KPMG has just released its sixth Women in Alternative Investments report: The Call to Act, and it reveals a number of key improvements being made across the industry regarding gender diversity, but also sheds light on a gap between men and women regarding how much progress they believe is being made.
Some of the key findings from this year’s report include:
- Investors are pressuring funds to improve gender diversity, with 37 percent of investors polled requiring disclosure of diversity statistics for all potential investments (up from 16 percent last year)
42 percent of investors said they will require firms in their investment portfolios to improve diversity over the next year, up from 11 percent last year.
- Funds are taking meaningful steps to improve gender diversity by creating more diverse candidate pools, improving their retention and advancement efforts, and increasing opportunities for advancement for women through formal mentorship and sponsorship programs.
- But there is much work left to do to continue driving gender diversity within Alternative Investments.
For the first time, men were also polled in this report and we found a significant difference in how both genders see progress, with 65 percent of men agreeing their sector is addressing the issues, while only 45 percent of women agree.
- And 48 percent of women polled said their firm is not doing enough to recruit, retain or advance women, while only 30 percent of men agreed with that statement.
- In addition, only 20 percent of women polled say they have access to a formal sponsorship/mentoring programmes.
Kelly Rau, co-author and Audit partner for KPMG LLP’s Financial Services practice, said
We are at a critical time for women in business, and even in the highly male-dominated Alternative Investments industry we’re starting to experience progress.
Camille Asaro, Co-author and Audit partner, KPMG LLP’s Financial Services practice added:
Understanding the reasons why women are leaving is important to driving change and improvement in retention.
Role of Investors
While global investors are clearly making progress on placing more importance on gender diversity among alternative investment firms, there is a significant divide between men and women regarding how much progress has been made.
Among the 886 global investors who responded to the survey conducted 42% said they will require firms in their portfolios to improve diversity, compared to only 11% of the 791 respondents in the prior survey.
Also, over the next year, 75% of investors plan to ask their alternative investment managers to report diversity efforts, up from 60% in the last survey, and 37% said they will require disclosure of diversity statistics for all potential managers, up from 16% in the prior survey.
Interestingly, there is a divide between genders in terms of measuring how much their industry is progressing in their gender-diversity efforts. Sixty-five percent of women surveyed said their sector is not doing enough, while 45% of men said the same thing.
Also, 50% of surveyed women said their firm’s leadership believes diversity is central to their business strategy, while 65% of surveyed men believed the same of their leadership. When asked whether the statement “My firm is not doing enough to recruit, retain, or advance women” applied to their firm, 48% of women agreed and 30% of men agreed.
Jim Suglia, KPMG’s national leader, alternative investments, commented:
Women should not have to solve the problem by themselves; men also need to become part of the solution,” said in a news release announcing the report. “We are definitely seeing change in the right direction, but there is still a gap in how men and women view the issue and what remains to be done.