When we first launched the Women in Alternative Investments Report (WAI Report) in 2011, we were among the few voices talking about women’s advancement in alternative investments. It was a delicate conversation and one that few people were comfortable having.
But now, eight years later, the conversation has shifted. The issues have moved mainstream, the dialogue has broadened and the voices are many. The needle may not have moved substantially, but change is afoot.
And so this year we too are making a change.
This year, the WAI Report is about action. This year, we expose gaps in perception across gender to lay the groundwork for shared understanding. We spotlight investors’ increased focus on diversity in the hope that it spurs others to action. And we outline firm diversity practices to show others the way forward in their own efforts.
But we could not do any of these without having a truly inclusive conversation about gender diversity. Thus, for the first time, we surveyed men (and not solely women) about their thoughts on gender diversity in alternative investments.
The quest for gender diversity is not a simple or easy one. It will be a long journey, and women alone cannot do it. Everyone needs to join — Women, men, firm leaders, and investors – if the goal is to be achieved.
Given the need for joint effort, it is fitting that we reached a record number of respondents – 886 – across genders and from nearly every major geographic region and sector within alternatives – hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, and real estate, as well as investors.
This year we break from the past in many ways. We spotlight initiatives that upset established norms, approaches that reframe the conversation (from “women’s issues” to “everyone’s issues”) and programs that have begun to effect real change.
Investors are driving change, firms are answering the call and individuals are taking responsibility. We hope you will join us and answer the call to act.
Camille Asaro and Kelly Rau
Partners, Asset Management, KPMG LLP
Co-Authors and Founding Contributors of the WAI Report
Download the full report at https://info.kpmg.us/the-call-to-act.html.