Starting to build the talent pipeline
Rhian Bowler / 28 Mar 2018
E2W and the CISI launched a pilot programme in 2017 to encourage more girls into financial services and to help to build the talent pipeline that in future years will be filling more senior roles.
About the programme
E2W and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) launched a pilot programme last September to encourage more girls into financial services. We engaged our community and their clients to act as sponsors, mentors and role models for participants.
The programme involved taking a qualification designed for 16-19 year olds, the CISI’s ‘Fundamentals of Financial Services’, an important first step in developing essential basic knowledge required for working in financial services and, one that we hoped would give the girls a head start when applying for jobs.
Throughout the programme each gained a broad overview of key parts of the industry: the types of banking, commonly used financial products, and an understanding of financial terminology. Students were partnered with an E2W member as a mentor who invited them to visit their offices and gain first-hand experience of a City working environment. The mentor programme also gave the girls access to a senior professional to whom they could ask questions.
The first four of our nine students who were available to sit their exam in February, passed with flying colours, and this is their feedback.
Madeleine Opoku (Student at Beths Grammar School)
I took part in the programme to gain a deeper understanding on a variety of topics within the financial services such as stocks, bonds, interest rates, roles of banks, etc. In addition to this, I was able to obtain an extra qualification to help differentiate me from others who may have similar characteristics and academic records like mine.
Not only did the programme help strengthen my knowledge of financial services, it also taught me the essence of networking skills. As a participant of the pilot programme, I had the opportunity of having a mentor who works in the financial industry. This was a great privilege as she was able to help me with my studies and talk me through the necessary skills needed for working in Finance.
Taking part in the E2W programme has definitely been a worthwhile experience. Not only does it give you something to talk about on your CV, it also helps to broaden your general knowledge on the industry itself and decide whether the industry is a suitable choice for you.
Thank you very much again for the opportunity.
Kyra-Jade Lamptey (Sixth form student at Beths Grammar School)
Why did you take part?
CISI was an opportunity introduced to me by one of my friends. It provides insight and knowledge about the kind of services (what they provide and how they work) in the finance industry. I saw it as a chance to strengthen my economic knowledge and also gain a qualification in this topic as I am very interested in it and seek to include finance in my future career.
What did you get out of taking part personally?
From CISI, not only did I get a qualification, but I also used it as an extra resource when it comes to revising for my Economics A level. I learned about bonds, equity and foreign exchange, things I hadn't fully understood from studying my A level course. As well as this, I also practised my exam technique: it allowed me to 'get into the flow' of exams a bit more, preparing me for the mocks that I took part in a week later.
How do you think/ hope it will help you?
I hope it will help me in the future when meeting employers and teams that I will eventually work with. I do also hope that I will receive many other CISI opportunities or potentially a career in the firm as it seemed like a lovely working environment.
What would you say to other girls thinking about doing the E2W/ CISI programme?
I would definitely encourage other girls to take part in this programme! Doing a few extra things to widen/strengthen your knowledge and strengthen your exam technique will improve you mentally but also emotionally when dealing with nerves and pushing yourself.
Rose Boetang (Student at Beths Grammar School)
I took part in the E2W/CISI programme to gain a deeper insight into the different sectors and aspects of the finance world. It has helped me to have a competitive advantage and improve my time management skills as I had to study this programme alongside my A levels.
Whilst doing this course I had the benefit of having a mentor who helped me every step of the way. As well as this, I had the opportunity to network with other members, an essential skill necessary in financial services. I would recommend this programme to all girls who are looking to advance into the finance sector as more successful women are needed in this industry, change has to come!
Priyam Thapa (Student at Oakwood Park Grammar School)
I feel as if I've always been unsure with regards to what occupation I would be content with, however as an economics student I've always been curious about the financial sector and the Fundamentals of Financial Services Exam was able to help me with learning about a new career pathway and understand new terminology.
The workbook provided by the CISI was quite concise and delivered content that was explained so that students would be able to understand concepts such as what bonds and shares were. A digital version of the workbook is also available on the website which I found was quite helpful and meant that I was able to revise whilst traveling. I understand that this qualification also shows my interest in finance and is something that possibly separates candidates especially due to increasing competition within the job market.
Rhian Bowler is the E2W career coach with many years’ experience of human resources and coaching at leading organisations. She finds supporting individuals considering their options after school, identifying their first jobs, changing career paths, and returning to work after career breaks very rewarding. To contact her please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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