Former Aviva Investors fund selector Bhavini 'Bev' Shah has won the support of 15 asset management and investment firms for the launch of an industry network for women.
The launch of the network, dubbed City Hive, comes after analysis of Citywire's global database at the end of March showed that only 10% of the 15,229 fund managers around the world were female.
Earlier this month the world's biggest pension fund, run by the Japanese government, threw its weight behind efforts to get more women serving on the boards of global corporations.
The following firms have backed City Hive: Amundi AM, Artemis IM, BlackRock, BNY Mellon, Fidelity International, Hermes IM, Invesco Perpetual, Jupiter AM, Kepler Partners, Legg Mason, M&G Investments, Macquarie IM, Pictet AM, Pimco and Twenty Four AM.
'I'm not interested in gender diversity for the sake of it. It's about giving women genuine tangible support to survive and thrive in the corporate jungle whether it is through specialised skills or a supportive network,' Shah (pictured) said.
'It is also important to also ensure the pipeline is cultivated from the schoolroom by simply letting girls know that this career opportunity exists, removing the mystique and stigma around this area of the financial industry.
'Once we have female talent at the table, our role is to support the women who come through and campaign to improve the working environment for them so they can progress through the bumpy middle with fewer barriers to the top.'
City Hive will mark its launch at an event held at Chigwell Street Dining Rooms on 30 November, where the leader of the Women's Equality Party, Sophie Walker, will give a speech.
'With almost every week that passes there are reports published showing that diversity boosts productivity and profit,' Walker said.
'Initiatives like City Hive which connect and champion women in the City are vital, but they are not a replacement for dedicated action. Companies must do more, supporting female staff to develop their skills as well as increasing diversity at every level.'
Shah worked for Aviva Investors for eight years from 2007, rising to a senior multi-manager analyst before her departure. She has also had spells with Merchant Securities and HSBC Investments during her career.