Men still earning more at fund firms

Initiatives to promote boardroom diversity and flag gender pay issues have failed to resolve the issue

Women working in asset management earn nearly a third less than men, according to research from the Investment Association.

Figures in the IA’s Closing The Gap report, published on Tuesday (2 April), reveal that fund firms have a median pay gap of 31%, according to a poll conducted by the trade group, among its members.

The Investment Association said “a significant factor” was the dominance of men in senior positions. Just one in 10 asset management companies have a female chief executive or chairman, the figures show.

“The sobering gender pay gap figures – as opposed to unequal pay which is illegal – published for the first time last year were never going to be fixed overnight, and it will take time for the solutions that our industry are pursuing to bear fruit,” IA chief executive Chris Cummings said in a statement accompanying the report.

“It is only by investing in long-term solutions that we can hardwire diversity into the foundations of our industry and help it become more diverse, inclusive and more successful, at every level.”

The figures come despite hundreds of initiatives throughout the asset management industry designed to promote diversity and inclusion. Return to work programmes, enhanced maternity support and flexible working initiatives have, so far, been insufficient to correct the imbalance.

Despite investors calling for improved diversity and inclusion at asset management firms, and evidence that diverse management teams lead to better boardroom decisions, leadership teams within asset management remain heavily male dominated.

“Two-thirds (62%) of IA members surveyed conduct equal pay audits and two-thirds (65%) currently monitor gender related metrics,” said Cummings. “The level of detail on performance indicators varies widely.

“Measures which could add more consistency and granularity to that approach, including gender representation for new hires (excluding graduates) and new hires at graduate level, as well as the total number of applications received by gender each year.”