New York, March 1, 2019 – In addition to our Education and Peer Engagement areas of focus, Philanthropy is a proud tradition in which 100WF members give back to the communities in which they live and work, and help to provide more expansive opportunities for others. Each year, 100WF members around the world unite under a rotating philanthropic theme, such as Education or Women’s and Family Health. In 2019, 100WF’s global philanthropic theme is Investing in the Next Generation, and members and supporters are invited to join us in establishing more purposeful pathways into the finance industry for young women, and in supporting them in the early years of their careers.
100WF’s 2019 theme is a direct response to a persistent challenge. The alternative investment industry is known to be one of the most dynamic, intellectual and rewarding fields for bright young minds to apply their skills. Globally, however, fewer than 19% of employees in our industry are women. In investment roles, fewer than 15% of employees are women, and among hedge funds, fewer than 1 in 10 portfolio managers are women (source: Prequin, October 2017).
We see this as industry underperformance. There is no simple, quick fix – the factors that contribute to gender imbalances are multifactorial and require a constellation of initiatives to improve women’s representation.
An important part of the solution is to make our industry more visible and appealing to a diverse group of pre-career young women, and to support them in the early-stages of their careers. 100WF plays a critical, industry-supporting role in this way. We run successful programs to establish a larger presence of women in the industry, in investment roles, and onward toward executive leadership. Examples include:
- NextGen Groups – 100WF’s global network for early-career women offered in 9 of our locations
- Professional Development programming, including scholarships offers for career advancement in investment roles
- Mentoring Programs in which female students are paired with 100WF mentors
- Encounter Opportunities for Teens that enable career inspiration from female industry role models, and opportunities for our NextGen members to be industry ambassadors
- Fund Women – 100WF’s umbrella campaign to 1.) influence young women’s aspirations by changing the default public perception of what an investment professional looks like, and 2.) enable greater capital allocation to female-managed funds via 100WF’s investor conferences.
We obviously don’t do this work all alone. 100WF aligns with industry partners for long-range recruitment and retention of female talent. We also extend our mission by identifying and funding expert, local partners who work toward our shared vision. These partners enable grass roots academic/pre-professional preparation and encouragement toward careers in finance. They also provide additional opportunities for our members to make a direct impact on girls and young women in the members’ local communities through mentoring, tutoring and providing exposure to our industry and to careers in finance.
We need full engagement from100WF members and supporters to be successful. You can help to advance our Investing in the Next Generation theme in any, or all, of the following ways:
- Support a Gala or fundraiser. In 2019, 100WF will host Galas and other fundraising events in New York, Hong Kong, London, Toronto, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and other locations. Your participation – and sponsorship from your company – is warmly appreciated. If you wish to volunteer or sponsor one of these events, please let us know and we will connect you with your local organizing committee.
- Be visible. The next generation needs to see visible examples of women’s success and expertise in our industry in order to shape their aspirations. Fund managers should join our directory, which facilitates public speaking and media opportunities, and attend one of 100WF’s investment conferences, which introduce institutional allocators to female-managed funds.
- Engage with female students at a local high school or university to share your insights and enthusiasm for your career choice. Please let us know if you’d like to be connected to these types of opportunities, or if you’re already engaged in this way.
- Attend a Teen Event. 100WF hosts gatherings for teen girls to introduce them to 100WF members and to expose them to finance industry careers. When one of these events is hosted in your location, please attend with your teen daughter, niece or mentee. If your company would like to host this type of event, please let us know.
- A local student or young woman with potential for and interest in a finance career needs your guidance. 100WF has programs and external relationships to enable mentoring in a number of our locations. Inquire here.
- Donate Please consider supporting 100WF’s Investing in the Next Generation initiative with a donation toward our global efforts.
By working together in 2019, 100WF will help to increase the ranks of women entering the finance industry and to sustain professional success and satisfaction in the early years of their careers, and beyond.
Throughout the year, and especially in March, 100WF is proud to join the global community in honoring women’s achievements toward greater equity, and in pursuing progress yet to be made. How will you mark International Women’s Day: 8 March 2019? #IWD2019, #IWD100WF, #100WF
Thank you for your support!