Women in portfolio management

The missing diversity multiplier

Despite boasting some high-profile female leaders, asset management does no better than the rest of the financial services industry when it comes to female representation at the top. And portfolio management, the so-called “engine room” of the asset management industry, does even worse.

This is not because women are worse at portfolio management than men. Studies show all possible results in terms of portfolio performance, with neither women nor men being systematically better. So the available evidence provides no justification for the low representation of women in portfolio management.

And there is positive reason to regret it, when one considers the role that portfolio managers could play as representatives of major shareholders in companies from all sectors of the economy. There is evidence that female investors are stronger advocates for gender diversity in their portfolio companies. More women in portfolio management could mean more women in leadership positions across the economy – a diversity multiplier effect.

In the US, we are seeing increased institutional investor pressure for more diversity... Investors play an important role here and are starting to be more vocal about things like diverse Boards that correlate with better long-term sustainable performance
Alison Davis, Non-executive Director, RBS

Women in portfolio management

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