Re:Gender works to end gender inequity and discrimination against girls and women by exposing root causes and advancing research-informed action. Working with multiple sectors and disciplines, we are shaping a world that demands fairness across difference.
The results of Financial News’ recent Women in Finance Survey bear out a similar view: 82% of hedge fund respondents said their gender has affected their likelihood of having a successful career, substantially higher than the 66% of total respondents who felt the same way. So why do women in hedge funds feel their gender makes it harder to succeed?
Most women in the hedge fund industry do not work in portfolio management positions, which create the performance upon which the hedge fund industry is built. Only 12% of the 10,000 members of 100 Women in Hedge Funds work in trading and portfolio management and the largest proportion, 26%, are in marketing roles.
Rachel Stewart, a consultant at global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson, said: “Among some of the experienced women, the feeling is that women coming into the industry now should be led towards more roles than marketing, operations and HR. It’s more difficult to get a seat as a partner or director if you don’t have a background of P&L responsibility, as this is the bread and butter of the hedge fund industry.”
Since 2007, McKinsey’s Women Matter research has explored the role women play in the global workplace, their experiences and impact in senior-executive roles, and the performance benefits that companies gain from gender diversity. In this video, McKinsey partners Joanna Barsh, Sandrine Devillard, Emily Lawson, and Jin Wang recount the progress women have made in reaching the executive suite.
Many companies are making serious efforts to improve the number of women in top jobs. Some detect progress. But others say change is frustratingly slow. This report looks at what companies can do to make a breakthrough.
Researchers from the universities of Leicester and Essex looked into the concept of "adulting," which is defined as the attempt by people to be seen as mature and responsible, professionally and socially, and, when looking at a London hedge fund, found that women faced problems at every stage of adult life – from getting started in the company to keeping credibility among colleagues after giving birth.
By contrast, young male staff were given more opportunities to settle into corporate life, and suffered fewer dilemmas in juggling work and parenthood, found Jo Brewis, Professor of Organisation and Consumption at the University of Leicester School of Management, and Dr Kat Riach, Senior Lecturer in Management at Essex Business School at the University of Essex.
"Our in-depth research into life for male and female workers at a busy hedge fund showed women are never the right age in organisational terms," said Professor Brewis, who has borrowed the phrase 'never the right age' from fellow management experts Professor Wendy Loretto and Dr Colin Duncan from the University of Edinburgh Business School, who originally coined it. Professor Brewis and Dr Riach gathered evidence in late 2010 through 53 interviews with men and women at the fund aged between 25 and 37, and 150 hours of observation.
They found that women's problems began when they entered the company. Unlike their male colleagues they were given little or no informal guidance and training as new members of a team.
While opinions on diversity are wide-ranging, the facts are pretty clear. Study after study has shown women to be more risk-averse than men, across a range of activities, including the Wall Street businesses of investing and trading. Study after study has shown that women place greater emphasis on interpersonal relationships, and on nurturing them, than do men. And studies show that female managers are less focused on winning in the short term and are more long-term-oriented than their male counterparts.
Do any of these sound like qualities the big banks could use more of?
Perhaps as a result of the complementarity of differing approaches of men and women, numerous studies, including the annual Women Matter surveys by McKinsey & Co. and research by Catalyst, show that more diverse management teams are more successful management teams; they deliver higher returns for shareholders across industries, including banking. Academic research indicates that more diverse teams outperform even more capable management teams, a real “wow” of a finding.
How can this be? Because adding one more PhD in applied mathematics to a team already full of them has much less effect than adding someone with expertise in, say, managing people or in IT systems. If diversity of color and gender is a proxy for diversity of experience, then adding that diversity to management teams helps bring different perspectives to the table.
Ultra-orthodox, or haredi, women are joining the Israeli labor force in increasing numbers and many are choosing to work in technology, attracted in part by the industry’s willingness to accommodate their religious lifestyle.
Ultra-orthodox, or haredi, women are joining the Israeli labor force in increasing numbers and many are choosing to work in technology, attracted in part by the industry’s willingness to accommodate their religious lifestyle. While that has helped keep jobs that might otherwise have gone offshore, their husbands’ joblessness is a drag on economic growth, according to the Bank of Israel and the International Monetary Fund.
“A continued increase in the share of the population which does not participate in the workforce cannot continue forever, and so will have to stop,” Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer said earlier this year. The imbalance has to be corrected for the health of the economy, he added. The central bank predicts growth will slow to 3.1 percent this year from 4.8 percent in 2010 and 2011.
While the ultra-Orthodox make up about 8 percent to 10 percent of the population, they will represent 17 percent of working-age Israelis in 20 years because of their high birth rate, according to the bank. By the late 2050s they will account for a quarter of the population, a March 9 IMF report found.
First, thanks to Anne-Marie Slaughter for peeling the band-aid off an open wound of American womanhood. It’s our dirty little secret: balancing work and family is still impossible for elite American women because of the way we structure work, family, love, marriage, careers, masculinity, and dignity.
Yes. It’s that bad. Fifteen years ago, when I began to write Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflicts and What To Do About It, I thought that all we needed to do was to reshape work and careers. The key problem for women, I pointed out, is that workplaces still are designed around an ideal worker who starts to work in early adulthood and works, full time and full force, for forty years without a break, taking no time off for childbearing, childrearing, or anything else. The result is a clash of social ideals. The ideal worker norm clashes with the norm of parental care: the widespread and uncontroversial sense that children need and deserve time with their parents.
The solution is to reshape workplaces around the values we hold in family life. Careers need to be more flexible, such that career breaks do not spell career doom. Hours expectations need to be more flexible, such that a failure to work “full time” does not derail one’s career. Face time needs to end, allowing people to work when and where they need to, so long as the work gets done. Each of these ideas has subsequently been further developed. Here are twogood examples.
FastCompany profiles high-achieving women from the world's largest companies, innovative startups, philanthropic organizations, government, and the arts combined forces to change the lives of girls and women everywhere.
The debate over this proposed legislation reveals serious flaws in reasoning about the impact of public efforts to promote fair pay. Recent academic research suggests that many women are underpaid for the same reason that many chief executives may be overpaid — because the labor market doesn’t work according to the standard textbook model based on impersonal forces of supply and demand.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would have required employers to give a “business” reason for paying men and women different wages for equal work. It would also have prohibited retaliation against employees who revealed wage information.
Criticisms of the proposed legislation took several forms. A common claim was that it would do more harm than good, because pay discrimination is not the most important cause of gender disparities. Conservatives are not the only ones who insist that women are paid less primarily because they choose to devote more time to family responsibilities than men do. The New York Times columnist Eduardo Porter recently articulated a similar argument.
But pay discrimination and choices to take time out of paid employment are complementary rather than competing explanations of gender differences in pay. Women who are paid less — or who anticipate fewer opportunities for promotion — than their male counterparts are more likely to drop out of paid employment. Their choices represent, in part, a response to discrimination.
If a woman does drop out for a while, an employer who pays her less is off the hook. Case law shows that a lower level of experience on the job is typically considered a bona fide “business” reason for paying someone less. In herdiscerning analysis of the impact of the Equal Pay Act passed in 1963, a University of Maryland law professor, Deborah Thompson Eisenberg, points out that the Paycheck Fairness Act would have simply codified majority interpretations of that law.
EIGHTEEN MONTHS INTO my job as the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department, a foreign-policy dream job that traces its origins back to George Kennan, I found myself in New York, at the United Nations’ annual assemblage of every foreign minister and head of state in the world. On a Wednesday evening, President and Mrs. Obama hosted a glamorous reception at the American Museum of Natural History. I sipped champagne, greeted foreign dignitaries, and mingled. But I could not stop thinking about my 14-year-old son, who had started eighth grade three weeks earlier and was already resuming what had become his pattern of skipping homework, disrupting classes, failing math, and tuning out any adult who tried to reach him. Over the summer, we had barely spoken to each other—or, more accurately, he had barely spoken to me. And the previous spring I had received several urgent phone calls—invariably on the day of an important meeting—that required me to take the first train from Washington, D.C., where I worked, back to Princeton, New Jersey, where he lived. My husband, who has always done everything possible to support my career, took care of him and his 12-year-old brother during the week; outside of those midweek emergencies, I came home only on weekends.
As the evening wore on, I ran into a colleague who held a senior position in the White House. She has two sons exactly my sons’ ages, but she had chosen to move them from California to D.C. when she got her job, which meant her husband commuted back to California regularly. I told her how difficult I was finding it to be away from my son when he clearly needed me. Then I said, “When this is over, I’m going to write an op-ed titled ‘Women Can’t Have It All.’”
She was horrified. “You can’t write that,” she said. “You, of all people.” What she meant was that such a statement, coming from a high-profile career woman—a role model—would be a terrible signal to younger generations of women. By the end of the evening, she had talked me out of it, but for the remainder of my stint in Washington, I was increasingly aware that the feminist beliefs on which I had built my entire career were shifting under my feet. I had always assumed that if I could get a foreign-policy job in the State Department or the White House while my party was in power, I would stay the course as long as I had the opportunity to do work I loved. But in January 2011, when my two-year public-service leave from Princeton University was up, I hurried home as fast as I could.
"We’d love to have a gender lens, but we’d have nothing to invest in.” I rocked back on my heels, absorbing this statement from the head of the Africa division of a large social investment fund.
Yet he is not alone. Two years ago, when I first talked with the head of a domestic fund investing in women entrepreneurs, she said, “Jackie I don’t have a gender lens.” Her concern was that a “gender lens” made her appear soft, not return-focused.
For the last two years, I’ve led Women Effect Investments, a field building initiative for gender lens investing. In the process I’ve discovered multiple challenges talking about gender in the investment world. It surfaces concerns about quotas and quality, culture and stereotypes. It is seen as soft, unnecessarily feminist, or limiting. I see a huge opportunity in transcending these concerns. Given women’s centrality worldwide to economic development, health, education, and a strong civil society, investing with a gender lens illuminates opportunities and highlights risks. Take, for instance, the need for electricity in maternity clinics or the challenges that emerge when loan officers are all men. If more investment vehicles employed a gender lens, we could accelerate change for everyone.
To clarify what I by lens—I mean the point(s) of view by which we can analyze investments. There are at least three different lenses that highlight investment opportunities, and they can and often do overlap.