Today, the Ivey Business School, in partnership with eight financial industry leaders, announce the creation of the new Women in Asset Management (WAM) program, believed to be the first of its kind in Canada. Welcoming the first cohort of students this summer, the 14-week program offers in-class and paid internship experience and is designed to overcome the important issue of underrepresentation of individuals who self-identify as women in asset management.
At the end of 2019, only 14 per cent of global fund managers and six per cent of chief investment officers at the largest U.S. institutional money managers were represented by women. Additionally, only about one in four financial advisers in Canada were women as well.
“Our goal is to increase the number of women in Canada's asset management industry through exposure, training, and mentorship,” said Sharon Hodgson, Dean, Ivey Business School. “It’s not simply about increasing the number of women participating in asset management, but also seeing women remain in the industry and advancing to senior leadership. Ivey is fortunate to be able to partner with many of Canada’s leading financial institutions that also share this vision.”
Ivey teamed up with eight corporate partners to ensure qualified students receive the custom-designed program at no cost. The corporate partners will offer a 10-week, fully paid internship at their firms so participants can gain meaningful asset management experience and an introduction to industry career opportunities. Student interns will work on asset management projects, receive mentoring, and engage in networking opportunities.
“We are thrilled to participate in Ivey’s Women in Asset Management program,” said Dagmara Fijalkowski, Senior Vice President & Senior Portfolio Manager, Head of Global Fixed Income & Currencies, RBC Global Asset Management. “At RBC GAM we believe in the benefits of diversity and we have a keen interest in broadening the pipeline of diverse candidates. By collaborating with Ivey, we hope to further support the next generation and expand our industry’s pool of female talent. We look forward to offering these students a meaningful work experience and leaving them with a better understanding of the extensive career options available in the asset management industry.”
“Scotia Global Asset Management is pleased to be a Benefactor Partner of Ivey’s Women in Asset Management program, as we work to do our part in increasing the representation of women in our industry. We would like to congratulate Ivey on this important initiative and look forward to welcoming student interns to our team this summer, as we focus on attracting, growing, and retaining a diverse pipeline of talent,” says Jim Morris, Managing Director, Investment Management, Scotia Global Asset Management.
WAM’s classroom portion includes a four-week multidisciplinary experience aimed at sharpening technical skills such as portfolio theory, behavioural finance, and stock valuation, along with enhancing presentation, negotiation, and communication skills. Throughout the program, participants are introduced to and will hear from many industry veterans who will mentor and support them. The highly competitive program was open to second- and third-year Western University students in any discipline who self-identify as women, with a keen interest in learning more about the asset management industry.
"Since stumbling upon stock trading at 16, I understood the importance of prudent financial management and developed a love for value investing,” said Rhonda Su, BMOS, Consumer Behaviour, ’24. “When I first heard about the all-encompassing opportunity through Ivey's Women in Asset Management Program, I was thrilled, but beyond that, the program's mission to empower women in the industry is what drew me in. The financial industry has always been daunting to me, but thanks to the wonderful team at Ivey, this program is about to open doors for women like me, who would have otherwise never imagined themselves stepping foot into this field."
The WAM program’s three-year corporate partners include:
For more information on the WAM program, visit the WAM website.
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About the Ivey Business School, Western University
The Ivey Business School (www.ivey.ca) at Western University is Canada’s leading provider of relevant, innovative and comprehensive business education. Drawing on extensive research and business experience, Ivey faculty provide the best classroom experience, equipping graduates with the skills and capabilities they need to tackle the leadership challenges in today’s complex business world. Ivey offers world-renowned undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as Executive Education at campuses in London (Ontario), Toronto and Hong Kong.