The Diversity Project, a diversity, equity and inclusion campaign group focused on the investment industry, has launched the Pathway Programme, an initiative to give women a gateway to become portfolio managers.
The initiative is supported by several investment firms and promotes itself as being the first female career development programme created by the industry with a specific curriculum on managing money.
A big motivation behind the project is to drive change in the industry by unlocking female talent, and in so doing, address the lack of women in portfolio manager roles, with 88% of such positions occupied by men.
The programme will be delivered by current portfolio managers and other investment specialists.
The programme and curriculum have been designed to cover a wide range of relevant topics, including technical and behavioural skills.
It also aims to provide women with networking opportunities and to meet role models in our industry.
All of the programme sessions will be interactive and designed to maximise impact and allow for individual learning.
A total of 33 firms have collectively selected 60 women interested in pursuing a career in portfolio management to participate.
Collectively, they have on average seven years of experience; 78% are in an investment-related role while 22% work in other areas, including sales and trading or change management.
The Diversity Project is led by Dame Helena Morrissey, who said: “In 1990, when I began managing money I was a bit surprised to find myself the only woman in a team of 16. Whilst the situation has thankfully improved since then, women are still woefully underrepresented in fund manager roles, which we are on a mission to change.”
On completion of the programme participants will be encouraged to reciprocate and become a mentor or sponsor for future pathway participants, promoting the development of a cohort of female portfolio managers for the future.