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Why the world needs more women controlling the money

Why the world needs more women controlling the money 37

Leading business consultant, Fiona McKay, issues a call for more women in the investment sector.

  • Female investors have a greater impact on the bottom line, market innovation, sustainable industries and social impact
  • Lost opportunities are magnified in light of the under-representation of women in top investment roles
  • Lightbulb’s ‘Trailblazing Women in Investment’ report shines a light on those leading change in the industry

From greater diversity to an emphasis on impact capital deployment, an increase in the number of women in investment roles will help transform the economy and society.

That’s the view of Fiona McKay, founder and MD of global business consultancy, Lightbulb Leadership Solutions.

A long-time challenger of greater gender equality in the upper echelons of business, Fiona is calling for action to redress the gender imbalance within the investment sector.

Gathering information from across the business landscape, a light has been shone on the startling under-representation of women in the sector.

Research shows businesses which accelerate greater gender diversity also achieve superior business performance. In addition, women are more likely than men to invest in sustainable and social impact areas, including investments with a gender lens focus, meaning they tend to invest in order to make a clear, measurable and positive impact on society, not just to generate profits and returns.

Fiona said: “It’s not just women who are disadvantaged by a male-dominated investment sector, it’s entire economies and society as a whole.

“With a lack of representation at all areas of the investment chain – from female entrepreneurs and business leaders, funding access, to market influence and senior decision-making – market-demands and opportunities are being missed. The absence of women in these roles is as an inhibitor to innovation, wealth creation and societal impact.

“The unpalatable truth for investors is they can have subconscious deep-rooted biases about women’s ability to scale and can often see women-led opportunities as limitations. However, female representation is critical to inspire new ventures, new investments and build accessible and inclusive communities that develop the next generation of female entrepreneurs.

“At a base level, a problem with a male-dominated investment market is familiarity and the gravitational pull toward things that are familiar to them. It points directly to a requirement for a lived and shared experience being vital for any female-focused product or service creation, and therefore the investment that sits alongside it.

“We need investors to think long and hard about their advisory boards and the value creation teams they put together. Thinking this is another exercise in promoting greater gender equilibrium is wrong. It’s about showing how a sector with a greater balance of female investors is essential for a more equitable, balanced and more lucrative world for everybody.”

To capture the current imbalance and opportunities, Lightbulb Leadership has produced its report ‘Trailblazing Women in Investment’. The report demonstrates the barriers women in investment face and crucially showcases 10 women from both sides of the Atlantic who are quietly proving that women can and are achieving extraordinary feats in the sector.

The report highlights the ongoing gender inequalities that exist at the top levels of the sector despite women being proven drivers of business success.

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