Get a head start on your career and learn about the profession from inspiring, extraordinary women.
Those selected to attend the event will also be able to participate in the National Bank Financial Wealth Management 2017 mentorship program for young women students.
The opinion of an expert
Vice-President – Development and Client Experience
National Bank Financial Wealth Management
Women in Finance: How to Break Into the Industry
Financial Institutions have an increasingly female customer base and employment in the financial industry needs to follow suit.
A Symposium Dedicated to Women Investment Advisors
As soon as she was hired at National Bank Financial Wealth Management (NBFWM) in 2009, Angela D’Angelo wanted to gather together the women investment advisors in the company for an annual event. “At the start, the symposium only lasted half a day, but we immediately noticed that it responded to a need,” says Ms. D’Angelo, who is now the Vice-President of Development and Client Experience at the NBFWM.
Now in its 8th year, the Women Investment Advisors’ Symposium brings together more than 100 advisors from the NBFWM. The two-day event is a great place to share knowledge and develop sales skills in an environment that encourages networking. “The event is centred on developing entrepreneurial skills, which are at the heart of the work of investment advisors,” adds Ms. D’Angelo.
Mentorship Opportunities to Discover the Profession
Since 2015, this symposium has also been an opportunity to familiarize university students enrolled in business programs with the profession. “The industry currently counts 17% women investment advisors, and this proportion is reflected at our institution,” says Ms. D’Angelo. “At NBFWM, we want to build a new generation of women advisors by increasing the number of women hired. To do that, we have to attract more women to the profession. So, the first step is to better familiarize young women with what a financial advisor does.”
With this in mind, in 2016, the Vice-President established a program for university students that starts with participation in the Women Symposium and continues with a mentorship experience. “The students selected are invited to the symposium, all expenses paid,” explains Ms. D’Angelo. “I introduce them to the participants and I pair each of them up with a woman investment advisor in their area, who becomes their mentor.”
Last year, 14 students participated in the mentorship program, which lasts 9 months. Lamiae Senhaji was one of them. “The two days at the Symposium were incredible,” says the new graduate of HEC Montreal. “I grew my network and I learned a lot about the profession. The mentorship meetings that I attend now are introducing me to the work of an investment advisor, what’s needed to succeed in the industry, and the challenges and advantages of the job.”
“It’s a practical mentorship program,” says Ms. D’Angelo. “Networking activities, dining with business partners, and observing client meetings are all part of the activities planned for these monthly mentorship sessions.”
The NBFWM, an Employer in Tune with Employee Priorities
In addition to seeking to hire more women as investment advisors, the NBFWM offers terms of employment that are favourable for young working women who are embarking on a career in business. Support during maternity leave, which includes temporarily taking charge of clients and certain financial measures, is just one of the advantages that the NBFWM now offers to both its more experienced women advisors as well as to young women eager to start a family when their career is growing rapidly. “The National Bank is proud to innovate by changing how we do things to reflect the reality of women in business,” says Ms. D’Angelo.
Symposium for Women and Mentorship: How Can I Participate?
To participate in the 8th edition of the Symposium for Women Investment Advisors and the subsequent mentorship program, students in their 2nd year of an undergraduate degree in business administration from universities all over Canada are invited to apply by April 14, 2017. Desired qualities include a keen interest in finance, the ability to communicate ideas effectively, and strong initiative.
Students, reserve your spot!