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How T. Rowe Price's Stock Pitch Workshop For Women Promotes Gender Equity
Below is an article originally written by PowerToFly Partner T. Rowe Price, and published on December 14, 2018. Go to T. Rowe Price's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
When it comes to women in the workplace, the financial services industry has a problem: A study by Morningstar found that fewer than 10 percent of managers of U.S.- based mutual funds and exchange-traded funds are female. That's why T. Rowe Price is proactively working to increase the number of women in the pipeline by reaching out to women entering MBA programs.
One way T. Rowe Price is doing this is by offering an annual Stock Pitch Workshop for Women. The program's goal is to help women build the skills and confidence they need to interview for asset management positions.
The stock pitch is a critical component of interviewing for asset management positions—and one of the biggest deterrents to women when it comes to pursuing this career path.
"We have heard over the years that a reason women have not pursued investment management is the stock pitch. Many women feel intimidated and that they have not had enough experience with it early on," says Naomi Garvin, diversity recruitment program manager at T. Rowe Price.
This lack of confidence creates a barrier to inclusion.
"Research shows that men only need to feel 30 to 40 percent confident that they can do something to go after an opportunity, while women want to be 80 to 90 percent sure that they will be successful. This then influences behaviors around taking calculated risks," Garvin continues. "We as a firm are trying to close that gap, to show them the skill set needed to build a stock pitch. But part of the weekend is also about building a sense of self-confidence needed to deliver a pitch with conviction."
The Stock Pitch Workshop offered by T. Rowe Price helps women build the requisite skills and confidence through a weekend of panel discussions with T. Rowe Price executives and a day-long, intensive training on how to create a successful stock pitch. The process takes attendees through each step— from primary research and modeling to tips on delivery and presentation.
With the right skill set and enough confidence, women can feel empowered to pursue a career path that will ultimately require them to deliver a stock pitch as part of a job interview.
Fostering Gender Equity in Asset Management
The Stock Pitch Workshop for Women specifically targets recent undergraduates entering MBA programs because research indicates career trajectory decisions are made early. A study by the CFA Institute of its membership* showed that more than 80 percent of respondents made the decision to pursue a finance career while under the age of 26. More than one-third made the decision before the age of 22.
Tom Watson, Director of U.S. Equity Research at T. Rowe Price, who helped to plan the workshop and was also a presenter, agrees. "Our primary goal is to increase awareness and interest in an investment management career among high-potential, incoming women MBAs, as well as arm them for success should they decide to pursue this path," he explains. "Hopefully, some of the attendees will pursue investment management, ideally at T. Rowe Price."
Women entering MBA programs are highly sought after by competing financial services industries, particularly banking and consulting. Those fields tend to have better female representation than asset management and can, therefore, look more appealing to female candidates. So if women's interest in asset management is to be fostered, this is the critical time to do it.
"The Stock Pitch Workshop for Women not only gives us an opportunity to see these women earlier and show what T. Rowe Price is all about, but also allows us to lift the veil about what active asset management is and what we do day-to-day, not just as a company, but as an industry," says Garvin.
Adding Value Through Diversity
"It is essential that women have a seat at the table because women are making more and more decisions in their households," says Garvin. That means improving the number of women in asset management isn't just the right thing to do— it's also sound business practice.
"We need women on our teams helping us make the best decisions about the industries and companies we want to keep our eye on," she adds. "Because in many cases they are the consumers driving the decisions and the platforms that make these companies popular."
*See p. 6 of report
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