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Hedge fund and PE houses make “slow progress” in diversity

Business_womenAlternative investment houses are accused of making slow progress in diversity following research that just 14% of partners at hedge funds, private equity firms and other financial services partnerships are women.

Fox & Co, specialists in partnership law, analysed data from the Financial Conduct Authority and found 1,381 out of 9,957 total partners were women.

The low percentage of women partners highlighted “slow progress” in increasing diversity at senior levels, the firm said, because five years ago the percentage was 13%.

One drawback is the relatively small size of many private equity and hedge fund firms, which means they may be less likely to have a HR function capable of making a full search across the recruitment market, the firm said.

Smaller organisations were more likely to recruit from their own contacts, which made it “hard to break an unconscious bias towards male candidates”.

Dean Fuller, partner at Fox & Partners, said: “Historically, private equity firms and hedge funds have been male dominated, and there has been little progress made on increasing diversity over the past five years.”

He added: “Raised awareness of workplace discrimination means that firms need to consider what they can do to redress the balance. These figures show that efforts to increase diversity have not gone far enough.”

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