On Thursday, International Women’s Day, Morningstar released a report showing that women today account for just under 11% of the managers of actively managed mutual funds, and that percentage is lower now than it was in 1990.
Since 1990 the number of actively managed stock and bond mutual funds grew fivefold from 1,900 to 8,500, and men captured 85% to 90% of those new portfolio manager jobs, according to Morningstar.
Its research report sought to find out if performance was the deciding factor.
“If women fund managers have delivered worse returns than men, their exclusion from the industry would be understandable,” write the researchers. But they found that has not been the case.
They compared the performance of female and male fund managers from January 2003 to September 2017 using several different tests, and the results were generally the same. Female-run equity funds did not underperform their male-run counterparts in any statistically significant way, if at all, but they did clearly outperform male-run bond funds.
In its Fama-MacBeth regression test, for example, Morningstar found that actively managed equity funds run by all-male teams slightly outperformed funds in the same Morningstar category, but the difference was not statistically significant.