Young Women into Finance

The Young Women Into Finance Scholarship Program is One Search’s own not-for-profit social enterprise, established in 2018 to try and persuade more young women to look at Infrastructure Finance and Investment as a future career path.

Like everyone else, we had been talking about gender imbalance in our industry for years, but it wasn’t getting any better.  We decided it was time to try and do something to try and move the needle in some small way.

If things are going to change, it won’t be through talk. It will be through influencing the makeup of the candidate pool at entry level. In 2018, graduates starting careers in Infrastructure & Energy finance in London were 18% female. In 2019, that went up to 20%. We have a long way to go, to get to 50%.

Welcome to the One Search ‘Young Women Into Finance’ Scholarship Program.

How does it work?

We work with UK schools to identify high potential young women at the beginning of Year 12, starting their A-Level studies. We aim to find bright young women who do not already have role models in finance and who may not have previously considered a career in finance attainable.

Over 5 years, we work with these young women through their A-Levels and onto University, pairing them with a mentor as they go through the CISI Corporate Finance & Capital Markets Qualification.

At this point, we place them into our client base as full time graduate hires. We do this for free – we do not seek to make any money out of this not-for-profit venture.

By the time they graduate:

  • They are CISI qualified
  • They have had 2 full summer internships with leading banks and funds in London (our sponsor organisations)
  • They can build a complex financial model in excel from scratch (thanks to Kenny Whitelaw-Jones at Gridlines, who has committed to teaching them all for free)

Schools/Students – Join the Program

Are you a school with talented young women who would like to have their ambition unlocked? Perhaps you have female students at your school or college who do not have a role model who works in finance, and perhaps therefore they have had no insight. Many of the young women on our program tell us that they previously saw finance as something “not for people like me”.

With your help we can change that, and show them that is career path is absolutely open to them.  Are you a young woman who is 16 or 17 years old, strong academically but not sure which career path you want to take?  Are you the parent or guardian of a young woman who fits this description? Again, speak to us about our program and we can open up a whole new world of possibility.

For more information, please contact us at ywif@one-search.com

Become a mentor

We are ramping up the program in 2022 and aim to increase the number of young women coming onto it. Not only will this involve more work on our part (we have hired a Program Manager to coordinate everything), it will mean we need more mentors.

Mentors are our friends and brand ambassadors in the sustainable infrastructure investment world. They give up and hour or two every month to coach their student through that month’s section of the CISI qualification. Becoming a mentor means agreeing to a UK criminal records bureau check, and agreeing to commit (one year at a time) to monthly catchups with your student.

If you could spare the time and energy to be a mentor, please contact us at ywif@one-search.com

Sponsor the program

The success of this program will depend on those organisations it aims to serve. We want to help you get to a point where the candidate pool is truly balanced and diverse, but we are going to need your help.

If your organization is committed to tackling the gender imbalance in our industry and prepared to invest in the long term alongside us, please contact us at ywif@one-search.com for more information.

An annual sponsorship slot involves an investment of £10k.
Here’s the immediate return:

  • 2 students on summer internship each year (you get to choose whether to invite them back the following year of course)
  • Branding on all our literature and events
  • A seat on our advisory board

Our kind sponsors