How women can break into banking and investment
There are plenty of events and programmes designed to introduce high-achieving female undergraduates to careers in banking and investment. Some are being run virtually while social distancing restrictions continue.
If you're a female student considering an investment banking, retail banking or investment management career, it's worth taking advantage of the many insight events designed to help you explore your options and build your network. These programmes and events often get oversubscribed, so it’s advisable to apply early.
The following are examples of events that have previously taken place, but check firms' websites to find out which ones are currently accepting applications. If it is not possible for these events to go ahead face to face in 2021 due to social distancing restrictions, firms may consider offering virtual alternatives. Where we are aware of an event being run virtually this year, we have indicated this.
Advantages of attending events and insight programmes
- You’ll have the chance to meet and talk to senior women working in investment banking.
- You’ll gain a better understanding of the different career paths within investment banking and the skills required to succeed in the industry.
- You’ll find out more about application processes and what banks look for in graduate recruits.
- Events and insight programmes can give you lots to talk about in job interviews. If you’re asked to give examples of how you handled, or worked in, certain situations, you can discuss specific experiences you had when you were at skills sessions or on placement.
- If you get a place on an insight programme, some banks will give you the opportunity to be fast-tracked to the first interview stage of their summer internship programmes.
BlackRock: Women of the Markets
This three-day programme provides an in-depth look at how BlackRock meets its clients' needs, through seminars, work shadowing, networking and social events. It is open to undergraduate or masters students of any discipline who identify as female. It was run virtually, in a similar format but spread out over more days, in October 2020.
Commerzbank AG: Women in the City
Commerzbank has previously held an annual insight event for female undergraduates and recent female graduates who are keen to enter the world of investment banking. Applicants must have achieved, or be on track for, a 2.1 in a numerate subject (such as engineering, maths, physics, economics or computer science) and have a minimum of 320 UCAS points.
This event has typically taken place in October and included talks from senior women in the industry, opportunities to network with managers, and interactive sessions designed to give you an introduction to different areas of business.
Fidelity International: Women in Investment Insight Week
Fidelity International has previously run a four-day programme to introduce first-year students to career options in asset management. It included skills sessions, workshops and opportunities to network with graduates and industry experts.
To find out more about Fidelity International, visit its TARGETjobs employer profile.
Goldman Sachs: women-only initiatives
Goldman Sachs runs several programmes to encourage women to engage with the business, including a women’s trader academy and a pre-university course for female A Level students (taking the form of a one-day virtual event in March 2021).
For more information about Goldman Sachs, visit its TARGETjobs employer profile.
MUFG: UK Female Insight Day
MUFG runs its careers event for second- and final-year female university students who are interested in working in corporate or investment banking. The event takes place in November (virtually in 2020) and includes case studies, networking, panel discussions and presentations.
NatWest Group: Female Insight Weeks
It’s not just investment banks that are offering networking opportunities for female students. NatWest Group runs female insight weeks that include work shadowing and networking opportunities. The next one is taking place in September 2021.
The week concludes with an assessment day involving a group discussion, interview and a written exercise. Those who are successful in this could be offered a place on RBS’ summer internship the following year.
Nomura: Women’s Immersion Programme
Nomura runs an annual two-week paid internship for high-achieving first- and second-year female students. The Women’s Immersion Programme sees students placed in one of the following business divisions: investment banking, global markets or corporate infrastructure. It is taking place in April 2021 but it is not clear whether it is in person or virtual.
The programme is open to female undergraduates in their first year of a three-year degree course, or second year of a four-year degree course. Fluency in English is essential.
To find out more about Nomura, visit its TARGETjobs employer profile.
UBS: Women in Finance
UBS has previously run various networking events for female students, such as presentation evenings and dinners. Some of these required you to be on track for a 2.1 degree or attending a particular university.
To find out more about UBS, visit its TARGETjobs employer profile.
The events, schemes and internships mentioned in this article may not be the only programmes available. Check other banks' TARGETjobs employer profiles and websites for more opportunities.
Article last updated 2 March 2021.