Huge progress has been made to address the gender disbalance in the finance industry, with the number of women in the financial services workforce reaching 43% in 2019.
Despite this improvement, in the top levels of the industry, the disbalance prevails. In the same year, women’s UK representation of executive committees in major financial services firms was a meagre 20%, and just 15% of finance directors in FTSE 100 companies were women.
At Imperial College Business School, we are committed to closing the gender gap in business and are passionate about supporting talented women pursuing a career in finance. What was once a traditionally ‘male dominated’ industry is now changing to ensure it is inclusive and accessible to both genders.
To help towards closing the gender gap in business, Imperial offers a 'Women in Finance' scholarship of £20,000 to those demonstrating academic excellence and leadership potential. In addition to the financial reward, recipients gain access to networking events and can share their outstanding achievement with recruiters when applying for jobs.
Finance is traditionally seen as a ‘male-dominated' industry, and as a result some women may have reservations about working in this area. However, this shouldn’t be the case as steps are being made to make the industry inclusive for all, beginning at institutions like Imperial.
This award is available for all five Finance Master’s programmes at Imperial, which range from the broader to more specialised topics like fintech and risk management:
- MSc Finance
- MSc Finance & Accounting
- MSc Financial Technology
- MSc Investment & Wealth Management
- MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering
Why are we pushing for more women in finance?
Supporting more women to study our Finance Master’s programmes is part of our wider efforts towards diversity and inclusion. Imperial College Business School aims for diversity across all of our programmes, not just in terms of gender but in terms of nationality and academic backgrounds.
A diverse classroom creates a safe learning environment where all can feel encouraged to speak up, challenge and engage in interesting conversation with their peers.
"Equality can mean that women are able to just be themselves, and not have to change their behaviour in order to be seen as competent. Having other strong women on my programme with me at Imperial really helped motivate me, and gave me the confidence to succeed in my career in finance."
How do we support women in finance?
Building your network while at business school is one of the best ways to get ahead in the industry. A wide network gives you a pool of like-minded professionals to take advice from, hear about job opportunities and learn more about the industry you're about to step into.
At Imperial, you can develop connections at the School from the moment you accept your offer. The Women in Business Club and Finance Club offer excellent opportunities to connect with peers from all our programmes and attend insightful events hosted by inspiring leaders.
"I was extremely honoured to receive the Women in Finance scholarship which enabled me to connect with some amazing people I would not have met otherwise. I was also part of the Student Investment Fund, which enabled me to observe how to apply all my learnings from the programme in a real life setting."
Expert career advice is also available from our outstanding Careers team. They provide support throughout your time at Imperial which includes one-to-one consultations, CV and cover letter workshops and mock interviews, to ensure that you are prepared from the moment you start applying for your first graduate job.
But your network doesn't just stop at those working alongside you. By tapping into the Imperial alumni network, you will be exposed to accomplished business leaders from around the world, who are happy to share their experience and open doors that lead to career opportunities.
"I chose to study at Imperial College Business School because I always believed that only by going to places where some of the best people are, can you become one of them. The experience of studying with a diverse group of people from different cultures and backgrounds gave me the confidence to make my voice heard while also listening to others."
There’s no one-size-fits-all in finance, so at Imperial, we offer a broad range of Finance Master’s’ that allow you to tailor your expertise in a specific area. Our programmes teach you how to practically apply the theory you learn in class to real-life business scenarios. Preparing you for your first graduate job, and beyond.
We are proud to see the women on our Finance programmes committed to developing their knowledge in the industry and go on to exciting careers where they can have a real impact on the future of finance. These are the women who are defying stereotypes, breaking the bias, and helping change the industry.