Women are belittled in hedge fund work

Women are not being taken seriously when working in hedge funds, new research has suggested. To be presented at the Gender, Work and Organisation Conference at the University of Keele, the study found females face many difficulties as they progress through adulthood.

Investigators from the University of Leicester and the University of Essex revealed that while young males have fewer struggles to balance work and parenthood and are given plenty of opportunities to get to grips with corporate life, women find it harder to remain credible in the eyes of their colleagues once they have become a mother.

Jo Brewis, Professor of Organisation and Consumption at the University of Leicester School of Management, said the findings suggest women are never considered to be the right age from an organisational perspective.

A female worker involved in the research observed: "I think the pressure is trying to prove [yourself], trying to act as though you haven't had a baby and still do everything exactly the same."

Marilyn Davidson, Emerita Professor of Work Psychology at Manchester Business School and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, comments:

"These recent findings and prevailing attitudes are perhaps not surprising taking into account that a 2005 report by the EHRC predicted that over a million pregnant women were likely to experience discrimination at work over the following five years.

"It is important to note that according to the Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research in 2009, hedge funds run by women had fallen only half as much during the economic crisis as those managed by men. Clearly, it makes economic sense for organisations to take positive action in addressing and changing prejudicial attitudes and behaviours towards working professional mothers."