At Westwood, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are an integral part of our history, culture, and identity. We embrace opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds and are committed to fostering an environment that values unique ideas, perspectives and experiences. In such an environment, each employee feels valued, included, and empowered to do their best work and deliver the best possible service to our clients.
Diversity is an important part of our culture and identity. Westwood was founded by a woman — a remarkable feat back in 1983, when the finance industry had a small percentage of women in the workforce.
To continue and encourage diversity among our employees, Westwood has a Diversity and Inclusion committee that is committed to ensuring that diversity remains part of our identity.
Today, we are proud that 44 percent (as of Dec. 31, 2020) of our employees are women — many in senior level positions. In fact, as of Dec. 31, 2020, 25 percent of our personnel, with the title VP and above, are women vs. 29 percent in our industry, according to Women in the Workplace Study, 2020. We have two women on our board of directors, constituting 25 percent of our board vs. a typical 20 percent.
To help support women in our workforce, we offer paid maternity leave and tuition reimbursement and continuing education initiatives. We have affirmative action employment practices set in place and implemented across the firm.
We are a proud, perennial sponsor of the CFA Alpha and Gender Conference. We have continually sponsored this in support of Leah Bennett, president of our Westwood Wealth Management office in Houston. Leah, who is a member of the CFA Board of Governors, co-founded the CFA Women in Investment Management Initiative.