U.K. Hedge Funds Won’t Reach Gender Parity Until 22nd Century


If the past five years are any guide, hedge funds with significant operations in the U.K. will need until the next century to achieve gender parity on their executive committees.

It will take hedge funds until the year 2109 to reach the target, according to an estimate by New Financial. That’s assuming they continue to hire women at the same rate they have done since 2016.

The near nine-decade wait for the 20 unnamed hedge funds is the longest of all the various types of finance firms in the sample of 205 companies analyzed by the think tank. On average, U.K. financial services firms will hit the 50% target for executive committees in 2033.

The calculation underlines the slow pace of change in some areas of finance as the industry continues to struggle on gender diversity despite industry-wide efforts to overturn decades of male dominance. A 2019 report found that more U.K. mutual funds are run by managers named David than by women.

Sectors, selectedEstimated year of gender parity on executive committees
Hedge funds2109
Challenger bank2073
Private equity2043
Investment banks2037
Asset managers2031
Banking, insurance2026

“This five-year review makes clear the progress we have made but as it also makes clear, our work has only just begun,” said Amanda Blanc, group chief executive officer of Aviva Plc and a backer of the U.K. Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter, whose five-year impact is assessed in this week’s report.

Fintechs were an even greater outlier when the same analysis was conducted on board composition. They will need until 2212 to reach 50% parity, although the average timeframe across the whole industry was a more reasonable 2029. Hedge funds were excluded from this analysis due to insufficient data.

Laggards aside, the report noted that the charter had helped the City of London make some progress on diversity. The average proportion of women on executive committees across the industry has increased to 22% from 14% since 2016, and on boards to 32% from 23%.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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