Fundsters have a ways to go when it comes to gender equality issues.
So argue a pair of Financial Times
articles. Ruth Sullivan highlights
asset management's difficulty recruiting women, and Chris Newlands and Madison Marriage report
on the results of a survey about sexism in the workplace. The picture the two pieces paint isn't flattering.
The first piece notes that women hold only 10 percent of asset managers' executive positions and board seats. Anne Richards
, chief investment officer at Scottish-based multinational Aberdeen
], tells the FT
that "too many people think financial services is a testosterone-driven profession where snap decisions are made."
"We need to readdress this because it is the wrong impression," Richards reportedly says. "There were not enough women before the financial crisis and even fewer now."
, deputy chairman and global recruiting shop Sheffield Haworth
, says that "very few women apply at senior level," despite his clients always asking "to see female candidates as they want to balance teams and desks that are too male dominated."
The results highlighted in the second article suggest that perhaps sexism is part of the deterrent. FTfm surveyed 730 asset management personnel worldwide in its "Women in Asset Management Survey" and found that "a fifth of female fund staff have suffered sexual harassment at work [compared to a tenth of women in financial services overall], while a third experience sexist behaviour on a weekly or monthly basis." 65 percent say they have experienced sexist office behavior regularly.
"Unfortunately, I am not surprised this still goes on, but I am shocked the figures remain so high. It is a huge concern," Martin Gilbert
, CEO of Aberdeen, tells the FT
. "This kind of behaviour will discourage women from joining the sector."
And while 70 percent of men surveyed think women's situation in asset management has improved over the past five years, only 37 percent of women agreed.
See the full article
to dig deeper into the findings.
Neil Anderson, Managing Editor
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