A Willis Towers Watson official last week indicated the consulting giant will soon require asset managers to provide data on the gender composition of their employees.
There have been numerous studies in recent years that indicate gender diversity is linked to better financial performance.
Willis Towers Watson will require fund managers to provide data about the gender composition across their workforce, a move that responds to evidence that more women in the workforce improves financial performance.
The plan was mentioned by Luba Nikulina, global head of manager research at Willis Towers Watson, at an MSCI event on the subject of women in finance in London last week. She spoke of “hardwiring this into the process of allocating money”.
“If asset owners add their voice it will help to move things forward,” she added.
She was responding to a comment from a representative of a local authority pension fund about asset owners wanting better data on gender representation in roles below board level.
Linda-Eling Lee, global head of ESG research at MSCI, highlighted three possible connections between female representation in the workforce and financial performance benefits.
These benefits could stem from women being “better suited to today’s economy”, Lee suggested, from a greater diversity of thinking, or “human capital arbitrage”.
The latter is the idea that, given the barriers they face, “the women who end up at the top are extraordinary so the performance edge may erode as the pipeline to the top opens up”.