Positive discrimination in investment banking

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Report Thread starter 2 years ago
As a young white male trying to get into investment banking, it appears that the industry is doing everything possible to push away my demographic.
At the pre-undergraduate level, i'm included from at least 80% of the available work experience due to either my gender, socioeconomic class or even due to my race.
Programmes such as SEOLondon, Rare recruitment, the bright network and Big City Bright Future offer what seem to be endless opportunities exclusively to a certain demographic, which ultimately leaves the rest of us at a severe disadvantage when applying to spring weeks/Summer internships. Only a select few at the very top can get internships/insights from contacts/status, so out of the other 99.75% of us why should these opportunities only go to someone due to their race or because they got free school meals at school. Surely thats the opposite of levelling the playing field.
I respect that social mobility and the underrepresentation of certain demographics may have been an issue in prior generations, but today it appears to have strayed too far in the other direction. Its a sad reality when one can be discriminated against for their parents relative success.
I would like to make it clear that im not whining here and im still confident of securing a career in investment banking, im just curious to see other peoples views/experiences on this matter.
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Report 2 years ago
I agree. This is a fiercely contested topic which debates equality of opportunity vs equality of outcomes.

In front office jobs I do get the impression that minorities are proportionally over-represented in finance as opposed to under, but that is purely anecdotal.

My advice would be to play to your strenghts. IB, especially with bulge bracket firms is just the tip of the UK financial iceberg. The city of London, london in general, and all the various tax havens associated with the financial markets here in the UK generate a significant amount of revenue by managing the wealth of foreign HNW's and companies. Increasingly these companies and individuals are from developing countries and these people associate a well spoken white person with a professional high level service. I suspect you would be more successful by applying to buy side firms (asset managers, hedge funds, VC's etc.) where they will appreciate your client facing advantages. Don't be discouraged, you may start on a slightly lower pay and have smaller total compensation figures intially, but with some solid groundwork you will be outearning your peers after 5 yrs (in my opinion).

Not that I think people should aspire to work in finance anyway, but that's another topic.

Best of luck!

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