Financial wellness isn’t just a trendy statement. It’s a reality that the people at T. Rowe Price are committed to as they help clients achieve their long-term financial goals. This global investment management firm takes strategic investing beyond the numbers. It recognizes that different experiences and backgrounds drive innovation and creativity — and are made possible by the people who work there.
The commitment to fostering diverse perspectives enables T. Rowe Price to identify opportunities other firms may overlook. This is why the firm hosts an annual Stock Pitch Workshop for women, gathering a diverse group of MBA students entering their first year of graduate school.
Jason Polun, Director of US Equity Research at T. Rowe Price, kicked off this year’s workshop with an anecdote about an interview with a business school student that wasn’t going well. He explained that midway through her stock pitch, she stopped the conversation to say she didn’t think it was going well. Then she admitted to lacking experience in pitching stocks and the other practical knowledge necessary to her future in finance. After a continued conversation and the cultivation of a mentor-mentee relationship, T. Rowe Price leveraged this experience to create solutions for young women with similar career friction points. This is how the Stock Pitch Workshop was born.
The workshop is designed to promote gender equity in the financial industry, particularly in asset management. According to a recent study conducted by Bloomberg, women only make up about 14% of portfolio managers globally — a number that has barely budged in the past 20 years.
The Art Of The Pitch
Changing the landscape of any industry often comes at the entry point, and better-equipping early-career professionals can be a real catalyst. Because pitching stocks is a critical skill in investment management, especially during the interview process, T. Rowe Price makes it a priority for workshop attendees.
This year’s workshop was no different. Over two days, attendees learned how to find an idea, conduct primary research, develop a strong investment thesis, create financial models and deliver an effective pitch.
On the opening day, workshop attendees listened in on career conversations with women who’ve advanced in the industry. Cheryl Mickel, Portfolio Manager, Head of US Taxable Duration, discussed her experience entering the field and what drew her in.
“Once I started on the trading desk, I was interacting with brilliant traders, analysts, portfolio managers, economists. It was just very intellectually dynamic. It was as if the concepts I was reading about and studying were lifted off the pages and made very, very real,” she explained.
Helen Ford, Vice President and Global Head of the Investment Specialist Group, shared another perspective: “I fell into the career by accident but was very fortunate to end up in investing and staying there because it is an industry where you are always learning.”
As proven throughout history, women are some of the most important decision-makers at every stage of life. It only makes sense that this type of perspective is essential to the future of finance. More women need to be at decision-making tables to help companies make better choices, influence consumers, and drive platforms that make companies successful.
The Future Of Finance Is With Her
Putting women at the table starts early. Some of T. Rowe Price’s current summer interns shared their experiences during the workshop. Maggie Brady, a current student at Columbia University Business School, was one of three recent interns to speak.
“I knew of T. Rowe Price and was able to do the stock pitch workshop during my first year. I learned a lot and met some really great people,” Brady shared.
No matter their path into the finance industry, T. Rowe Price makes sure women interested in asset management are equipped, and it’s sending out a clarion call for ladies to get in formation. The annual stock pitch workshop gives bright young women access to tools and resources to master their skills and create new entry points for women behind them.
Click here to learn more about T. Rowe Price and its work to bring diversity to the industry.
This editorial is brought to you in partnership with T. Rowe Price.