Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Patrick Van Horn

Reader 2

Bowman Cutter

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Women in the finance industry have long been underrepresented. The mutual fund industry is no exception, with female managers in the United States falling stagnant at only 11% from 2000 to 2019. Given this low and stagnant number, this study seeks to understand if female managers impact mutual fund performance, specifically comparing down and up market periods. The data for this research was compiled from individual US mutual fund prospectus and fact sheet information in order to create a unique dataset containing the returns for every year between 2000 and 2019 as well as gender make-up, average experience, and team size of each management team. The funds in this data set include equity, fixed income, and blended portfolios. It is necessary to understand the performance of mutual funds as despite their continual underperformance in comparison to other actively managed investment classes, they remain a large industry. This study finds that gender is not a cause of this underperformance and therefore not a rational component for deciding management team makeup. These findings are consistent with previous literature that found no impact on performance due to gender in European equity mutual funds.