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Still too few women in investment management

Diversity issue: there is a comparatively low percentage of women involved in the investment management industry

In the investment management industry women account for only 20 per cent of the membership, compared with 34 per cent in the legal profession and 50 per cent of accountants.

The comparatively low percentage of women in the investment management space will be discussed at a 100 Women in Hedge Funds event on Thursday next week at the Hamilton Princess.

Wendy Pirie, a director with the US-based CFA Institute, will highlight discussions she has held with women around the world on how to encourage advancement in the investment management industry and explain why it is necessary to win women to asset management.

The education session is being presented by the 100WHF, and is hosted by the CFA Society Bermuda.

According to the 100WHF, public companies with female board members return a compound 3.7 per cent a year above those with no women, while companies which are more gender diverse have a 41 per cent higher return on equity than companies without women in senior leadership.

Speaker Ms Pirie taught for more than 20 years at universities, colleges in the US and Canada. She primarily taught finance courses and has been published in a number of publications, including the Journal of Financial Research, and Managerial Finance.

The CFA Society Bermuda is the local member of the CFA Institute, which is a global association of investment professionals.

In June 2015, the CFA Institute began its Women in Investment Management Initiative, which aims to increase the number of women who join the profession and earn the CFA charter. It also aims to retain women in the profession, influence culture within and create demand for diversity “as an industry imperative”.

Paul Smith, president of the CFA Institute, has previously stated: “Our profession has a diversity problem. If we are to change, we must change our demographic. As the largest global association of investment professionals, we are in a powerful and unique position to bring awareness to this issue.”

Ms Pirie, along with the CFA Institute’s Melissa Mawyer, from Charlottesville, Virginia, will also attend CFA Society Bermuda events while on the island.

The 100WHF was founded in 2001 and globally has more than 13,000 professional women. The Bermuda branch was officially recognised in March 2015 when it reached its initial goal of 100 members. It now has about 175 members.

All professional women are encouraged to join 100WHF, which has a broad base of members from all financial services industries.

Anyone seeking more information on the 100WHF Bermuda group should visit http://connect.100whf.org