Why the world needs more women controlling the money

Leading business consultant, Fiona McKay, issues a call for more women in the investment sector.

  • Female investors have a greater impact on the bottom line, market innovation, sustainable industries and social impact
  • Lost opportunities are magnified in light of the under-representation of women in top investment roles
  • Lightbulb’s ‘Trailblazing Women in Investment’ report shines a light on those leading change in the industry

From greater diversity to an emphasis on impact capital deployment, an increase in the number of women in investment roles will help transform the economy and society.

That’s the view of Fiona McKay, founder and MD of global business consultancy, Lightbulb Leadership Solutions.

A long-time challenger of greater gender equality in the upper echelons of business, Fiona is calling for action to redress the gender imbalance within the investment sector.

Gathering information from across the business landscape, a light has been shone on the startling under-representation of women in the sector.

Research shows businesses which accelerate greater gender diversity also achieve superior business performance. In addition, women are more likely than men to invest in sustainable and social impact areas, including investments with a gender lens focus, meaning they tend to invest in order to make a clear, measurable and positive impact on society, not just to generate profits and returns.

Fiona said: “It’s not just women who are disadvantaged by a male-dominated investment sector, it’s entire economies and society as a whole.

“With a lack of representation at all areas of the investment chain – from female entrepreneurs and business leaders, funding access, to market influence and senior decision-making – market-demands and opportunities are being missed. The absence of women in these roles is as an inhibitor to innovation, wealth creation and societal impact.

“The unpalatable truth for investors is they can have subconscious deep-rooted biases about women’s ability to scale and can often see women-led opportunities as limitations. However, female representation is critical to inspire new ventures, new investments and build accessible and inclusive communities that develop the next generation of female entrepreneurs.

“At a base level, a problem with a male-dominated investment market is familiarity and the gravitational pull toward things that are familiar to them. It points directly to a requirement for a lived and shared experience being vital for any female-focused product or service creation, and therefore the investment that sits alongside it.

“We need investors to think long and hard about their advisory boards and the value creation teams they put together. Thinking this is another exercise in promoting greater gender equilibrium is wrong. It’s about showing how a sector with a greater balance of female investors is essential for a more equitable, balanced and more lucrative world for everybody.”

To capture the current imbalance and opportunities, Lightbulb Leadership has produced its report ‘Trailblazing Women in Investment’. The report demonstrates the barriers women in investment face and crucially showcases 10 women from both sides of the Atlantic who are quietly proving that women can and are achieving extraordinary feats in the sector.

The report highlights the ongoing gender inequalities that exist at the top levels of the sector despite women being proven drivers of business success.

The Trailblazers

  • Jane Reoach, Portfolio Director at Mobeus
  • Erica Young, Principal Investor at Anthemis
  • Eva Rez, Senior Investment Manager at Sky
  • Gemma Hamilton, Investor at BGF
  • Alexandra Daly, CEO of AA Advisors
  • Beth Houghton, Partner and Head of Impact Investing Fund at Palatine
  • Karen McCormick, Chief Investment Officer at Beringea
  • Kay Koplovitz, Co-Founder and Chairman of Springboard Enterprises and Springboard Growth Capital
  • Edith Dorsen, Founder of Women’s Venture Capital Fund and WomensVCFund II
  • Darya Allen-Attar, CEO and Co-Founder of Women Founders Network

To view the full report click here

Fiona McKay is internationally recognised for delivering ambitious and transformational change in high-stakes environments.

In a field notorious for formulaic business processes, often delivered by a small group of corporations, Fiona has built a reputation as a go-to challenger, achieving long-lasting and results-driven change through her direct and high-energy approach.

From technological transformation and fast growth through to chaotic markets and turbulent economies, there are a number of rapidly changing environmental influences that can derail both professional and personal trajectories of CEOs, leaders and entrepreneurs, not to mention impact commercial performance.

Responding to these challenges and delivering positive outcomes is reliant on the ability to lead effectively and creatively. Fiona is expert in challenging businesses and advising leaders to navigate these challenges and crafting unique solutions.

Working with boards, investors, decision-makers and key stakeholders in organisations across the globe, Fiona’s professional career has been notable. She is Managing Director of Lightbulb Leadership Solutions, has held academic positions as an Entrepreneur and Associate Lecturer in Business Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University and is the winner of the Innospace Award for Entrepreneurship.

Fiona is also a vocal advocate for gender equality in the workplace, is the creator of the cutting-edge development programme Winning Women, designed to accelerate female leadership talent to the C Suite and able to solve the world’s biggest business challenges and inspire meaningful change.

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