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Alternatives

KPMG: Women and men view gender-diversity progress differently

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 a survey conducted for KPMG's "Women in Alternative Investments Report," the sixth edition and first since December 2016, 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.

"Women should not have to solve the problem by themselves; men also need to become part of the solution," said Jim Suglia, KPMG's national leader, alternative investments, 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."