PIMCO building hero

Culture Fail of the Month: PIMCO

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article on bond giant Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) and their attempts to change their culture. Some recent lawsuits have renewed scrutiny on the company: over the last three years seven current or former female employees have sued the company, alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. In January, 21 women, including six of the plaintiffs, signed a letter imploring the firm to improve its treatment of women.

“We are calling on you to step in and rectify these longstanding issues and create a company that provides equal opportunity and treatment to everyone regardless of their race, gender, or disability,” the women wrote in the letter. The women also asked PIMCO’s leaders to identify and correct disparities in pay and promotions, develop a five-year plan to diversify its senior staff and set up a complaint hotline run by an independent party.

PIMCO says they have already addressed much of what was in the letter, but also initiated an investigation by an independent third party who found no evidence of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, and wrote that the firm’s handling of those complaints was appropriate, according to the WSJ article.

But, the data reported in the article doesn’t favor the company. Women reportedly comprise only 19% of PIMCO’s 77 managing directors­—its top management rank that annually shares handsomely in the company’s profits. Among executive vice presidents, 21% are women. Overall, 39% of the company’s employees are women. And in its 50-year history, the firm had never had a Black managing director until recently when two were appointed this year.

To the company’s credit, there is some progress. In 2020, 29% of the firm’s senior U.S. staff identified as an underrepresented minority according to PIMCO, where a decade ago it was 18%.  Despite the progress, it’s clear the company still has a lot of room for growth. And, as more companies publicly report human capital metrics as part of the SEC’s new rules on disclosure, we’ll see more articles on gender and racial disparities that uncoincidentally correlate with reportedly toxic cultures.

This article was originally published on CultureRenovation.com. Visit the website for additional resources, solutions, and information about the bestselling book.

Kevin Oakes
Kevin is the CEO and co-founder of i4cp. He is a world-recognized thought leader on the topics of corporate culture, the future of work, and learning, and is the author of the bestselling book Culture Renovation: 18 Leadership Actions to Build an Unshakeable Company.