Numbers are on the increase, but still lag behind other professions, says Kim Dondo

The number of retail investment funds managed by women has increased from 8.5% to 9.2% over the last year, according to research by investment group Tilney.

However the figures mean that only 1 in 10 money managers are women. Jason Hollands, managing director at Tinley Group argued that more needs to be done to drive better gender balance. 

He 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.”

The figures also suggest that initiatives such as the Treasury’s Women in Finance charter may be starting to have an effect. Financial services firms that sign up to the scheme commit to having at least 30% of women in senior roles by 2021.

However, Hollands adds that there is no quick-fix solution for existing funds: “There are a finite number of funds and incumbent managers can remain in situ for many years before passing on the baton to a successor.” Instead, he says, firms can make a difference when recruiting at graduate level, particularly in disciplines such as research. 

Better gender balance, says Hollands, should also improve fund houses’ credibility when discussing issues such as diversity wtih company boards.