In 2017 we launched a major campaign on diversity entitled ‘breaking the mirror image’. This draws together streams of activities designed to encourage wider, more diverse participation on trustee boards and across the industry.

Diversity on boards has been a major theme of government policy for several years and whilst there has been some progress, many pension fund trustee boards and the top levels in our executive teams lack diversity. There are lots of aspects to diversity – ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic groupings and disability. With 83% of the governance bodies of private sector pension funds being male, we plan to take gender as our starting point, however, there remains much for us to do.

Women in Pensions Awards

As we continue the breaking the mirror image campaign in 2018 we are supporting Professional Pensions inaugural Women in Pensions Awards.

2018 Women in Pensions Awards took place on Tuesday 26 June 2018 at the Brewery, London.

The awards are not about men versus women, or whether a particular gender is more suited to a career or role in pensions; they are simply about celebrating and recognising the achievements of women in a sector where they are currently under-represented. We firmly believes that initiatives that aim to inspire and campaign for greater representation of women both in pensions and on trustee boards have a key role to play in supporting gender diversity. The Women in Pensions Awards can complement these initiatives by shining a spotlight on the work of inspirational and ground-breaking women in the pensions sector.

The 2018 winners can be viewed here.

Become a trustee and help promote diversity

As part of the campaign to promote wider diversity and expertise on trustee boards, The PLSA Academy offers a short course entitled Becoming a trustee for anyone who is interested in becoming a pension scheme trustee.  Employers and pension schemes keen to develop wider, more diverse participation on their trustee boards will find this course especially helpful to inform employees or past employees about pension scheme trusteeship. More 

The 'Breaking the Mirror image' campaign launch 

The Breaking the Mirror Image campaign was launched at the PLSA Investment Conference 2017, where diversity was a major theme at the event and the focus of two sessions. Videos of both sessions are below. The first, a panel discussion on diversity, began with the PLSA team privilege walk, powerfully illustrating the diversity challenges of any workplace. After watching the video you can download the privilege quiz and find out your score. 

In the other session, Business Author and Former CEO Margaret Heffernan spoke about why real collaboration means valuing every voice.

Northern Trust Asset Management


The Diversity Programme is being kindly supported by our Headline Partners Northern Trust Asset Management.

We have a number of activities planned for the year to help drive home the message, some scheduled and some in the development stage. Throughout the programme there will be the opportunity for our members to champion, support and actively work with us on this campaign. 

All financial contributions from partnership opportunities will be fully reinvested in the work we do on diversity.

If you’d like more information on how to get involved, please contact Claire.simmons@plsa.co.uk or Varsha.gowda@plsa.co.uk.