Marie Chandoha, chief executive of Charles Schwab Investment Management, said: “I think it is clear that our industry is in great need of a makeover. While progress has been made in recent years, we need a serious and concerted effort to bring more women and greater diversity into the asset management industry.”
Ms. Chandoha pointed out that Schwab has made progress in metrics aside from the percentage of female portfolio mangers. “While 28 percent of our portfolio managers are women, I am proud that they are managing 64 percent of our funds,” she said. And, she added, “Looking at it another way, 53 percent of our mutual fund and E.T.F. assets are managed by a woman.”
MFS, which stood at the bottom of the list, with a mere 6 percent of female portfolio managers in its American-registered funds, said that it, too, was committed to improving that record.
Daniel Flaherty, an MFS spokesman, said in an email: “Beginning in 2010, MFS put in place a program to improve the diversity within its investment division, focused on recruitment, engagement and professional development. We believe we are making progress, as 25 percent of the investment division today are women, up from 12 percent in 2010; 50 percent of new hires in 2017 were women; and one-third of new hires over the last five years have been women.”
With women making up 10 percent of its portfolio managers, Fidelity falls right at the industry average, though it ranks in the bottom half of the biggest managers’ list. For the last six months, the company, headed by Abigail Johnson, a granddaughter of Fidelity’s founder, has been responding to allegations of sexual harassment, originally reported in The Wall Street Journal.
Fidelity “is very committed to gender diversity, not only among its portfolio managers, but across the entire business,” Vincent G. Loporchio, a Fidelity spokesman, said in an email. He added, “We continue building our female talent pipeline with hiring programs through undergraduate and graduate school.”
In addition to Ms. Johnson, he said, “women leaders include Kathy Murphy, who heads our personal investing business, which serves individual investors, and oversees $2 trillion in customer assets under administration, and a range of other senior-level executives.”