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Fund managers paying "lip service" to gender diversity

gender diversitySome asset managers are accused of “paying lip service” to gender diversity as many do not assess it as part of their investment analysis, research shows.

Redington, an investment consultant, said less than half of asset managers (47%) it surveyed assessed gender diversity as part of their investment analysis when researching potential investments – despite recognising its importance within their own firms.

Just over three-quarters assessed gender diversity internally and nearly 60% told Redington that gender diversity was an important contributor to their success.

Over 100 asset managers around the world, representing 192 different investment teams with $10 trillion in assets under management, were surveyed.

The data also shows that two-thirds of asset managers had less than 25% female representation on their investment teams and 60% did not report their gender pay gap in 2019.

Nick Samuels, head of manager research at Redington, said: “While our research clearly shows that many asset managers understand the importance of better gender diversity and are taking steps to measure and monitor it, we are seeing a very mixed picture of how this translates to team structures and decision-making.” 

“Our survey uncovered some thoughtful approaches to diversity, but we also have to ask ourselves whether some in the asset management industry are just paying lip service to this important topic.”

Samuels said diversity and inclusion is something that Redington viewed as creating a “highly effective and competitive workplace”, making it an important consideration factor when assessing a manager’s capabilities.

“While we recognise that each organisation must plot its own path based on its own history, culture and needs, investment managers should recognise that expectations are changing from both staff, future hires and the wider society. Understanding these perspectives is becoming ever more important to be successful from an internal and external point of view.”

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