Money managers in the city are under fire for a lacklustre record on gender equality today after a new report found progress in hiring female fund chiefs has stalled.
Former chair of AJ Bell, Baroness Morrissey, has today urged firms to shift female representation up the agenda after a new report found that just 12.1 per cent of more than 18,000 funds tracked worldwide by Citywire was managed either solely or jointly by a woman.
“If firms mean what they say about viewing this [gender equality] as an incredibly important topic, they should be giving twice as many new funds proportionately to female managers,” Morrissey told The Times. “It would still be a very modest percentage.”
The former fund manager has enjoyed a decades-long career in the industry across London and New York, working at both Schroders and Newton Investment Management.
She has also served on the board of Legal & General Investment Management and St James’s Place and long lobbied or better representation in the finance and business as founder of the 30% club.
Fund management as an industry has been rocked this year however by the sexual assault scandal around fund chief Crispin Odey and his eponymous firm.
In the new report, reported by the Times, Margaryta Kirakosian, Citywire’s Alpha Female project editor saidd the lack of progress on diversity showed the industry was “stuck in a vicious cycle” in which firms are “setting themselves ambitious targets on gender representation in portfolio management, but often fulfil them through external hires, rather than nurturing talent internally.”
Citywire also warned that pressure from fund managers to return to the office was having a detrimental impact on the career progression of working mothers.