Foundation

Future IM/Pact

Advocating for and accelerating diversity in the investment industry.
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Sophia Croker,
A member of the Investment Team at TDM has been involved
with Future IM/Pact since her time at university.

It’s obvious that the investment industry has structural and cultural barriers for women.  Future IM/Pact is addressing this challenge that we believe needs to fundamentally change, and fast. We firmly believe that People and Culture are the beating heart of generational growth businesses. The DNA of great cultures is built on diversity and inclusion.

Here are the core stats that highlight this challenge:
– 41% of women at university don’t even consider a career in Investment Management
– 80% applicants for any given role in the investment team are male
– 6% of portfolio managers are women

Diversity flames both the creativity of thought and innovation, and inclusion ensures that the fire is seen.  Our core business is making great investment decisions as a team (further illustrated by our core value, Hunt as a Pack).  We view diversity of people and thought as the key input for maintaining effective conversations as well as avoiding the critical risks of group think and individual biases. 

We’ve experienced the additional effort that it takes to recruit an equal number of women – after all we receive c.10x more applications from men for any given job opening in the investment team, but we know the extra effort is not just important but critical to our future success. To achieve this though, we need to support an organisation focussed on solving this right at the root of the cause and we know it is going to take time – and that is why we look forward to partnering with Future IM/Pact for many years to come.

What does Future IM/Pact do? 

Future IM/Pact was established in 2018 by Yolanda Beattie with the explicit goal of attracting more women and diverse talent into front-office investing. Established with eight founding partners, Yolanda has grown this important industry initiative to include 24 leading super funds, fund managers and other industry participants, with a shared goal of educating and enabling more women to pursue this incredible career path.

Initially focused on inspiring female university students through events, competitions, networking, content and mentoring opportunities, the program has grown to also support early career women to build the confidence, skills and connections they need to land their first investing role.

How the TDM Foundation supports Future IM/Pact:

  • Mentorship for female students, and internship opportunities for contest winners
  • Active involvement establishing and judging the investment competitions
  • Panel discussions and events
TDM Team with competition participants

Changemaker Leadership

In her role as Mercer’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion back in 2017, Yolanda led the company’s Women in Investment Management Report, shining light on the investment industry’s diversity problem. Believing that the industry would benefit from greater diversity and having a deep desire to make a difference, Yolanda launched Future IM/Pact.

With two decades industry experience, Yolanda’s credibility and capability were match fit for the challenge. She recognised the need to get buy-in from industry rather than simply advocating from outside and established Future IM/Pact in partnership with eight founding investment firms who were committed to driving change and being part of the solution.

Yolanda set her sights on educating industry on why diverse teams perform better, raising awareness and changing perceptions amongst female talent, challenged hiring orthodoxies which preference explicit fund management experience over skills in related industries, and facilitated networking and job opportunities between aspiring female investors and industry players.

Exponential Scale

The Australian investment industry is relatively small, but in less than six years Future IM/Pact has had a significant impact on gender diversity and awareness. Some of the program highlights include:

  • 37 students placed in internship or graduate roles
  • 90 female students personally mentored by industry professionals
  • 1,135 students registered for their annual Investment Competitions
  • An exclusive female-only Top Talent Group comprising 332 of the brightest current students across the country
  • Over 300 women in their Early Career Program launched 2 years ago
  • Grown their industry partnerships from 8 – 24 investment firms across various sectors

They are dedicated to scaling their mission by bringing more diverse students into the program, as well as developing new programs that have deeper impact with students. This type of breadth and depth fits perfectly with the TDM Foundation view on the dimensions of scaling impact.

A Novel Approach

Future IM/Pact’s model and approach is tackling a systemic issue and doing so in a way that encompasses the entire problem. With a deep understanding and connection to both potential investors and the investment firms looking to hire more women and diverse talent, they are better placed than anyone to help solve this problem. Solving the problem at scale means learnings can be easily applied across the entire industry and not just to one organisation. This is a massive point of differentiation.

We unite the investment management industry in its efforts to attract and retain diverse talent, with a focus on women in front office investing.

Future IM/Pact website

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