Ivey is expanding its barrier-breaking Women in Asset Management (WAM) program to undergraduate women across Canada in an effort to prepare a larger and more diversified group of women for careers in asset management.
Starting November 6, all second-year university students in Canada who self-identify as women can apply for the 2024 program, which begins in-class sessions in May. Applications close on January 4, 2024.
Ivey introduced the WAM program in 2022 to encourage and prepare more women to enter the traditionally male-dominated asset management field. WAM provides one month of in-class training at no cost and a 10 to 12-week paid summer internship with an asset management firm, all thanks to corporate sponsors. Applications were previously limited to Western University students, except for this past year when Ivey opened up spots for three McGill students to join as a first step in offering WAM across Canada.
Since its inception, WAM has grown to 42 from 33 students and the hope is to admit at least 45 women in 2024, says Steve Foerster, HBA ’81, a finance professor who co-directs the program along with Saurin Patel.
“We’ve been able to grow as we’ve attracted more sponsors who have been able to provide more paid internships,” said Foerster. “The program has been well-received by students in terms of the in-class experience, by sponsors in terms of the internship experience, and by the community at large who applaud our mission to increase the number of women in Canada's asset management industry through exposure and training.”
Increasing gender diversity in asset management
Ivey Dean Sharon Hodgson and WAM students and faculty have already been invited twice to open the market at the Toronto Stock Exchange to celebrate the program moving the dial in terms of women’s participation in asset management.
Through the expansion, Foerster said Ivey aims to increase the participation rate of women in the industry as well as to increase the diversity of students and internship opportunities within the program.
“Expansion is important on two dimensions. Bringing together women from different universities will provide a richer in-class experience. And with our sponsors primarily located in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, we hope to balance both the student intake diversity with sponsorship opportunities diversity,” he said.
Thank you to the corporate sponsors
Ivey is proud to partner with 15 financial industry leaders for WAM. 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, University Pension Plan Ontario, Intact, and CI Financial.