GC launches women in hedge fund operations survey

Following up on an eye-opening feature from 2015 on the minor percentage of women occupying hedge fund operations roles, Global Custodian has launched a survey to find out the reasons behind the imbalance.
By Jonathan Watkins
“Some days I’m a bad CFO and a good mother, other days I’m great at my job and not an amazing mother,” one female hedge fund CFO told Global Custodian. “It’s not been easy and you can’t get it right every day.”

There is an underrepresentation of women in senior hedge fund operations roles – this much we know. The reasons behind this are more complex though.

Is it part of the education process, career progression barriers, lack of networking opportunities and mentoring or the difficulty in striking a work-life balance in the role? This is what we are aiming to find out in our survey, which can be filled in by clicking here.

Global Custodian’s Tipping the balance feature from our hedge fund issue dipped into the issue with the CEO of industry group 100 Women in Hedge Funds, Amanda Pullinger, highlighting some of the ways in which the imbalance can be addressed. This included mentoring programmes aimed at younger girls and the creation of organisations and groups where women in hedge fund roles can network.

Monica Landry, head of trading and operations at Farallon Capital Management told Global Custodian that it is on the shoulders of the women who have already made it. “Even though you’ve got there and think ‘this is great’, you have to take on the additional responsibility to make sure the path is easier for the women behind you to get there,” she said.

Ultimately a lot of the work-life balance issues in running operations for a hedge fund apply to both men and women, but as one CFO explained, there is often more pressure on women when it comes to spending time with their family.

“As a woman there is a lot of pressure society places on you as a parent,” she said, preferring to remain anonymous. “I’ve asked my kids a lot as they grew up if it is okay that I work,” she adds, saying her children supported her decision. “They helped me make the choice.”

She adds that in her situation, even picking the children up from school once in a while brought questions from teachers about ‘why she was there’. Ultimately though, she believes it’s a decision which has to be made if you want to succeed in a job such as a hedge fund CFO.

Global Custodian is aiming to discover some of the reasons behind the underrepresentation of women in senior roles in hedge funds, along with understanding more about the pressures of the role from those who have already made it.

For those who fill in the questionnaire, we will be holding a networking event in New York this summer which you will be invited to by filling in the questionnaire below.

Responses will not be revealed, but we will need to know the title of your role within your respective hedge fund and your email address if you wish to attend the networking event.