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HBA · Kaamil Quidwai

Men are Not the Only Leaders in Management

Nov 21, 2022

Richardiveybuilding Balanced Minimal Edit July2021 11 For Featured News

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As a society, we must prove otherwise. 

According to Deloitte, “the percentage of women in senior leadership roles currently stands at 9%.” This fact implies that 91% of senior financial leadership roles are male-dominated. The term “finance bros” is continuously recycled, and the existence of this phrase only continues to stigmatize the fact that men govern the finance industry.

Last year, the Ivey Business School took the initiative to be a catalyst for change by launching the Women in Asset Management (WAM) summer program, which “is designed to overcome the underrepresentation of individuals who self-identify as women in asset management in Canada.” The program commences with a month of in-class learning at the business school, followed by a 10-week-paid internship at a Canadian asset management firm.

Esha Dewan, HBA 2024 / WAM 2022 articulated her experience in the inaugural program cohort. 

When asked why she decided to join this program, she admits, “what I got out of WAM was like no other. Having no prior financial work experience, I wanted to break into the industry, and WAM gave me that opportunity to foster my love for finance.” 

As aforementioned, unlike any other summer program, WAM students get to kickstart the program with an in-class collaborative learning experience at Ivey in May. Dewan recalls learning “essential coding skills in Python and Java, [alongside] valuable presentation skills and cases that not only prepared [her] for a 3-month internship at Scotiabank; but for the rest of [her] career.” At her Scotiabank Internship, she was truly able to make an impact there. With a mentor, she analyzed past portfolios to complete her own Bond portfolio as opposed to handling streamlined administrative tasks. 

The program also hosts multiple networking events wherein program members can speak to senior members of corporations. The value of these networking events lies in gaining insight into the day-to-day lives of corporate executives. Coupled with fun and engaging team events such as presenting to Canadian Tire executives and an opportunity to open the TSX Stock Market in Toronto, the program is also proud to foster a positive team community. 

Prior to attending the program, Dewan felt empowered to take on an industry she was never tangibly exposed to, especially after being corroborated by Ivey and her team. She mentions that the program gave her knowledge and confidence by connecting her with a cohort of self-identifying women who found themselves in a similar position. 

The goal of the program this year, and for years to come, is to continue breaking the glass barrier reinforcing the stigma that women do not understand financial jargon. The program hopes to instill the confidence needed for women to make strides in the financial industry. In a final remark from Dewan, she states, “We girls never felt judged, and we just feel more confident with any job or task we take on. What I learned from the program was invaluable.”


Applications to the program have now opened, and all self-identifying women are encouraged to apply for a truly enriching experience.