Women Lead Few Financial Firms, Despite Getting Better Results

While women who preside at the top of their companies are still a tiny minority, studies show businesses led by women often outperform industry averages. And this tendency applies to the hedge fund industry, according to a new survey from Rothstein Kass.

Hedge funds headed by women had higher returns of 8.95 percent, compared to hedge fund 2012 averages of 2.69 percent, the survey shows. However, female hedge fund managers are a rare find, The New York Times’ Dealbook reports:

Only 16 percent of the survey respondents said their firms were owned or managed by women. Of the respondents from hedge funds, 16.8 percent fell into this category, while 13 percent of those in venture capital and 12 percent of those in private equity said women were in charge.

The survey found that 18 percent of the firms surveyed had female chief investment officers, and 16 percent had chief executives who were women.

That is not the only evidence suggesting firms would be better served by more women: Hedge funds run by women fell only half as much during the financial crisis, and several other studies show “that women are more profitable investors, money managers and hedge fund managers, and they incur less risk in the process.”

Overall, businesses with women on their boards outperform those with all-male boards by 26 percent, yet 36 percent of U.S. companies still have no sitting women.

Even when women reach the top of a company, they face a wage gap. Throughout the financial sector, women make only 62 cents for a man’s dollar, and the problem persists for female CEOs and CFOs.