Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) have been part of Bridgewater's DNA throughout our 45-year history. Our core values — equity, reward based on merit, and the ability to be who you are — and our mission of seeking the best ideas in pursuit of the deepest understanding of global financial markets — naturally lead us to embrace diversity and treasure our differences. Those priorities have always made Bridgewater a place where anyone can find opportunity based on merit and outcomes.
We realized over time that we needed to engage in new practices in order to advance D&I as a first-order priority. Some of those efforts have been structural: We established a full-time D&I team equipped with substantial resources; opened the aperture in hiring to connect with underrepresented talent, overhauled our benefits and policies (including pay-equity audits), set up metrics across the employee lifecycle; and expanded our engagement with our own clients on these subjects. Other updates have been programmatic: We established vibrant employee affinity networks, formed external partnerships with groups such as Power to Fly and Out for Undergrad, and set up ongoing training and opportunities to foster dialogue. The common thread through these initiatives has been our commitment to build diverse teams of the best talent and create an environment where members of underrepresented groups feel equally enabled to advance and succeed.
In terms of the outcomes so far, statistics never tell the full story, though they are an important point of reference. We seek to benchmark ourselves in a variety of ways — including external certifications that measure the quality of our workplace for diverse talent, such as the Corporate Equality Index. Our long-term aspiration is to reach critical mass, where women, ethnically diverse1 talent and members of other underrepresented groups2 are well-represented in every position of influence within our firm. Our numbers indicate we are in the middle of our journey: they represent significant progress but are not good enough.
- Overall Representation: Bridgewater is 33% women and 29% ethnically diverse talent — 3% Black/African American, 8% Hispanic/Latinx, 16% Asian, 2% other groups — and 5% of the firm identifies as LGBTQ+.
- Senior and Investor Representation: Women hold 20% of executive3 positions, 21% of investor positions, and 18% of senior investor positions. Ethnically diverse individuals hold 10% of executive positions, 31% of investor positions, and 14% of senior investor positions. Those who identify as LGBTQ+ hold 0% of executive positions, 6% of investor positions, and 7% of senior investor positions.
- Hiring/Attrition: Over the last 12 months, women represent 35% of hires and 41% of exits; ethnically diverse talent represent 41% of hires and 28% of exits.
- Pay Equity: As of December 2020, women earn 98.1% of male employees’ compensation, ethnically diverse individuals earn 99.2% of white employees’ compensation.4
- Firm-Level Certification: We hold a top score (100) from the Corporate Equality Index as a Top Workplace for LGBTQ+ Talent.
1 Ethnically diverse; those who identify as Black/African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Asian Pacific Islander, Two or More Races.
2 This data is as of Jan. 2022 unless otherwise noted. We update this data periodically and it is subject to change at any time.
3 We define “executive” as any member of one or more of our four committees, which are the key-decision making bodies for our company.
4 Our analysis confirms the differences are not statistically significant.
Detailed Summary of Efforts Underway
The following is a more comprehensive summary of Bridgewater’s efforts to hire and advance underrepresented talent. Some of it goes to the heart of how Bridgewater has always been set up — with a focus on potential and raw abilities versus present skills. Some of it is more recent and focused on specific diversity and inclusion initiatives. We share this in the spirit of providing a window into what our firm is like and how we have invested our resources to live out our values. We have made real progress against our goals but have a lot left to do, especially in increasing representation at the senior levels, better understanding the drivers of inclusion, and adapting our approach for the post-pandemic world.
Opening the Aperture in Hiring: We have sourcing strategies to connect with more underrepresented talent — including strategic partnerships, sponsorships, and immersion programs, as well as initiatives to ensure the fairness of our assessment processes, such as structured interviews and training. We have also invested tens of millions of dollars and significant resources in a multi-year curriculum to develop world-class investors for those without prior investing experience. Our approach seeks out raw talent and potential (rather than only present skills) and is critical for getting the best talent, including underrepresented talent, into some of our best jobs — because even in today’s society, they are still less likely than those in the majority to be encouraged to pursue investing, and can therefore be excluded from industry jobs that require such experience in order to get their first opportunity. We see the benefits at the beginning of our pipelines — overall hiring over the last 12 months has been 35% women and 41% ethnically diverse individuals. Today, current senior investor representation is 18% women and 14% ethnically diverse talent, still insufficient, but growing as those in the junior ranks rise.
Advancing Rapidly in Line with Abilities: The value we place on abilities also drives our advancement structures. Other firms have a series of required steps (e.g. from Analyst to Associate) within a set career path. At Bridgewater, there is no requirement to spend set time in a given role, and employees are encouraged to advance between functions. Today, women and ethnically diverse talent hold 20% and 10%, respectively, of our executive roles, and as the next generation rises, we expect those numbers to increase. Erin Miles, who joined in 2010 out of undergrad, is one example of what’s possible. Based on her outcomes, she leapfrogged more senior and tenured employees, and by 2019 she was Co-Head of Equities and named to 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds. Erin is by no means an outlier in terms of success and advancement. Alan Bowser is Co-Head of the Americas Region and was named to the Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executives List. Karen Karniol-Tambour is Co-Chief Investment Officer for Sustainability and was named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40 List and to 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds. Rebecca Patterson is Director of Investment Research and has been named six years in a row (2014-2019) to the Most Powerful Women in Finance List.
Creating Space and Speaking Up in the Workplace: We have a culture that has always valued speaking up, and we never assume doing so is easy. Our focus is on understanding the potential obstacles, some of which can impact underrepresented talent disproportionately based on previous norms and experiences. We have five employee affinity networks open to every member of the firm — a Women’s Network, a Black Network, Asian Network, Hispanic Network and a LGBTQ+ Network — to help build connections and stimulate dialogue. We also offer required bias mitigation training for all employees, and a speaker/trainer series that features D&I issues in the workplace. Finally, we have automated tools and surveys that facilitate the process of sharing feedback and ideas (e.g. in meetings you can enter thoughts in an app so others can know what you think even if you prefer not to interject live). We are particularly focused on ramping up our measurement of inclusion in our environment so we can identify gaps and create solutions. All of these levers reflect the value we place on employees who are willing to say what they think, but also our commitment to ensure that doing so is equitable. In our view an environment where only the loudest or most confident voices get heard is inconsistent with meritocracy.
Ensuring Fair Compensation: Equitable rewards are a cornerstone of our efforts to ensure a fair environment and retain the best talent. We employ a full-time team within our talent organization to construct objective compensation logic, and we audit that work via processes overseen by executives outside the talent management chain in partnership with external parties and with the input of legal counsel. Based on an independent third-party review of Bridgewater’s 2020 compensation data, women make 98.1 cents for every dollar men make, and ethnically diverse individuals make 99.2 cents for every dollar white employees make. While it is still atypical to disclose such results publicly, we do so as part our commitment to continue to monitor and close the gap.
Enhancing Employee Benefits: We have also overhauled our benefits to better support underrepresented talent; as a result, we now offer fully paid parental leave; egg freezing, IVF, and adoption coverage; state-of-the-art mothers’ rooms and breastfeeding support; and fully paid coverage for gender transitions. We have implemented broader offerings as well, including: world-class medical insurance, work flexibility, a 401(k) match of $15,000, the ability to return part-time after leave, and backup childcare. These are available to all, though the research shows that underrepresented talent bear more of the burden in integrating work and family life. We don’t accept the underlying inequities, but we are hyperaware of the realities that underrepresented talent face, and try to tailor our approach accordingly.
Each year, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) requires that all companies with 100 or more employees file a report on the demographics of its workforce covering the previous year. Click here to see Bridgewater's 2020 US EEO-1 Report.