Make men more visible
Professor Penelope Croft, President of Hedges & Bennet Investment, says that male fund managers face several disadvantages in the industry, including a weak grasp of numbers, a persistent inability to calculate risk and a simple lack of visibility. So, what can trainee male investment managers do to beat the odds? Professor Croft thinks it’s all about tone and style, “Men should pay attention to tone of voice and posture to be taken seriously by women in this industry. Too many times I have observed a man leaning out instead of leaning in. Schoolgirl error.”
Value men’s unique contribution
Men are naturally drawn to the relationship side of fund management, rather than the investment side, says cutting-edge neuroscientific research. We also know that the male brain has many fabulous qualities, such as emotional intelligence, male intuition and the desire to be paid less than women. These natural talents make men ideally suited to admin and secretarial roles across the industry, giving them the chance to shine.
Men also have an incredible innate ability to remember names, faces and drink preferences making them exceptional hosts at charity dinners.
More flexible working
Before men embark on any kind of work outside the home, they should ask about family-friendly perks. Some companies make generous allowances for fathers in the workplace and they shouldn’t be afraid to take advantage of them.
Every man should have the chance to have both a family and a career, if that’s what he wants. Companies must do more to enable fathers to play a full and active role, not only at home, but also in the workplace. For this reason, many high-flying men - who aren’t quite ready to put their career on hold to have a baby - are opting to freeze their sperm. This allows men the opportunity to delay fatherhood until they are ready to accept discrimination and lower pay.
Investment management is a tough industry and many males can’t hack it. Some choose to start small by running their own little businesses, such as selling unwanted items on eBay, becoming a ‘Dadpreneur’, dog-sitting, card-making or blogging. When men earn their own money, they don’t feel guilty about splashing out on new clothes for the kids, or even a little something for themselves. Many men hook up with likeminded business-savvy dads and join networks like ‘Dads in Business’, or the ‘Men in Enterprise’ hub. These are ideal alternatives for men who feel daunted and overwhelmed by a career in the City.
…And stay small
So, whilst we can do a lot to encourage male investment managers at a structural level, at the end of the day, it’s up to individual men to overcome the barriers. We need men to change the way they look, only take on support roles, freeze their sperm, stop making a fuss and, ultimately, leave the profession to do something more realistic. Only then will we have a more balanced industry with a positive, inclusive culture that enables everyone to be rewarded on merit.
The Man Who Has It All has a crazy-busy life juggling low-fat yoghurt, glowing skin, a career and healthy snacks. He spends his precious “me time” on Twitter and Facebook, giving other busy dads sanity-saving tips. Look for his book, From Frazzled to Fabulous.
© 2018 Man Who Has it All