Accelerating the growth of women in investment management

 / Reading time: 2 minutes

While female representation in Australia’s investment management industry is increasing, the pace of change is slow. To accelerate the growth of women in investments, we need both a bottom-up and top-down approach.

Photo of three women in a meeting

New diversity data is encouraging

The 2022 Financial Services Council (FSC) Diversity Survey canvassed 20 global and domestic fund managers and found women make up on average 27% of investment management teams, a 2% increase on last year. When we drill down to the key decision-making roles within these teams, women account for just 10%. The recent Citywire Alpha Female Report shows this figure has increased from 9% in 2020 so the industry is taking steps in the right direction, albeit baby steps.

The future of investment management

Encouraging and enabling young women to pursue a career in investment management is part of our mission at Future IM/Pact. By connecting university students and women in the early stages of their careers with industry leaders, learning opportunities and jobs, we have helped place over 30 female interns, graduates and junior analyst roles this past year.

These women are the future of investment management and building this talent pipeline will pay dividends in the years to come. As Tony Boyd stated in a recent AFR article “The real test of women’s progress in funds management is the number of female fundies rising to the top of the pile and being given the responsibility to run money.”

Supporting female investors to move up the leadership ladder also requires a pull from the top. Sponsorship and advocacy programs that pair existing leaders with emerging female talent can substantially increase visibility and drive promotion. I’ve seen this first-hand many times through my Lift Sponsorship Program, where executive-level sponsors not only mentor their sponsee but advocate for their potential, often putting their own reputational capital on the line. It is through these top-down initiatives that more doors and promotional pathways will open up for our female investors to step through.

‍Why does gender inclusion even matter?

Gender inclusion is not just about fair and equitable representation but makes good business sense too. The McKinsey & Company Diversity Report found that companies with higher gender diversity on their executive teams are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability.

In the investment management space, increased profits not only benefit investors and shareholders, but all Australians. Asset managers play a critical role in our economy, channelling funds from individuals and businesses to support economic growth, employment and prosperity.

As I discussed in my last blog, female portfolio managers consistently outperform their male colleagues and make great investors. In an industry worth $4.2 trillion in Australia, imagine the positive economic and social impacts of more female investors calling the shots. It’s an exciting prospect that I’m pleased to say is slowly but surely becoming a reality.

Yolanda Beattie | Director | Future IM/Pact
Yolanda Beattie
Future IM/Pact
Future IM/Pact founder, Yolanda Beattie, brings a lifelong passion for inner work and the nature of consciousness to her leadership and teams development experiences, honed professionally over the past decade working with leaders and teams across a range of industries. Having spent the first 15 years of her career working in funds management, she combines her mindset development skills with industry insights to create powerful learning experiences grounded in practical application.

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