By Federica Urso
– Some of Britain’s biggest investors have joined a plan to double the number of female fund managers to 20% of the total by 2026 as part of efforts to address the under-representation of women in the industry.
The Diversity Project, founded in 2016 by a group of leaders in the investment and savings industry, on Tuesday said it was launching the Future Female Fund Managers Programme on International Women’s Day to “move the dial on diversity”.
With only one in 10 portfolio managers currently women, according to industry tracker Morningstar, the Diversity Project wants to double the figure with the help of investors including HSBC Asset Management and Aviva Investors.
Others to have already signed up to the initiative to be launched in January 2023 include abrdn, Schroders, BGF, JO Hambro Capital Management, Fidelity International, Newton Investment Management, Artemis and Columbia Threadneedle.
“Workplace culture has changed considerably for the better over the three decades since I entered the sector as a graduate trainee, yet women still remain woefully under-represented in the field of fund management,” said Helena Morrissey, chair of the Diversity Project.
“We need a programme that is very targeted to correct that, otherwise it just won’t happen.”
The Diversity Project said the programme will offer a mix of online and in-person training to help fresh starters and more experienced women alike break through cultural barriers and the challenges arising from being the only woman in the room, among others.
“This programme is what the industry needs for a step change in female fund manager numbers,” said Joanna Munro, global chief executive at HSBC Asset Management’s alternatives unit.