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Ivey’s dean and students attend market opening to celebrate Women in Asset Management program

Jul 31, 2023


Dean Sharon Hodgson, faculty, and students in Ivey’s Women in Asset Management (WAM) program opened the market at the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) today in celebration of the program’s efforts to address gender equality in asset management.

WAM co-directors Steve Foerster, HBA ’81, and Saurin Patel, rang the opening bell while surrounded by students from Ivey’s second cohort of the program, which offers free asset management training and internships to undergraduate students at Western University and McGill University who self-identify as women. WAM was launched last year by Ivey and its corporate partners in hope of encouraging and preparing more women to enter the asset management field, which is traditionally male-dominated.

A new era for Canada’s asset management industry

Calling the bell “a signal of change,” Hodgson said the 42 young women who were trained for careers in asset management through the program this year are proof that education can be a powerful force in creating pathways to equity. Already the program has grown in its second year to include more students and internship locations and Ivey was able to extend the offering beyond Western to McGill students – a first step in eventually expanding it across Canada. Students in the program are currently interning at Canadian asset management firms after completing four weeks of in-class training at Ivey in the spring.

Noting that only about one in four financial advisers in Canada are women, Hodgson thanked the many organizations that have provided financial support for the program to help Ivey move the dial in terms of women’s participation in asset management.

“When we partner with businesses that want to make a difference in the culture, representation, and desirability of these roles for women, we can start a movement,” she said. “I know that for many of our sponsors, your commitment has gone far beyond providing funding and internships. You have come into the classroom to teach, participate in panel discussions, and provide mentorship. You have been true partners.”

Ivey is proud to partner with 13 financial industry leaders to launch the WAM program. Sponsors include RBC Global Asset Management, Scotiabank Global Asset Management, CIBC Asset Management, Mackenzie Investments, PSP, BCI, BMO Global Asset Management, Brookfield, CPP Investment Board, OMERS, Polar Asset Management Partners, Sun Life Global Investments, and University Pension Plan Ontario.