Published: Mar 26, 2021
In the past decade, the investment banking industry has come a long way when it comes to supporting women professionals. Now, many investment banks are strongly focused on gender equality, and have implemented an extensive suite of benefits, mentoring opportunities, and networking groups that support women looking to build careers in investment banking. So, today, in honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting some of the top investment banking firms for women—along with these firms’ initiatives that further the hiring, retaining, developing, and promoting of women.
Last fall, we asked more than 3,000 investment banking professionals to rate and comment on their firms in a variety of workplace categories, including Diversity for Women. Recently, we caught up with some of the top-ranked firms for women to learn more about their diversity initiatives for women. In the following videos, you’ll hear directly from women at these firms to learn about the advice they have for other women beginning their careers in banking, and how their firms specifically support, retain, and promote women banking professionals.
Sarah Lawson is an associate on BMO Capital Markets’ leveraged finance investment banking team. In the video below, Sarah speaks about how BMO embraces and celebrates diversity, noting that there are women and people with diverse backgrounds throughout the firm, in every group and in all types of roles. Highlighting BMO’s commitment to education, Sarah also speaks about the firm’s formal workshops and training, as well as its extensive, informal on-the-job training.
Susan Schauffert-Tam is a working mother and managing director in BMO Capital Markets’ debt origination group. Below, Susan speaks about the importance that BMO places on mentorship, pointing to two mentors at the firm who’ve been integral to her career success. Susan also speaks about BMO’s belief that it needs women professionals on its staff in order to succeed, and notes the great importance of joining a firm with an inclusive and strong mentorship culture.
Neha Shah is a working mother and director in Harris Williams’ Energy, Power & Infrastructure Group. In the video below, Neha speaks about the strong culture of mentorship at Harris William, its focus on providing its professionals with work/life balance, and its many initiatives that support women who want to build careers in banking, such as its annual women's summit for undergraduate sophomores and its diversity, equity, and inclusion advisory council. Neha also speaks about the importance of creating diverse teams of people and the advice she has for women aiming to join the banking industry.
Gabby Hunter is a vice president in PJT Partners’ strategic advisory group. Below, Gabby speaks about how PJT Partner’s ability to maintain a small-firm feel despite its growth has enabled the firm to organically address topics around mentorship, sponsorship, and diversity and inclusion. Highlighting the great sense of community and camaraderie at PJT Partners, Gabby points out that, during Covid, the firm created various pods within the firm, allowing small groups of professionals, from partners to analysts, to meet informally on an ongoing basis. Underlining the firm’s strong support of women, Gabby also notes that many of the firm’s most senior ranking professionals are women, including its Managing Partner, CFO, and COO.
Each year, Vault surveys thousands of investment banking professionals, asking them to rate their firms in several workplace categories. Today, on Women's Equality Day—which commemorates the passing of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote—we took a close look at the differences between how male and female professionals rated their firms in our annual Banking Survey over the past decade.
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