CAIA Association leads advocacy for women leadership in finance


Published: Fri 3 May 2024, 3:35 PM

The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association, the global professional body for the alternative investment industry, proudly announces its receipt of the prestigious award of 'Best Alternative Investments Association' in the region, which was conferred during the 'Woman Entrepreneurs Conference and Award 2024' hosted by Berkley Middle East.

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Committed to fostering an inclusive financial environment where every voice matters, CAIA has established itself as a key driver of empowerment through education and thought leadership in the financial sector.

Aligned with the UAE's efforts to promote gender equality in finance, CAIA is actively working to bridge the gender gap, particularly in a region where less than a quarter of women are employed in finance, with only 10.3 per cent reaching the board level (Data source: McKinsey and Preqin).

Significant advancements are evident among investors too. Numerous sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have adopted a rigorous ESG agenda that extends beyond mere financial metrics. They acknowledge the advantage of diverse hiring practices in improving investment decision-making.

At the 'Woman Entrepreneurs Conference and Award 2024', Laura Merlini, managing director EMEA, CAIA Association was recognised as the most influential woman in investments. Her achievements underscore the importance of gender diversity and inspire CAIA's ongoing commitment to education and women's leadership.

CAIA's initiatives focus on empowering female finance professionals through self-paced education, enabling them to develop their businesses independently and encouraging them to manage and diversify their wealth. Recognising the need to improve financial literacy among women, CAIA provides resources and support to bridge the knowledge gap and empower women to make informed investment decisions.

Research from UBS in 2023 revealed that 62 per cent of women desire more information on investing, with 52 per cent citing the lack of financial education as a significant obstacle. Moreover, women's investable wealth in the Middle East is expected to grow by 6.3 per cent from 2021 to 2025, surpassing the growth rate for men.

Recent findings from European Women in VC highlight the importance of increasing women's presence in finance, showing that mixed-gender management teams outperform all-male teams. Each 10 per cent increase in the representation of women in senior management correlates with a 1.3 per cent increase in Internal Rate of Return (IRR), demonstrating the tangible benefits of diversity in driving success.

Through advocacy and education, CAIA is not only shaping the future of the financial industry but also inspiring a new generation of professionals and investors to thrive, regardless of gender or background. Moreover, CAIA is promoting the transformative power of diversity in fostering sustainable success and progress

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