From the FT:
The most effective way to break this impasse is also the most controversial: institutional investors could mandate a certain portion of their hedge fund allocation goes to women-run funds.
Yes, there needs to be a strong pipeline of female managers coming through the ranks. This “supply side” effort is well established. Strong, professional networks such as 100 Women in Hedge Funds can work both ends of the pipeline: their sponsorship of Girls Who Invest initiatives, modelled on the tech sector Girls Who Code, can change attitudes early by lauding female role models and fund scholarships; their philanthropic work can put female managers into the orbit of potential investors. Enlightened self-interest would suggest hedge funds interview more women for positions, since bringing a diversity of backgrounds into the investment process helps prevent groupthink.
And here is the mission statement from Girls Who Invest:
Girls Who Invest (“GWI”) is a non-profit organization founded in April 2015 dedicated to increasing the number of women in portfolio management and executive leadership in the asset management industry. Our benchmark for success is to have 30% of the world’s investable capital managed by women by 2030. This goal is in sharp contrast to 2014, a year in which less than 10% of the world’s investable capital was managed by women.
We will focus on education, industry outreach, accessibility and career placement to achieve our mission. At GWI, we aim to create programs to inspire and support young women to become tomorrow’s leaders.
By completing GWI’s rigorous program, talented and motivated women will be well prepared to enter the industry across all asset classes including public and private equity, fixed income, credit, hedge funds, real estate, infrastructure, and to be skilled allocators of capital.
Perhaps there are differences between how male and female managers invest. Personally though, I don’t believe that when it comes to investing I think any differently than men, but that is a sample of one. However, it would be wonderful to see more women managers, and I think we will, ten years from now, give or take.
What matters here is not whether there are differences in gender-based investing, but rather that women are given the right opportunities to pursue what has traditionally been a male domain. If there truly isn’t any difference in skills, then statistically speaking, half the investment talent is in the female population. Raising the female participation should therefore raise standards overall, at the expense of mediocre men.