Sexual discrimination in the financial industry has become less of a problem over the past decade, according to a survey of advisors, several of whom said a younger workforce is the reason for the change.
The issue is “much better than 10 years ago but can still improve,’’ according to 65% of brokers and registered investment advisors surveyed by Ignites Research, Financial Advisor IQ reported. The website said 471 brokers and advisors from the Financial Times’ Top Advisors and Top RIAs lists were surveyed.
Remarks by investor Ken Fisher in October, which caused billions of dollars to be pulled from his money managing firm Fisher Investments, focused attention on the treatment of women in finance. Financial Advisor IQ said that the Fisher remarks, which were tweeted by investor Alex Chalekian, provided context for the survey. Some of the unidentified advisors said the retirement of people belonging to the generation of 69-year-old Fisher has made things better.
“My guess is that the instances will decline over time and in 20 years once all of the Ken Fishers of this world have long since retired,” one anonymous advisor told Financial Advisor IQ. Another said, “I don’t think this is a problem with advisors under 50 years of age.”
The survey also found 17% of respondents saying discrimination based upon sex is as much of a problem as it was 10 years ago, and improvement is needed. It was considered “a minor problem that’s restricted to the rare incident” by 14%.
The survey didn’t disclose the gender or ages of respondents.
Indeed, Financial Advisor IQ said that concerns are rising about a backlash toward women in finance, particularly in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Two Manhattan-based groups, the Financial Women’s Association and the Security Traders Association of New York, circulated a survey earlier this year to get answers. Survey results are yet to be published.