Knowledge Center

Women in Capital Markets engaged Catalyst to conduct a study exploring the environment for women in large investment dealers. This study is a critical first step in understanding the issues facing women in the investment dealer industry and in creating an environment that is welcoming to women. Women make up a growing portion of the talent pool—representing roughly one-third of Canadian MBA graduates and 48 percent of Canadian commerce graduates. Yet, Catalyst’s 2000 study of MBA graduates, Women and the MBA: Gateway to Opportunity, suggests that only 10 percent of MBA women graduates believe investment banks are a good place for women to work.

The pipeline of women to senior management is very small, accounting for only 19 percent of managing directors, vice presidents, and professionals across the five functional areas. Women and men are attracted to the industry for the same reasons, the top reason being the desire for “intellectually challenging work.” The majority of women are less satisfied than men with career advancement opportunities. Women in Institutional Equities (42 percent) are the least satisfied with opportunities for advancement, compared with 67 percent of men. Women and men agree that the top barrier to women’s advancement is commitment to personal and family responsibilities. The biggest perception gap between genders is in Corporate and Investment Banking where 75 percent of women feel they have to develop a style with which men managers are comfortable, versus only 25 percent of men. Recommendations include increasing the number of women in the pipeline, and creating a climate that is more inclusive for women.

Sponsors: Canada’s seven largest investment dealers sponsored this study: BMO Nesbitt Burns, CIBC World Markets, Merrill Lynch, National Bank Financial, RBC Dominion Securities (Member of Royal Bank Financial Group), Scotia Capital, TD Securities