Financial companies target potential women candidates

Leading financial employers are backing a scheme to attract hundreds of
female undergraduates into the male-dominated City of London.

They will host a series of open days throughout June targeted at potential
female recruits. Those taking part will include leading banks and stockbrokers.

About 300 undergraduates from universities across Europe will be invited for
a 24-hour, all-expenses-paid trip to City firms.

They will experience life in a financial organisation, with each student
participating in a full day of activities and games based on real work

Donna Burns, director of global staffing for Fidelity Investments, believes
it is important to promote opportunities in investment management for female

She said, "At undergraduate level we receive far fewer female
applicants than male. We hope that by participating in such events we will
receive more female graduate applicants."

Burns denied that the City is a sexist environment despite the spate of
high-profile harassment cases that have occurred over the past year.

She said, "It is not sexist but women do need to be made more aware of
the opportunities. It is all about educating them. The world of finance is not
seen as attractive to females compared with other sectors."

Janet Bacastow, associate director for finance careers at London Business
School explained that while only 20-25 per cent of students on both our
full-time Masters in Finance and MBA courses are female, its aim was to make
undergraduate students aware of the opportunities available.

The Capital Chances – Women in Investment Banking event has been sponsored
by City employers including Citigroup, ABN AMRO, Fidelity Investment and
Dresden Kleinwort Wasserstein.

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