Hedge funds and private equity houses lead gender diversity in financial services despite "boys club" reputation

William Turvill
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Only 12 per cent of partners working in this area are women (Source: Getty)

Hedge funds, private equity houses and other investment partnerships are leading the charge towards gender diversity in financial services despite their “boys club” reputation, according to a new report out today.

Still only 12 per cent of partners working in this area are women, but this is up from 10 per cent last year, global executive search firm DHR International found.

But the report compared this with the fact that seven per cent of chief executives in financial services as a whole are women.

Read more: Fund managers join fight for more female FTSE 350 board members

Some 405 partners out of 3,509 were female in 2015, according to an analysis of Financial Conduct Authority figures.

“While hedge funds and private equity houses are moving in the right direction when it comes to improving diversity at the most senior level, women still remain a small minority at the executive committee level,” said Stephane Rambosson, managing director and head of financial services at DHR International.

“The fact that hedge funds and private equity houses are doing better than the overall financial services sector challenges the “boys club” reputation that they have been associated with in the past.”

Read more: If you want a better return, make sure you have a woman managing your cash

He added: “In an industry which is fiercely meritocratic, the opportunities are certainly there for the taking as firms compete to attract and retain the best people to drive their business forward. However, there are some practical hurdles to overcome.

“As diversity imbalances can often exist at all levels, strategies such as nurturing talent through the ranks by encouraging positive role models and implementing mentoring schemes are important steps, but take time to yield visible results.”

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