February 7, 2019 / News

Investors raise expectations on gender diversity

By Joe McGrath, ESG Clarity

Asset managers are responding to growing demands from investors on diversity

Investors raise expectations on gender diversity

More than a third of asset managers now expect investee companies to disclose statistics on gender diversity, a new report looking at alternative investments has shown.

The KPMG report entitled The call to act: Women in alternative investments, was based on a survey of 886 global investors, based predominantly in North America and the United Kingdom. It found that 37 per cent of investors now require disclosure of diversity statistics on potential investments, up from 16 per cent in the previous year’s survey.

In addition, 42 per cent of those polled now have a specific requirement to improve levels of diversity in their investment portfolio, up from just 11 per cent a year earlier.

The report found that alternative asset managers are beginning to improve their diversity efforts. Nearly two thirds (62 per cent) said that they now have women in non-investment leadership roles, although only 28 per cent said they had women on the investment committee.

“It is critical that we have people with diverse perspectives, knowledge bases, interests, passions and cultural identities,” said Glenn Youngkin, co-chief executive of the Carlyle Group.

“These differences in how we see the world and in the approaches we take, make us stronger and better able to deliver for our investors.”

The researchers considered best practice for asset managers to improve levels of gender diversity throughout organisations, by encouraging firms to pay a minimum of 16 weeks paid parental leave, provide support around maternity leave and offer flexible work arrangements.

It also said that companies would benefit from partnering with organisations that had women in senior positions, to act as mentors and consider “fast track” schemes for exceptional performers.