More evidence that mixed-sex teams perform better

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I’ve blogged before about teams and team effectiveness and the fact that including women in previously male teams can increase productivity and problem-solving ability

New research shows that mixed gender fund management teams make more money for investors than those made up of only men or women.

They produced a 0.5% bigger return for investors over a three-year period than teams made up of just men and 4.3% more over teams made of just women, according to research by Citywide which looked at the performance of 16,000 fund managers.

The judgement and approach of men and women doing this work is under scrutiny as women are generally believed to be more risk-averse and conservative.

Not everyone believes that. “I find some of the most aggressive leaders I’ve worked with are women” said Paola Binns who runs corporate bond portfolios at Royal London Asset Management. “There aren’t as many women as men but they can be more prone to take risks in my experience”.

Never the less the study confirms that there are behavioural differences between men and women. Men-only teams took more risk whereas the presence of women acted as a restraining influence on them. Mixed teams took more risk than women-only teams.

Only 10% of fund managers are women and only 8% of the funds they tracked (worth $16 trillion) were co-led by a man and a woman.

There are country-wide differences. In Germany only 4% of fund managers are women. It’s 6% in Denmark. The UK and Ireland have only 9%. France, Italy and Spain have almost 20%. Singapore has 18% of women and Hong Kong almost a quarter.

There is a Gender Diversity Partner Programme which is attempting to address the issue of the under-representation of women with the CFA Society. Apart from gender bias in the sector it seems investors prefer male fund managers.

Research shows that many employees have the same view generally.


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