The Skills Workshop

Project Overview

Since May 2021, each year, we have launched a free virtual skills workshop and careers fair, running for six months, for all especially those from diverse backgrounds, to help start their financial career.

Together with our partners and participating firms, we aim to tackle the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities and increase social mobility across the industry by providing an insight into the industry, increasing financial literacy and building social capital.

By inviting the industry to meet directly with new talent from underrepresented groups, supporting professionals in how to have these conversations, share their company’s cultures and relate to new people, it challenges both the lack of diversity in the investment and savings industry and the need for inclusion within firms. It also prepares and supports those new to the industry for success.

Linda worked with the team led Rachel Green, Director, Institutional Sales at Nuveen, and supported by Natalie Saad, Project Manager #TalkAboutBlack.

We made it very easy for students to access the events, running sessions in the evening virtually, making them completely free and providing recordings for those who could not attend a session live.

Social media (Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn), working with Handshake, an early career network connecting universities, employers, and students, and making the programme free and virtual have been key to our success.

We are pleased to have been awarded a highly commended at the Women in Investment awards in 2022.

One attendee said:

“The session provided clarity and community. Clarity in terms of hands-on understanding of career paths in the investment industry. Community because of the exposure to diverse professionals with background each participant can identify with.”

Natalie Saad, project Manager for #TalkaboutBlack said:

“Linda’s experience makes her thoughtful advice incredibly impactful to the projects that she supports us with. Whether it’s supporting #Talkaboutblack in how best to gain maximum reach and raise awareness of our activities within the finance industry or the more nuanced ways to best appeal to the next generation of diverse financial professionals for The Skills Workshop. Linda consistently gives her time, energy and passion. She shares innovation in design and leverages her network of contacts to ensure that #Talkaboutblack can continuously raise its profile.’’

Key Points

  • Over 17,000 people have attended
  • In 2022; Participants come from all over the UK beyond the typical ‘London bubble’
  • Over 75% of our audience is made up of non-white ethnicities so our marketing strategy successfully targets ethnically diverse groups
  • The programme engages a good student population across first and third years, as well as graduates – we are seeing older people joining the sessions looking for a career switch
  • Participants are 50% female, demonstrating that our approach appeals to women wanting to get ahead in their careers
  • Over 1/3 of people taking part would see positive socioeconomic mobility by working in financial services (families from less educated/manual professions)
  • One in 10 participants was on free school meals
  • Almost seven out of every 10 applicants (67%) said they would apply for a job in one of the companies that they met at our careers fair

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