are key venues for engaging with prospective associates of all backgrounds. These events help us build a pipeline of talented women, identify women with the skills for a career in investment management, and uncover candidates whose academic or career backgrounds may be nontraditional for the financial services industry.
Each of these initiatives contributes to our overall DEI strategy, and we measure the efficacy of our efforts through independent audits and indexes to hold ourselves accountable and to benchmark against progress in our industry.
In 2021, T. Rowe Price conducted an internal audit of our recruiting and career advancement processes to uncover and address any biases and identify areas for improvement. By taking an objective look at ourselves, we were able to draw insights from a variety of key groups. The results of this important work have helped inform our DEI strategy.
Our firm also recently participated in the 2022 Bloomberg’s Gender Equality Index (GEI) for the first time. A company’s GEI score reflects a high level of disclosure and overall performance across five dimensions: female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, anti-sexual harassment policies, and pro-women brand. For 2022, T. Rowe Price earned a disclosure score of 98.6 and a data excellence score of 72.5, for an overall GEI score of 80.3. Of the 418 companies participating in the 2022 GEI, the average disclosure score was 96, and the average data excellence score was 60, for an overall average score of 71.
While we are proud of our initial score, like with any independent audit, the GEI identified areas of success and improvement. We acknowledge we have more work to do and will hold ourselves accountable.
Accountability is fundamental to our DEI strategy. It is about ownership and initiative, committing to both action and execution. We depend on one another for the success of our DEI work and are collectively responsible for doing the right thing for our business, our clients, and our colleagues. When we demonstrate action, learning, initiative, and execution, we build trust. That trust—combined with our DEI learnings and shared experiences—sets the stage for a more equitable future.
As we commemorate Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day, and other celebrations of diversity, we invite you to learn more about our DEI initiatives and how our differences bring us together.