Vinva Investment Management and Schroders and Cooper Investments have signed onto diversity campaign Future IM/Pact, in an effort to attract more women into working in investment management.
Launched a year ago, Future IM/Pact aims to attract more talent into the investment teams of super funds and fund managers, with an initial focus on appealing to women in university.
The project was established following research in 2016 showing women comprised 24 per cent of Australian investment professionals.
In October, the campaign is hosting a student investment competition in Sydney and Melbourne, where gender balanced teams are to solve an investment challenge, competing to win a paid internship with a Future IM/Pact partner.
A collective of 14 super funds, fund managers and industry participants are backing the initiative.
Future IM/Pact founder Yolanda Beattie said new partners bring funding and scale to grow the campaign, as well as work experience and employment opportunities to tens of thousands of students. She added the upcoming competition will connect the campaign’s partners with a pipeline of female talent as well as encourage women to participate and challenge their investment skills.
The project recently released a report on the its performance in the first half of 2019.
“While it’s still early days, the feedback we’re getting from the aspiring women we meet tells me we can solve this problem – at least in the entry level – in the next five to 10 years if we maintain momentum,” Ms Beattie said.
“Our active social media presence, on-campus events and industry roundtables are starting to have traction.
“Our engagement rates on LinkedIn are four times the company average, our subscription base has grown 200 per cent and our Facebook content has reached more than 180,000 women at universities across Australia.”
Morry Waked, managing director and executive chairman of Vinva said the firm recognised the importance of attracting more women into the investment management industry, and that it requires a long-term commitment at the grassroots level.
“We want to try and help more women pursue a career in finance. To be effective and sustainable, this requires us to start working with young women while they are at university,” Mr Waked said.
“Partnering with Future IM/Pact extends and complements the existing programs we already have in place supporting young women at the undergraduate level.
“While we have a very stable and diverse team, we recognise that as an industry we need to do more to help attract and retain talented women. We will do whatever we can, internally and externally, to help make this over time.”
Chris Durack, chief executive of Schroders, said building a diverse talent pipeline for the investments team needed an industry-wide solution.
Meanwhile Cooper Investors CEO Steve Schubert added the project provides a meaningful opportunity for the fund to engage with the next generation of investors.
“We believe the best investors display the traits of humility and empathy. As these traits are often core strengths of women, we are frustrated so few women seek out this career path,” Mr Schubert said.
“We’re looking forward to having an active role in shifting perceptions and educating more women about the impact they have on the world as an investor.”
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].
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