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City Wire Wealth Manager

What continues to prevent chief executives from accessing the entire talent pool, rather than favouring men?

City Wire’s Wealth Manager Magazine asks Averil Leimon why despite strong evidence of high performance so few women were promoted to senior positions in Investment Management. Here is a summary of her thoughts:

  • There is strong evidence of high female performance in the industry. For example a recent Goldman Sachs report showed that all-women or mixed gender fund teams have outperformed all-male portfolio management teams so far this year. 
  • Over the 10 years since we published our research with the London School of Economics and the book Coaching Women to Lead, men have learned to talk a good game about the need for higher diversity but, in many sectors including Investment Management, this is just skin deep: deep down, the CEOs and senior executives don’t really believe in women’s ability to do as well as them. They still have unconscious bias about risk attitude for example (long debunked).
  • It is the Boards’ responsibility to push the executive team to do something about it and go beyond a box ticking exercise: it is just good business sense.
  • We are preparing the second edition of the book and research clearly shows that what is good for women is good for ‘diverse’ groups: ignore this at your peril as diversity becomes the norm.
  • Therefore not actively recruiting, promoting and developing women looks like a wilful act of negligence or a deliberate exclusion. Time for the Board to hold execs to account.

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