• Ralph McBaiden

Open Palm's Careers Insight Day - opening up careers in Investment Management



We teamed up with Investment 20/20 to deliver our first Career Insight Day during October half-term 2021. This formed part of our activities for Black History Month, to inform and inspire young people.


We welcomed a group of 22 young people aged 15 to 18 in the City of London financial district. The group consisted of some participants from our WYZ® For Work employability course, students from a local school in Islington that we support and from a youth organisation we work with in Barnet.


"The UK Investment Management Industry plays a major role in the economy, assisting millions of individuals and families in achieving thier life goals by helping grow their investments. The industry also supports 113,000 jobs in the UK including 14,000 in Scotland. However, the ethnic diversity of the industry does not refelct the wider UK population or workforce." - Ethnicity in Investment Management - Building Positive Intentions into Meaningful Action - March 2021

When young people are asked what type of person they typically think works in the Investment Management industry, the usual response is a “money-driven, older White male who likely went to an Oxbridge University”.




Individuals from Black, Mixed Heritage or Ethnic Minority backgrounds often do not immediately think of themselves working in this sector. This can lead to a reluctance for applicants from these backgrounds to put themselves forward for jobs. The result is a less diverse talent pipeline, which later impacts representation at senior levels. Fundamentally, highly talented, diverse candidates can miss out on a career in the Investment sector because of a lack of representation.


“37% of firms specifically identified issues related to sourcing and recruiting talent as one of the biggest challenges they face in increasing the representation of professionals from Ethnic Minority backgrounds, particularly at senior level.” - Ethnicity in Investment Management - Building Positive Intentions into Meaningful Action - March 2021

There are a growing number of people entering the Investment Management sector from a range of backgrounds. This diversity is starting to show itself over a wide number of functions that are both directly and indirectly involved in the Investment process. Areas such as Marketing, Finance, HR and Operations all provide opportunities for those with other career ambitions outside of Investment Management directly.


However, the reality is, there is still a lot of work to do and the pace of change needs to accelerate.


Representation matters


Our young people who joined our Career Insight Day heard from talented and diverse people who had recently entered the Investment industry. A keynote presentation was delivered by Nathan Craig, an Investment Associate from Triple Point and 3 exceptional Black trainees (Saphire Henry, Mary Brown and Prince Ajudua) who shared amazing insights into their career journey. All contributors work in the Investment Management sector, on the path to becoming future leaders.


There was also an opportunity for participants to work on their CVs and better understand the recruitment process from start to finish, with guidance from industry specialists.


The cherry on top was a kind contribution from Charles Stanley Wealth Managers, who provided some Harlequin rugby tops. We gave these to young people in recognition of their engagement on the day - and that they gave up a precious half-term morning to attend the event!




More to come


This is the first of more Career Insight Days that we will deliver for young people. These events expand career ambitions, inspire young people and allow them to practise their learnings from our WYZ For Work online course.


There is an old saying: "you cannot be what you cannot see". These events, which showcase people from diverse backgrounds achieving their goals, can inspire a generation of under-represented young people to know that they can too.


If you are interested in partnering with us or volunteering at future events, please email us at info@openpalm.org.uk.