CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, conducted its ‘Young Women in Investment’ initiative this year with 41 participants.
The cohort had women aged between 20-25 years with up to two years of work experience. They came from varied educational backgrounds and underwent a four-week intensive boot camp on core finance and business skills. The participants were mentored by eminent industry leaders like Navneet Munot, CEO, HDFC AMC; Satish Betadpur, MD, Investment Research, State Street Global Advisors; Biharilal Deora, Abakkus Asset Manager; Eric Sim, Founder Institute of Life (ex-MD, UBS) to name a few. Following the boot camp, participants were placed in stipend-paying internships for six months at reputed financial institutions in India like BlackRock, CDPQ, Deutsche Bank, Edelweiss, Franklin Templeton, Ivanhoe Cambridge, State Street, HSBC, etc.
“CFA Institute is a leading voice on diversity and gender equality in the investment profession. The institute sponsors research, hosts conferences, and convenes industry meetings to raise awareness and improve outcomes. We recently released the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion code that the investment industry can subscribe to as they develop their policies and programs. Our ‘Young Women in Investment’ initiative aims at educating a select group of young women every year to take their first step towards a career in investment management. Over time, we expect participants in this initiative to serve as role models and encourage more women to become investment professionals”, said Vidhu Shekhar, CFA, CIPM, Country Head, India, CFA Institute.
“In a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, of which roughly 50% are women, it is challenging for any single initiative to deliver gender equality in one or more industries. The hope and goal of the Young Women in Investment initiative is that it demonstrates the mutual benefit of gender diversity to the investment industry, women and society at large. Eventually, it shows a direction to the investment industry to promote and enable diversity, and enable women to consider the investment industry as a viable professional choice”, said Amit Chakarabarty, Director, Institutional Relations South & South East Asia, CFA Institute.
Launched first in India in 2018, the ‘Young Women in Investment’ is an initiative to create awareness about, instil interest in and enable women to view the investment management industry as a viable long-term career option. It is also an attempt to help these young women gain a better understanding of the flexibility within the industry and address concerns that the financial sector disproportionately rewards those who work for long and inflexible hours. The program is a part of a wider CFA Institute Women in Investment Management initiative that seeks to improve investor outcomes by encouraging gender diversity in the investment management industry.
“The key differentiators of the Young Women in Investment initiative are that it promotes diversity even amongst women and also focuses on ‘application skills’. It aims to deliver these by identifying a diverse set of women participants (from educational, socio-economic, geographical backgrounds) and anchoring the classroom sessions on the application of theory to solve business problems”, added Amit