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Monday, December 18, 2017

#MeToo Comes to Asset Management

News summary by MFWire's editors

2017 has been a year of shining light on sexual harassment in many fields, and asset management has not been immune. In fact, by some measures, the situation in asset appears to be worsening.

Today 72 percent of men and women (up from 65 percent of women and 35 percent of men in 2014) in asset management report experiencing sexist behavior at work. One-third of women say they've considered exiting asset management thanks to such treatment. Six percent of people surveyed think women receive equal pay as men for similar roles in asset management. And 32 percent of women (up from 20 percent in 2014) report experiencing sexual harassment at work. Those tidbits and more came out of the findings of the Financial Times' fourth annual "Women in Asset Management" survey, conducted globally from October through December and revealed yesterday.

One issue, highlighted by Janus Henderson co-CEO Andrew Formica, may be able that "people feel they able to speak up more" about mistreatment than in the past. Yet the survey results also show big gaps in perception as to how things are changing. 55 percent of men (down from 70 percent in 2014) think women's situation in asset management has improved over the last five years; only 30 percent of women agree (down from 37 percent in 2014).

As for next steps, 57 percent of women support using quotas to boost female representation in the upper ranks of asset management.

The article includes quotes from anonymous survey respondents as well as on the record feedback from several industry insiders, including: Deborah Gilshan, co-head of the 30% Club's investor group and a director of Standard Life Aberdeen; Matina Papathanasiou, deputy head of global infrastructure at Australian asset manager QIC; and Brenda Trenowden, global chair of the 30% Club

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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