It’s indisputable that women are under-represented in the investment industry. A 2021 study found that women held only 24% of senior leadership roles in financial services. You might be surprised to learn that there are more funds run by men named Dave (or David) than by women.

At Investec, we’re proud to be a little ahead of the curve. In 2018, we pledged to increase the representation of women in senior leadership roles to 30% by 2022. We actually reached – and exceeded – that goal a year early, and we’re still committed to improving.

To inspire more young women to pursue careers in this field, they must have role models. As an Investment Director here in our Leeds office I’m more than happy to take up that mantle. After graduating with a First Class Hons. degree in Business Finance from the University of Durham, I began my career at Barclays Wealth before I joined Investec London in 2014 and then relocated to Investec Leeds in 2019.

I was recently invited to discuss what a career in wealth management can look like at a local event hosted by the Leeds Women in Leadership Society, Leeds University Union Trading and Investment Society, and GAIN (Girls Are Investors).

GAIN is a charity set up by investment professionals to improve gender diversity in asset management by building a talent pipeline of entry-level female candidates. After surveying young women, GAIN reports that there’s a lack of understanding about what an investment career entails and why the industry is important to society.

I can definitely relate to that. When I was at university, it was very difficult to know what different roles were unless you had family that worked in the industry. That’s what inspired me to share my experience with young women in Leeds. I wanted to provide a good insight into wealth management and the benefits of a career in it.

The event was well attended by 70 people eager to learn from someone who has successfully navigated the industry. I explained what investment management involves, what my role entails and my journey to it, what skills are important, and what lessons I’ve learned. It was clear that the talk captured the imagination of the attendees - it is always great to see lots of engagement from the audience with a range of questions at the end. That’s always a good indicator that the subject matter is of interest when such an organic discussion ensues.

At Investec, we highly value diversity of thought within our team, so we’re dedicated to recruiting and retaining women within our workforce, along with people from all backgrounds. If you’d like to learn more, read about our approach to belonging, diversity, and inclusion, or view current career opportunities at Investec

About the author

To contact or read more about Laura Park, visit her bio here.

Investec Wealth & Investment (UK) is a trading name of Investec Wealth & Investment Limited which is a subsidiary of Rathbones Group Plc. Investec Wealth & Investment Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is registered in England. Registered No. 2122340. Registered Office: 30 Gresham Street. London. EC2V 7QN.