How women can break into banking and investment

There are plenty of events designed to introduce high-achieving female undergraduates to careers in banking and investment.

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If you’re a female student considering an investment banking, retail banking or investment management career, it’s worth taking advantage of insight events. They’re designed to help you network with women already working in these fields and find out more about working life. They usually involve career-related activities as well, so that you can start to build a sense of what a role in banking looks like.

Many insight events have moved online since the pandemic but they’re still often oversubscribed, so it’s advisable to apply early.

Advantages of attending insight events

  • You’ll have the chance to meet and talk to women working in senior roles in banking and investment.
  • You’ll gain a better understanding of the different career paths and the skills required to succeed.
  • You’ll find out more about application processes and what banks look for in graduate recruits.
  • You’ll gather ideas to take to interviews. If you’re asked to give examples of how you handled or worked in certain situations, for example, you can discuss specific experiences you had when you were attending skills sessions.
  • 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.

Bloomberg women in business insight week

The week includes opportunities to meet female Bloomberg staff, explore careers in analytics and sales, and attend workshops on female empowerment.

BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas’ women in finance events are aimed at penultimate-year students considering financial internships and careers. The events are currently online.

Deutsche Bank GROW programme

Deutsche Bank’s GROW programme is aimed at female students in their first year at university. It’s designed to provide an insight into banking careers as well as coaching and mentoring.

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.

MUFG: UK female insight day

MUFG runs a careers event for second- and final-year female-identifying university students who are interested in working in corporate or investment banking. The event takes place in November (recent ones have been virtual) and includes case studies, networking, panel discussions and presentations.

NatWest Group: Female Insight Weeks

NatWest Group runs female insight weeks that include discussions and networking opportunities.

It concludes with an assessment day that includes an interview and a written exercise. If you’re successful in this, you could be offered a summer internship the following year.

Applications tend to open early each calendar year.

Nomura: women’s immersion programme

Nomura runs a two-week paid internship for high-achieving first- and second-year female students. As part of the programme, you’ll be placed in one of the following business divisions: investment banking, global markets or corporate infrastructure.

It’s 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. The programme is usually held in April each year.

Rothschild & Co: global advisory women’s horizon insight programme

Rothschild & Co’s three-day programme is aimed at female students in any year at university. Strong-performing candidates can take part in a fast-track assessment process for a future role.

UBS: women’s events

UBS runs various careers events for women, including presentations (some of these require you to attend a particular university) and opportunities to network with female leaders online.

Other organisations to watch

Other employers besides those listed above have run women’s events in previous years. They include:

  • Bank of England
  • BlackRock
  • CapitalOne
  • Commerzbank AG
  • Fidelity International

Check theirs and other banks’ targetjobs employer profiles and websites for more opportunities.

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