*** Please note this article was updated on January 5, 2022 to reflect the change in application deadline and expanded student eligibility ***
The role of asset management is to increase client wealth and is well-known to provide exciting career opportunities. Asset management occurs through banks, pension funds, endowment funds, and hedge funds, both in the public and private sector, alike. However, the participation rate of women in asset management careers in North America is low. For example, roughly 14 per cent of U.S. fund managers are women, a percentage that hasn’t changed in the last two decades. Canadian and U.S. funds are led by women represent less than 1 per cent of assets under management. Only 6 per cent of chief investment officers at the largest U.S. institutional money managers are women, and only about one in four financial advisors in Canada are female.
Ivey’s new Women in Asset Management (WAM) program, launching in May 2022, is designed to overcome the important issue of underrepresentation of women in asset management in Canada. WAM is a new course and summer internship program, for second-year Western University undergraduate students who self-identify as a woman and are interested in learning more about asset management. The program will also consider applications from third-year Western students not currently enrolled in Ivey’s HBA program.
The program includes a four-week multi-disciplinary classroom experience aimed at sharpening technical skills such as portfolio theory, behavioural finance, and stock valuation, along with enhancing presentation, negotiation and communication skills.
The program is looking for academically strong and well-rounded women who bring unique perspectives to the classroom.
“We want to help move the dial,” said Steve Foerster, Ivey finance professor and co-director of the program along with his colleague, Saurin Patel. “The program is meant to attract women to asset management, especially those who might not have been aware of the positive social impact asset management can have on household wealth, such as pensions. Not only do we want to see more female participation, but we’d like to see women remain in the industry and fill more senior investment decision-making roles.”
Admission and program materials are free to all participants, not just those who might be seeking entry into Ivey’s HBA program.
“We see great opportunities for women in engineering, computer science, math, economics, and all sciences and social sciences to have fulfilling careers in asset management, and make a difference,” said Foerster.
The deadline to apply is January 17, 2022. The application will require a resumé, two letters of recommendation, two short essays and an introduction video.