Sex Engenders Hedgies’ Woes

Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Author: Hedge Fund Daily

For the small number of women in hedge funds, their sex looms large as an obstacle to their advancement. According to a survey by Financial News, 75% of female hedgies in London felt their gender stood in the way of their success, with only a slightly smaller percentage (69%) of women in private equity feeling the same. That may help explain why there are so few women in the field in the first place – to wit, the hedge fund industry was represented by only 5.3% of those polled, by far the smallest group, with PE accounting for just 6% of the 850 women in the financial services industry polled by FN. Without explaining their response, 4% of the female hedgies in the survey say they could use their sex to their advantage. According to the research, 74% of HF women are without children, compared with 78% in the investment banking sector and 72% in law. In contrast, 34% of female PE pros are mothers, the same percentage as women in technology. The results did not distinguish those childless by choice or otherwise, but did note that a large percentage of respondents may have no kids because they have been  putting off having children, possibly increasing potential difficulties in conceiving. FN found that one-third of respondents had been working in financial services for five to 10 years, while 20% say they have put in more than 15 years. Surprisingly, more than half of respondents (54.9%) say high-profile sex discrimination cases hinder women in the workplace.