Publishing Our Diversity Data to Promote Transparency

Aperio’s DEI Journey
November 9, 2020

As many of you likely have seen on our website, Aperio is Latin for "to make clear, to reveal the truth." We looked in Google translate and found a definition we like even better: "disclose to view." Aperio has always been a proponent of transparency. We believe in the marketplace and its ability to measure value; that’s why we are indexers. We also believe that the market’s ability to accurately measure value is dependent on information. We favor much more disclosure by companies than has been the normal practice for too many companies, including on ESG (environmental, social, and governance) issues.

Aperio feels strongly that we must lead by example. Today, Aperio is publicly posting its EEO-1 data on workplace diversity. This is an additional piece of our overall response to racial injustice that our CEO, Patrick Geddes, wrote about in June 2020. We have long been in favor of companies disclosing this information, in part because we use this information to manage ESG portfolios for our clients interested in diversity issues. Until we crossed the 100-employee threshold, we were not subject to filing an EEO-1 form with the Department of Labor.

By posting this information, we affirm the following:

  1. All companies subject to filing this diversity information with the federal government should release their EEO-1 forms publicly. We do not believe that this information is proprietary. We believe that if society is going to make improvements on racial, ethnic, and gender diversity, society needs access to information on what kind of progress companies are making in specific instances. We believe that people may disagree on appropriate policy solutions but that acknowledging the problem can only be accomplished by expanding access to information.
  2. The financial services industry has been particularly behind in generating equal opportunities for communities of color and for women. We acknowledge that Aperio has more work to do in promoting the kind of diverse workforce to which we aspire. We are working to address these issues and expect to be held accountable by our partners, clients, and employees. Disclosing this information now is part of that accountability process.
  3. Disclosure by itself doesn’t change behavior.

Compiling and releasing this information is an opportunity for us to look in the mirror at our performance. We live in our company every day, we know who our colleagues are, and we like them. In the back of our minds, we also understand every day who our colleagues are not. But as we go about our daily work, when we aren’t specifically thinking about diversity, we forget to be working on this issue—out of sight, out of mind. Compiling the information is an opportunity to put diversity squarely within our sightline and, therefore, within our mindful thought.

At Aperio, we did not make a series of conscious decisions to discriminate, but as we’ve all started to understand, we subconsciously failed to make the extra effort necessary to achieve diversity. We are a relatively small, privately held company, so we hope that our example can demonstrate that publishing this information doesn’t have to be difficult. The hard work is the commitment to get better. We make that commitment.

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