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Time for investment teams to invest in women: Future IM/Pact

Yasmine Raso20 June 2024
Super gender gap

A new report from industry program, Future IM/Pact, has suggested gender parity in investment teams could be achieved by 2030 if the industry commits to developing its talent pipeline and supporting female staff.

The report, titled Path to parity: Progress towards gender equality in Australian investment teams, analysed three years of workforce data from 22 investment teams, examining appointments, promotions and exit rates for male and female employees across all levels.

The research found that the hybrid and flexible working arrangements push during and post the COVID-19 pandemic boosted levels of trust between women and management, as well as an increased level of work/life balance.

However, the report noted that staff retention at the senior analyst level continued to present challenges to overall gender parity in investment teams, as women were 40 per cent more likely than men to leave their position due to talent poaching.

A similar trend was also seen at the portfolio manager level, with the number of women filling roles compared to men dropping from 23 per cent in 2017 to 19 per cent in 2024. Forecasts also indicate only 24 per cent of these positions will be held by women in five years, leaving gender parity to be achieved in a further 19 years.

“Parity is far from guaranteed. While women are being hired, promoted and retained at proportionally higher rates than men at most levels, men continue to substantially outnumber women. That means any complacency can quickly unwind the progress made. Now’s the time to double down and accelerate momentum,” Future IM/Pact Founder, Yolanda Beattie, said.

“Funds are poaching great female talent from each other, making one fund’s gain another fund’s loss and the whole industry only moving slowly ahead.

“Targeted support for women aspiring to these roles is key to ensure we don’t just attract female talent into the industry at the lower levers, but help women grow and flourish into senior positions.”

Beattie also said women who participated in the research explained the cultural challenges they faced within workplaces, with many feeling their contributions were not valued and their career potential unsupported.

“Developing the emotional intelligence and leadership capability of investment leaders so they can effectively support and advocate for women aspiring to investment decision-making roles must be a priority. Doing so should be aimed at creating the culture where everyone can do their best work,” she said.

The investment teams that participated in the research were from Adamantem Capital, Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF), Australian Ethical Investment, Challenger Limited, Colonial First State, First Sentier Investors, Genesis Capital LLC, Melior Investment Management, Munro Partners, Pemba, Perpetual Limited, Platinum Asset Management, QIC, Rest, Schroders, Corp, TDM Growth Partners, UniSuper, Victorian Funds Management Corporation (VFMC) and Vinva Investment Management.

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Brad Lonergan
28 days ago

I think we’ve done enough for women!
How about we invest in our children in general and keeping the family strong!!
This over emphasis on assisting women to dominate every aspect of Australian life is tearing society apart at every level.
The disparity for men and boys in education, family courts, the workplace, government representation, public health, suicide, homelessness, and just in general respect for their place in the community and as Fathers has all but disappeared. Its time men’s issues were also looked at seriously in this country. Enough is enough! It seems to be all we hear these days, and boys & men also need assistance to thrive!