Meredith Jones of Rothstein Kass, reported that female hedge fund managers significantly outperform their male counterparts in Women in Alternative Investments: Building Momentum in 2013 and Beyond .
In the third quarter of 2012, women scored a net return of 8.95% compared to a 2.69% net return overall on the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index.
Given women’s superior contribution to profitability, they would seem qualified for leadership roles in organizations seeking to maximize financial returns.
However, women hold fewer than 20% of top jobs in “alternate investment” organizations, according to 366 senior women in hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital.
Respondents attribute this low representation of women in executive roles to:
- Low interest in remaining in this “alternate investment” sector due to limited opportunities for work-life balance.
More than 18% of respondents said they wanted to work part-time or flex-time.
- Few positions available for skilled women to establish a strong performance record.
Similar issues were discussed in Women’s Post-Business School Work-Life Issues .
Jones of Rothstein Kass suggested that some of women’s effectiveness is based on their greater patience and risk-averseness so they are “…potentially better able to escape market downturns and volatility.”
She continued, “…if women do in fact have a different, more risk-averse investing profile, then at least theoretically, their returns, particularly in difficult markets, should be higher than those of their male counterparts.”
Kelly Easterling and Camille Asaro, also of Rothstein Kass, contributed to the report, which found women’s assessment of their most important professional assets:
- Professional networks
- Strong personal and support networks
- Strategic career planning
- Willingness to take considered risks
Jean Brittingham of The Smart Girls Way posited additional correlates of women’s effective financial performance:
- Systems-thinking skills
- Seeking balance between work and life
- Caring more about solutions than who gets credit
- Strong collaboration competencies
- Persistence when “passionate about something”
The Rothstein Kass report noted that some U.S. states have mandates for diversity in their asset management firms, and observed an increase in state public pension plans with stated or implied preference for women-owned investment managers.
-*In which industries have you observed women delivering equal or better results than male counterparts?
- Credit Suisse Research Institute presented related findings in a report outlined in Large-Cap Companies with Women Board Members Outperformed Peers
- Similar challenges for qualified women entrepreneurs, who continue to receive less venture capital than their male counterparts are cited in Investing in Women for Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors
- Lean In: Sheryl Sandberg launches Book, Foundation to Advance Women in Organizational Leadership
- Leadership Qualities that Lead to the Corner Office?