Companies Trying to Attract Women to Hedge Fund Sector

August 24, 2017 James Heinsman Company Spotlight

The hedge fund space controls an estimated $3 trillion, and women manage about 1 percent of that. Of every 100 fund managers, only 20 are women. This data shows starkly the glaring gender imbalance is this exclusive club of hedge fund executives. This is contrast to the strides gender equality has made recently in other areas of the financial services sector.

A study done in 2015 by Northeastern University showed that the differences between men and women in the hedge fund industry is one of the worst in finance. There are 9,081 companies in the United States that employ male portfolio managers compared to a minuscule 439 that have women in the same job.

“There is a very strong negative stereotyping that occurs out there and it’s really destructive,” said Chief Executive Jane Buchan of PAAMCO, a fund of hedge funds. “Women are leaving asset management because they think it is too much of an uphill battle. They say ‘I’ll just go work in tech instead’.”

Some funds, like Man Group and DE Shaw, are finding ways to draw more women and keep them.

“It is hard enough to find great people without excluding half the population,” Man Group’s President Jonathan Sorrell comments. Man Group is the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund, with about $96 billion in assets under management.

Man Group has instituted things like informal quotas of at least an equal balance of male and female candidates for each job opening; targeting more college-age women to employ for their graduate program to work in technology; and has instituted a “returnship” program to attract women who took an extended leave from work.

DE Shaw, Jane Buchan, Jonathan Sorrell, Man Group, PAAMCO,

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