The number of funds managed by female managers has risen slightly, but is still less than one in 10, according to analysis by investment group Tilney.
The analysis shows the number of UK retail investment funds, such as OEICs and unit trusts, managed or co-managed by women rose to 9.2%, up from 8.5% last year.
Jason Hollands, Managing Director at Tilney Group, said: “The representation of women in front line fund management positions remains very low and lags the progress seen in many other professions, with one in five partners at law firms now women. However, the representation of women in frontline fund management roles is clearly rising: when we commenced this analysis in 2013 our research estimated that just 5% of all funds were managed or co-managed by female fund managers, so the percentage of identifiable female fund managers has doubled over the last five years.
“Fund management is first and foremost a human capital industry, reliant on finding very bright and analytical staff to look after other people’s wealth. It’s clearly not healthy for the long term success of the industry to have such an imbalance like this because it suggests it is not effectively drawing upon the widest pool of talent.”
He says there is no quick fix to the problem because of the number of funds and because managers can stay in place for years. However, he added that firms could make a difference when recruiting at the graduate entry level and especially in areas like research which can be a key stepping stone into portfolio management.
“Achieving improved gender diversity will also enable the fund management industry to speak with greater authority when engaging with company Boards on matters of diversity as many firms seek to do as active shareholders,” he said. “Here, there has been notable progress since the publication of the Davies Report in 2011 with women now accounting for 26% of Board positions at FTSE 100 companies, up from 12.5% in 2010.”