Fixed income behind the curve in female hires

future im/pact fixed income bonds hiring gender diversity

19 June 2024
| By Laura Dew |
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Fixed income has the second-lowest percentage of female portfolio management appointments, according to a diversity report from Future IM/Pact. 

Future IM/Pact is an industry initiative seeking to attract more diverse talent into the investment teams of fund managers and superannuation funds.

New research conducted by the industry initiative incorporated three years of workforce data from 22 investment firms and 961 employees tracking appointments, promotions and exit rates for male and female investors at all levels.

This included Australian Retirement Trust (ART), Australian Ethical, UniSuper, Munro Partners, Colonial First State (CFS) and Platinum Asset Management.

The report revealed a “disappointing” setback in the composition of women in portfolio management roles. The number of female portfolio managers has declined from 23 per cent in 2017 to 19 per cent in 2024.

Breaking it down by asset class, 26 per cent of portfolio managers in fixed income are women.

This compares to 32 per cent in private equity and 31 per cent in infrastructure, although it is not the absolute lowest which is held by the global equity division with just 19 per cent female managers.

Some 15.9 per cent of appointments to the asset class are female, 12.5 per cent of promotions, and 8 per cent of exits.

The number of appointments is the second-lowest behind real estate which has 14.8 per cent of appointments being female.

However, while the results are disappointing, Future IM/Pact flagged this may be due to less investor knowledge of the space.

“Fixed income and debt leaders need not be concerned about the appeal of their asset class to women. Indeed, we know women in these sectors are equally enthralled by their work.

“Rather our experience suggests this lower representation is due to women being less likely to know about fixed income and debt – creating an excellent opportunity to educate women at university and in their early careers about the incredible career experience available in these sectors.”


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