Women now represent over one fifth of alternative assets professionals in 2024, compared to 17.5% in 2020 — Preqin reports

1% average yearly increase in women’s representation across alternatives fund managers and investors from January 2020 to January 2024

LONDON, March 14, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Preqin, the global leader in alternative assets data, tools, and insights, published its Women in Alternatives 2024 report. The report finds that the alternative assets industry is continuing its trajectory towards gender equality. As of January 2024, 22% of professionals in the alternative assets space, encompassing investors and fund managers, are women*. On average, from January 2020 to January 2024, there has been a 1% yearly increase in women’s representation across all investors and fund managers in alternatives. In certain firm types, asset classes, and global regions, there are bigger percentage improvements.

To reach equal representation between men and women in alternatives at all seniority levels, Preqin data shows the current direction of travel is the right one. But there is much more to do. For example, while the proportion of women throughout the alternatives industry workforce is 22%, the average for women in senior positions** falls to 15%.

Fund managers lag investors in their representation of women

Investors having a better representation of women than fund managers is a trend continuing into 2024, as Preqin data highlights, with the overall proportion of women across all investor types reaching 25%. Of this, foundations, as an investor type, have the highest representation of women at 43%, while corporate investors have the lowest at 17%, as of January 2024.

Conversely, the report suggests that just 4,210 fund managers worldwide have diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies and initiatives in place. Therefore, of the approximately 50,000 active fund managers on Preqin’s database, fewer than 10% are committed to a DEI program. Of the 1,601 GPs that are women-led, 171 of them have DEI policy or initiatives in place, representing slightly over 10%.

North America leads in women’s representation across investors and fund managers in alternatives

The North American region has the highest representation of women in alternatives at 23%, as of January 2024. This compares to 22% in Europe, 20% in Asia, and 20% in Rest-of-World.

In the real estate and venture capital asset classes, North America again had the highest representation of women at 22% and 23%, respectively. However, in private equity, private debt, and natural resources, Europe topped other global regions with proportional representation of women at 22%, 23%, and 24%, respectively. Meanwhile, Asia had the highest representation of women in the hedge fund space at 24%.

Nicole Lee, SVP, Content, at Preqin, says: “Driving gender equality plays a key role in our industry’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. While we are making progress, women remain underrepresented in alternative assets, particularly at senior levels. At Preqin, we are working to improve the representation of women at all levels. Presently, 38% of our Executive Committee is comprised of women. As an industry, we can and should lead by example in improving how we attract, train, and retain diverse talent.”

Additional key findings of the Preqin Women in Alternatives 2024 report include:

  • Women in senior positions by asset class: Infrastructure investors and fund managers have the highest representation of women by asset class, at 19%, as of January 2024. Private equity and real estate have the lowest representation at 15% in each asset class, by the same period.

  • Women in senior positions in the hedge fund space on the rise: 17% of senior positions at hedge fund managers and investors were held by women, as of January 2024. In comparison, 11% of women held senior positions in the hedge fund space as of January 2020.

  • Real estate sees largest increase in women in its workforce: Real estate fund managers and investors had the largest increase in the proportion of women in their workforce over four years on average. 14% of professionals in the real estate space were women in January 2020, increasing to 23% by January 2024.

Note to editors:

While Preqin has run this report yearly since 2017, the methodology was updated in 2024 to reflect the expansion of the data point universe to cover 350,000 professionals and 50,000 firms in alternatives.

* In the report, Preqin assigned gender using titles that are given in the database, such as ‘Mr’ or ‘Ms’. Where a title wasn’t available, the gender was determined by whether it is a typical man or woman’s name.

** ‘Senior positions’ include but are not limited to Board Member, CEO, CFO, Chairperson, CIO, COO, Executive Director, Founder, General Manager, Managing Director, Managing Partner, Partner, President, Head of, Vice president, Executive Vice President, Senior Vice President.

The report is freely available by clicking on the link to our Preqin Insights page. For more information, contact oliver.keyser@preqin.com.

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About Preqin 

Preqin, the Home of Alternatives™, empowers financial professionals who invest in or allocate to alternatives with essential data and insight to make confident decisions. It supports them throughout the entire investment lifecycle with critical information and leading analytics solutions. The company has pioneered rigorous methods of collecting private data for 20 years, enabling more than 200,000 professionals globally to streamline how they raise capital, source deals and investments, understand performance, and stay informed. For more information visit www.preqin.com.