How women can succeed in the investment world

The opening up of employment opportunities for women is nothing new – women have been climbing the corporate ladder for decades now, but some sectors continue to be regarded as something of a man’s world, with the investment sector being one of those. Nonetheless, if a woman wants to forge a career in investment, the opportunities to do so are available.


Before you embark on a career in investment, is it worth your time to evaluate the different roles available and see which one might suit you best. Some of the career options available in the investment sector include:


Asset management

This refers to a process whereby a client’s investments are managed by a financial services company. On behalf of the client, the asset manager and its staff invest in a range of financial products that would typically be unavailable to your typical main-street client.


Private equity

Some private equity roles are at investment banks, but a majority of roles are found at specialist firms. Private equity firms keep a percentage of the profits generated on deals they negotiate to finance client companies. As a result, firms can end up making senior employees very wealthy indeed, so competition for these jobs tends to be intense. A successful applicant would typically have already worked at a large investment bank and/or have a strong academic background.


Mergers and acquisitions

People working in this sector offer strategic advice to clients who are seeking a merger or looking to buy out a smaller company. The mergers and acquisitions sector calls for strong financial modeling skills among employees because deals have to make financial and strategic sense. You can learn more on mergers aand aquisitions here: [amazon template=product&asin=0470385561]


Pete Briger on Forbes will give you a good idea of the type of work done by a typical asset management firm. Briger is principal and co-chairman of the Board of Directors at Fortress Investment Group LLC. A global investment management firm, it provides alternative and traditional investment strategies to both the private and institutional investment sectors.


Flexible working arrangements are a boon for many women wishing to balance work and home life. Investment firms have changed tack to offer flexible working policies, but the tradition for long working hours is a stubborn one, and even if policy at the top favors a more flexible working environment, the reality on the ground may be quite different, with individual managers considering time away from the desk, however legitimate the reason, as skiving. There is the issue, of course, of promoting a more flexible working environment across the entire investment sector. Actions by individual firms are all well and good, but a change in the culture requires industry buy-in. It is hoped that the trend for sharing parenting responsibilities will see men recognize and look for more flexible working arrangement across the entire financial sector.


If you wish to pursue a career in investment, acknowledge the realities of what can be a tough work environment, but do not be put off. At the start of their careers, men and women face the exact same challenge – how to successfully evolve to meet the challenges they will face. The glass ceiling has been shattered in other sectors of the economy and it will happen in investment too.


Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.