I work in funds management, and in this particular corner of the finance world women are a rarity. In fact, 78 per cent of fund managers are like me – male.
According to the federal government’s Workforce Gender Equality Agency, across the whole of financial services and insurance, 46.8 per cent of workers are women, which doesn’t sound too bad right? If you delve deeper though, women are grossly underrepresented in certain sectors, such as funds management, and at senior levels.
Most people would agree that this under-representation is less than ideal, but what many fail to realise is that the reasons for this imbalance have other negative and far reaching consequences.
Throughout my life and career I’ve consistently witnessed a version of the following vicious cycle – girls aren’t encouraged to study finance when they are young, so a lot of the time they don’t. In fact, fewer women go to business school than into medicine and law, so the pipeline is narrow to begin with, and the fallout is that there aren’t nearly as many women as men practising finance.