The Growing Future Assets Investment Competition, which aims to find the country’s most promising new business brains in the investment world, has seen a 20% rise in the number of senior (S5/6) girls taking part this year.
The competition that aims to inspire and equip young women across Scotland with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the dynamic field of investment management has seen a steep upturn in entries over the past three years, a clear indication of the demand for more to be done in this sector for women.
Despite the financial services sector’s substantial workforce, the representation of women, particularly in investment management roles, remains disproportionately low. Shockingly, as of 2022 only 12% of UK fund managers are women.
Helen Bradley, CEO at Future Asset comments,
“The gender disparity in investment management is as wide as ever and this is clearly something that we need to address. Future Asset believes that cultivating diversity of thought is essential for generating innovative ideas and promoting effective decision-making, and that is exactly what we are working to achieve with our annual competition.”
The reach of the competition now encompasses 30 local authorities across Scotland, and they have had 17% more schools in total registered to take part. Equally, the support and engagement from the companies involved has seen a huge uptick this year.
The organisation’s team of volunteer Investment Management professionals has meticulously selected 14 companies, including Taylor Wimpey, Haleon, and Hotel Chocolat, as potential long-term investments and key spokespeople from some of these top brands have expressed their delight at supporting the competition.
Anne Billson-Ross, Group HR Director of Taylor Wimpey, expressed enthusiasm about their participation in the Growing Future Assets Competition,
“We are delighted to be part of this year’s Growing Future Assets Competition, which is a fantastic opportunity to kickstart the investment careers of aspirational young women.
“At Taylor Wimpey, we actively promote a diverse workplace within our sector. Since 2018, at least 50% of graduate hires have been female and we continue to promote and upskill a diverse range of talent, to ensure women are given the same opportunities to succeed in the world of work – irrespective of industry.”
“We look forward to hearing the pitches and insights gleaned from rom the research of our company and wish the participants the best of luck with the competition.”
Sonya Ghobrial, Head of Investor Relations at Haleon, who attended school in Scotland herself, said:
“Consumer health has never been more relevant than it is today. As such I’m delighted that Haleon, a newly listed company uniquely positioned with category leading brands and a clear purpose to deliver better everyday health with humanity, was selected as part of the Growing Future Assets Competition.
“Recognising and celebrating the contribution of women and improving their representation across all levels of our business, is at the heart of our DEI ambitions at Haleon. On a personal note, as a senior female leader in an industry traditionally seen as more male influenced, its really exciting to see young women take an interest in finance and engaging in such an important initiative.”
Helen concludes, “We believe that by empowering young women to enter the investment industry, we not only create equal opportunities but also contribute to the overall success and resilience of the financial sector.”
Teams can win up to £1,000 for their school and up to £200 in vouchers for each participant. There are two age group categories for 14–16-year-olds, and 16–18-year-olds, with teams required to present a written report and a three-minute elevator pitch video by December 1. The top teams will battle it out at a live final next March.
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