The proportion of women who led or co-led actively managed portfolios as of December 2022 was 13%, unchanged from a 13% figure found in a similar study from the summer of 2021, according to a study released by Investment Metrics, a Confluence company, on Wednesday, International Women's Day.
Confluence reviewed 242 portfolios in its latest study and found that, by asset class, non-U.S. large-cap equity portfolios had the largest proportion of female managers, at 18%. The other asset classes the study reviewed, U.S. large-cap, global large-cap and emerging markets, ranged between 11% and 14%.
The study from summer 2021 reviewed 224 actively managed portfolios.
"Many asset management firms have set up initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as their ESG analysis capabilities," the study noted. "Over time, hopefully, these representation figures will improve but the progress of this change so far has been lethargic."
While the study saw no improvement in female representation as managers, Confluence's study noted that several women-led portfolios attracted substantial institutional net inflows in 2022, despite the difficult market backdrop.
For example, Celia R. Hoopes, portfolio manager and research analyst at Brandywine Global, saw more than $1.06 billion of net inflows into her Classic Large Cap Value fund.
Also, Rupal J. Bhansali, chief investment officer and portfolio manager-global equities at Ariel Investments, saw more than $700 million of combined institutional net inflows into her international equity and global equity portfolios.
"We have not seen much movement from institutional asset managers with regards to female portfolio managers in the lead or co-lead position," Scott Treacy, research consultant, Investment Metrics, stated in the study. "As more investors are made aware of the striking difference in representation, presumably, more women will be given opportunities to lead portfolio management teams."
Separately, a study issued by Preqin on Wednesday revealed that only 13.6% of senior-level employees at alternative investment firms are women, although females account for 32.5% of the alternative workforce at the junior level.
"The alternatives industry still has a long way to go in terms of gender equality," the Preqin study notes. "Marginal successes and slight improvement are no longer acceptable."