By 2030, we want to be able to eradicate the gender bias of new graduates entering the finance industry

Exactly how male-dominated is the market?

As we mentioned in the introduction, one of our major clients recently disclosed to us that only 18 out of every 100 applications for its graduate scheme are from females. This tallies consistently with the wider market across Investment Banking and Private Equity where our research suggests that an average annual graduate intake represents a ratio of 75/25 males to females.

Even at the most junior levels, the 50/50 shortlist is simply unrealistic and, when you consider that the imbalance only gets worse as you look to more senior levels (with women leaving the industry for a variety of reasons), the size of the task comes into real focus.

Ulterior motives?

No – we are not trying to get paid at any point in this process. We are absorbing the full cost for year 1 ourselves (as proof of concept), and then setting up a Trust structure in time for a much bigger year 2.

Our sole motivation is to turn our genuine desire for gender equality into action. To stop talking about how nice it would be if more young women chose finance as a career path, and actually start enabling it to happen.

What do we hope to achieve?  

50/50 by 2030 – simple as that.

By 2030, we want our clients, our corporate partners in the programme, to be able to publish fair and representative 50/50 graduate recruitment figures.

Who are we targeting?

Our hope is not just to bring young women into finance.  It is to specifically target those who are least likely to have existing knowledge of, or aspirations for the industry.  We are talking about those less privileged, in poorer communities, who are less likely to have a role model in the industry already and may feel that a career in the City is not something they could ever aspire to.  We want to take the message out to them, that “YES, it is!”