The number of women in C-Suite Finance jobs is growing – but the view from below is less rosy

The job prospects for women in finance over the next decade look promising to some, but far more uncertain to others.

The share of women in leadership positions in the North American financial services industry is expected to increase from 21.1% to 28.3% from 2021 to 2030, according to a new Deloitte report that studied the percentage of women in various categories employment in the industry from 1998 to 2021. However, the figures for categories below the C-suite level are less encouraging: the percentage of women in leadership positions (c. generation” (i.e. all the others) could see a decline of 90 basis points.

Patty Danielecki, senior director and chief of staff at the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, said II that recent declines in non-C-suite levels stem from the fact that during the pandemic, fewer women chose to pursue careers in finance. “Now is the time to act,” she said, “because what we do now will influence what happens in the next decade.”

The lack of gender equity is particularly pronounced in the alternatives industry. According to the latest Preqin report, only 13% of leadership positions in alternative investing are held by women. This compares to 24% of such positions in the entire financial services industry.

In private equity firms, women make up one-fifth of the total workforce but only make up 14% of management positions. Similarly, only 10% of hedge fund portfolio managers and 19% of real estate fund managers are women, according to the Preqin report.

“Until women are better represented at the highest levels of the alternatives industry, progress will be slow,” said Jaclyn Bouchard, head of ESG solutions and corporate responsibility at Preqin. In fact, in the asset management industry as a whole, women are more likely than their male colleagues to leave their employer. According to the Citywire Alpha Female Report 2021, the turnover rate for female fund managers is 44%, compared to 31% for males.

Progress in gender equity also varies from region to region. For example, while the proportion of women employed in private equity firms has increased over the past three years in North America, Europe and Asia, the same figure has decreased by 60 basis points between 2020 and 2021. in other parts of the world, according to Préquin.

In Oceania, women are expected to hold 34% of leadership positions in the financial services sector by 2030, up from 25.2% in 2021, according to Deloitte. Elsewhere, progress is likely to be more muted: in Asia and Africa, the share of C-suite women will remain largely the same, while in South America the number is expected to fall from 11.6% to 7.7% .

“These geographic differences must be considered in the context of the economic, socio-cultural and regulatory environment,” said Orsolya Gal, senior investment analyst at BNP Paribas Asset Management. She added that larger-cap companies, which have a greater presence in developed regions, “tend to integrate diversity issues more easily than smaller companies.”

There are many strategies designed to increase the percentage of women in the financial services industry, including implementing comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion programs. But DEI programs alone “will not be effective in attracting more women into leadership positions until they are tied to higher pay,” said Sloan Klein, career coach for industry executives. investment management and financial services.

Bouchard agrees, but says companies also need to incorporate other strategies, such as “casting a wider net when recruiting women into junior roles, developing metrics to track progress, and adding diversity metrics.” of gender in due diligence procedures”.

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