Launched on the 19th of January 2023, Diversity Project’s Pathway is a world leading programme that focuses on developing the female Portfolio Managers of the future. It has been created by the industry for the industry.
The initiative seeks to drive real change by unlocking female talent in order to address the absence of women in money-managing roles, with 88% positions currently occupied by men.
This bespoke programme gives talented women who are selected by their firms the best opportunity to progress and succeed in becoming Portfolio Managers. For the 2023 programme, 33 firms have selected 60 female employees who have shown interest in becoming Portfolio Managers. Collectively, they have on average 7 years of experience; 78% are in an investment related role while 22% work in other areas including sales and trading or change management. Each participant will have their own sponsor from within their own firm to champion, advocate and guide them.
The programme is delivered through 24 sessions in a variety of formats including in-person forums, networking breakfasts and interactive virtual meetings. In addition, participants will be guided through their own Career Development Plan and will have the opportunity to discuss it with their own “buddy groups”. Participants have access to a real-time collaboration tool that allows them share content and connect with all other participants in the programme. The curriculum aims to support (and not replace) formal CFA qualifications and covers a range of relevant topics, including technical and behavioural skills.
Topics covered include:
- What makes a good investor and behaviours around assessing risk
- Data management and modelling and Portfolio Construction
- Understanding hedge funds and ESG investments
- Leadership skills including overcoming Imposter Syndrome
- Delivering to your client
- Proactively managing careers and challenges
Participants will also have networking opportunities with like minded female peers, senior female fund managers and industry leaders.
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 talented and inclusive cohort of female portfolio managers not only in 2023 but also into the future.
This programme is open to Diversity Project members only, and all candidates undergo a rigorous selection process with the firms before being put forward for the programme. The selection process for 2023 is now closed. More details regarding the 2024 programme will be communicated in the future.
"I feel honoured to be part of the pathway programme which has been carefully curated by women in the industry to empower and enable the next generation of women in finance. I look forward to learning from the experts through the bespoke curriculum they have put together and working with like-minded people within the industry to not only accelerate my career but also to be a part of this movement aiming to make meaningful and sustainable progress towards improving gender equality within the finance industry."
Dhana Mariappan, European High Yield Analyst, Axa Investment Managers
"From my own discussions with our participants, I know what a difference this program is going to make for women in our industry. They may be a fund manager assistant who couldn’t see how to navigate to a portfolio management role or a great talent who opted against the traditional route of University. DP Pathway really is creating opportunities that simply haven’t existed for these women before."
Joanna Munro, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Alternatives, HSBC Global Asset Management
"Can Pathway make a real difference? Let’s do the maths: there are around 1600 UK fund managers, 200 are women. Adding 60 more female managers is roughly 3.5% of the total. Three or four years of running the programme successfully - even without expanding – and the UK will have doubled the proportion of female fund managers and blazed a global trail."
Helena Morrissey, Chairwoman of The Diversity Project