Meet Oisin Crawley – Managing Director, Fundamental Active Equity at BlackRock
Our interview with Oisin:
Can you introduce yourself in a couple of sentences?
I’m an investment manager for portfolios that cover 14 markets across Asia. I’m English but with an Indian mother, a Japanese degree and a Chinese wife – so I have loved being here in Asia for the last six years.
When did you first get involved in gender equity and why?
We have a high female representation on our team. In my previous role as Head of APAC Active Equity Research five years ago, it became crucial to ensure we maximize the potential of our female talent. I began to see the many ways in which barriers in this area can lead to genuine missed opportunities in the business, investments and wellbeing of the team. This led me to explore the wider changes that need to be made a) to support individuals and b) to change cultures in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.
How are you currently involved in gender equity initiatives through your company / position?
From my work in markets, I’m very passionate about behavioral science and see similar opportunities in applying behavioral solutions to human dynamics, specifically gender equity. Through our long-established Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) and cross-divisional and firm-wide Inclusion & Diversity initiatives, I’ve taken an interest in issues that highlight the business case for gender equity, equitable meetings structures, confidence and presentation equalization for women, as well as boosting constructive male engagement with the issue.
And what about men?
It’s pretty clear that progress will be slower and harder if we cannot constructively engage men. Speaking from experience, the ability to genuinely persuade people and win hearts and minds is key – better policy and legislation is absolutely necessary but is only half the battle. Since people can often act in their own interests, it’s most effective to demonstrate why this is a comprehensive win-win from a business perspective – that’s what I’ve seen first-hand and I’m a convert.
What are some key challenges you are facing (or in general);
The pace of change is very incremental and often times a lot of initiatives have a slow or uncertain payback — we hope they are all contributing to awareness or increased opportunities but it takes time to materialize. What we observe is that we can often make more impact on gender equity at junior levels; however at senior levels, there is still a longer legacy of society’s underinvestment in female talent to overturn. This sometimes requires nudging people to think more laterally when appointing new positions – for instance backing talent and aptitude over specific experience.