The funds management industry still has ways to go to improve gender diversity, new research has revealed.
A survey conducted by Australian industry super fund HESTA has found that while more women are working for listed and unlisted fund managers than ever before, the industry still has “much work to do” to achieve gender balance.
The survey responses, compiled from 60 of HESTA’s investment partners, found an increase in women working in investment management roles (up from 17 to 22 per cent since 2018) and mid-level investment positions.
However, there have been no changes in the numbers of women working in senior investment leadership roles for listed and unlisted managers since 2018. The survey found that there are still no female CIO’s and women at the partner level remain at 10 per cent.
“The overall improvement is encouraging, given the historic under-representation of women in the funds management industry,” HESTA CIO, Sonya Sawtell-Rickson, said.
“However, there is still much work to be done, particularly if we’re to see more women progress to senior decision-making roles.
“There is ample evidence of the benefits of diversity in identifying the best talent and building strong, inclusive teams that consider a broad range of perspectives.
“We want to ensure our members are benefiting from this ‘diversity dividend’ that can help drive continued strong, long-term investment performance.”
The results come on the back of HESTA’s 40:40 Vision initiative launched late last year, which is aiming to achieve gender balance in senior leadership roles of ASX 200 companies by the end of the decade.
“More than 80 per cent of our members are women so gender diversity and equality are important focus areas for HESTA,” Ms Sawtell-Rickson said.
“More inclusive workplaces can improve the long-term performance of companies and provide greater career opportunities for women, generally benefiting the financial future of HESTA members.
“Our ultimate ambition is to achieve gender balance – 40 per cent identifying as women, 40 per cent identifying as men and 20 per cent any identification – and eliminate gender pay gaps that may exist across our investment value chain.”
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