Women and minorities control less than 1% of assets under management, and a group of women in finance wants to double that number by next year.

They’re hosting a conference on Friday — coinciding but not officially affiliated with Saturday’s Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting — to address the underrepresentation of women in investing.

The founders are Kim Shannon, founder and CEO of Sionna Investment Managers; Barbara Ann Bernard, founder and CEO of Wincrest Capital; and Laura Rittenhouse, an author and consultant.

They argue that there are broader implications for the lack of diversity at the top. The people in charge of the investments make judgment calls. And if the men who run the funds are more likely to trust others who are like them, then the lack of women running hedge funds can mean fewer female-owned businesses get investments.

“So many men control this money, (women) are shut out,” Rittenhouse said.

The goal of the conference is to bring together investors, those looking for investors and people who want to learn more — all with an interest in increasing gender diversity in finance.

“If everyone left there with a friend they could call who was knowledgeable in the industry, we could create our own old girls’ network,” Bernard said.

The conference is free but limited to 200 participants on Friday afternoon at the downtown Hilton Omaha. Register at variantperspectives.com.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated which funds were managed by less than 1 percent of women.

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