Female Representation In Finance: Still a Problem in 2021?
We believe better social representation in the investment space deserves more awareness, as this is often the vital first step in ameliorative action being taken by industry leaders and policymakers. We are therefore proud to be associated with organisations, such as Women In Boards UK and GAIN, who work hard to boost female representation in finance and beyond.
Despite improvements over the last decade, female representation at the board level in finance is still poor. In investment management, women represent just 8% of decision makers. This isn’t helped by the picture at the intake level, with only 20% of investment management sector applicants being women. With so few women entering the profession, the challenge of improving representation at the board level is inevitably more difficult.
Fortunately, in the UK at least, the picture has improved across all sectors. It was reported last year that women now hold a third of all board roles.
On the Money Maze Podcast, we’ve been fortunate enough to speak to a number of high profile female investors, who shared their thoughts on why diversity at the leadership level lags in finance relative to other industries.
Over the last year, we’ve been joined by inspiring female investment managers, including Helen Watson (CEO of Rothschild & Co Wealth Management, UK) and Chingxiao Shao, Founder and Managing Partner of Red Gate Asset Management. We were also thrilled to welcome Audrey Choi, the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer of Morgan Stanley, onto the show in November 2020.
In February this year, we featured the CIO of Cambridge University Endowment Fund, Tilly Franklin. She is also the co-founder of GAIN, which works to improve gender balance at the top level by boosting female applicants to the investment industry as a whole. In the episode, she talked extensively about why she started the charity, and what more still needs to be done.
Established over 800 years ago in 1209, Cambridge University is one of the oldest surviving Universities in the world and has spawned more Nobel Prizes than any other institution. In today's conversation we welcome Tilly Franklin their Chief Investment Officer, whose education includes Cambridge, Harvard and LBS.
Later that month, we welcomed another top female investor onto the show, Anne Richards. As well as being the CEO of Fidelity International (which boasts 2.5 million customers and over $700 billion in assets under management), she’s a prominent voice in the gender debate.
In the episode, she analyses the gender issue in finance, sharing her thoughts on why so few women apply to work in the sector. As an ambassador for Women On Boards UK - which focuses on getting more women onto non-executive board positions - she’s spared time alongside her highly demanding role to improve gender representation in finance. She discusses how finance needs to provide more role models for young women and ensure they “get up the information curve” when it comes to application skills and awareness of the different roles in the industry.
Our guest today is Anne Richards, CEO of Fidelity International, who offer investment solutions, investment services and retirement expertise to more than 2.5 million customers globally. As a privately held, purpose-driven company with a 50-year heritage, they think generationally and invest for the long term.
Are you a young woman looking to break into the competitive finance industry? Or are you just interested in learning more about the issue? Find out more and gain support via the organisations below:
- GAIN: Co-founded by Tilly Franklin, the organisation aims to improve representation at the board level by boosting overall female applications in the sector.
- Women On Boards UK: With a network of over 30,000 people, it provides information, support, connections and encouragement for women trying to get non-executive positions on boards. It works with all sectors and all sizes of organisations. It is part of a global brand first established in Australia.
- 30% Club: Founded by Dame Helena Morrisey, this organisation aims to ensure women make up 30% of boards and C-Suites globally. It advocates a voluntary, firm-led approach and sees the 30% target as a floor, not a ceiling. The charity has helped improve female board representation from 12% in 2010 to 30% in 2020 in the UK.
ANNE RICHARDS ON IMPROVING SOCIAL REPRESENTATION IN FINANCE:
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