Fund supports deidentified recruitment

Future Super, the $1 billion ethical retail fund, has shared how its deidentified recruitment has helped boost diversity - after mixed results last year.

Future Super head of group strategy Veronica Sherwood-Meares said on LinkedIn that Future Super now does not look at CVs or resumes when hiring.

"At Future Super, we're working to deliver a future free from climate change and inequality, and our actions need to match our words. However, our track record with the diversity of our own team hasn't always been great," she said.

"At the beginning of 2019, more than 60% of our team were men and, even without any tracking of the share of our team who identified as people of colour, it was easy to see we were overwhelmingly white."

But she said that since then the fund has managed to transform its diversity for the better.

"Of the 15 new hires we had in 2020, 53% are women (we recognise this doesn't speak to gender identities that sit outside the binary, and we hope to explore that over time, too), and 73% self-report as being a person of colour," Sherwood-Meares said.

She credits the improvement to shifting to a recruitment platform which deidentifies applications.

Through this process, the risk of unconscious bias colouring hiring choices is removed.

The new recruitment style also sees the fund focus on asking questions of candidates that are based on testing the skills required for the job.

This means candidates are less likely to be chosen purely on where they have worked in the past, rather on the skills they have acquired through their experience.

"It's really tempting to ask someone where they've worked in the past instead of crafting questions which test for the skills required for the job, but we've gotten used to sticking to the theory over time," she said.

"We recognise that diversity can't exist without inclusion (otherwise it's just tokenism) and improving the diversity of the people who walk in the door is only part of the puzzle."

Future Super's new hiring statistics are a marked improvement on the previous year.

In February 2020, the fund's review of its efforts to increase diversity found that the gender pay gap had actually increased in favour of men from 12% to 17%.

Future Super co-founder and chief executive Kirstin Hunter said the new approach is all about focussing on the candidate, not just the CV.

"Future Super exists to create a future free from climate change and inequality. We've shifted the way we hire, recruitment is generally consciously bias, we're deidentifying the system, we're focusing on candidate versus CV," Hunter told Financial Standard.

"Since adopting this, in under two years, we've transformed the way we hire. We are on the on-going journey of making Future Super more accountable for the inclusion of our team, and we acknowledge that we've still got a huge amount of work to do, we hope the industry follows."

Read more: Future SuperKirstin HunterVeronica Sherwood-Meares
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