Women in Capital Markets initiative launched

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Linda Tsarwe - Investment Manager at DBF Capital

The first in a series of Women in Capital Markets events well received!

As the world commemorates International Women’s month, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) recently hosted a webinar for “Women in Capital Markets.” The Women in Capital Markets is an initiative for women to network, collaborate, and support each other ultimately increasing the number of women participating in Capital Markets. This initiative, whilst still new in Zimbabwe, is gaining momentum in the region.

 In well-developed countries like Canada, the Women in Capital Markets initiative was established 25 years ago with a mission to accelerate gender diversity across the financial services industry. According to WCM, the Canadian body for Women in Capital markets, the female participants in that region have benefited from networking, gaining skills required to excel at every stage of their careers, whilst students have discovered exciting and rewarding career opportunities.

In Zimbabwe the percentage of women in the capital markets industry is estimated at 34%. There is an opportunity for an increase in percentage as more women gain access to the industry and as women convene to share ideas and encourage each other to “step up” and take up positions of power and influence in their organisation and create their own space in the industry. The series of webinars that SECZ is hosting, is creating a pipeline for women interested in participating in the capital markets and the Commission is doing that by engaging women from university level up to professionals. Soon the Commission will be embarking on a number of road shows where there will be more interface with students at schools and universities, in a manner consistent with WHO Covid -19 protocols.

In her opening remarks, the Head of Investor Education at SECZ, Farai Mpofu described the Women in Capital Markets webinar series as a way to ensure there is greater participation by women in terms of employment and investment in the Capital Markets.

The recently held webinar was a high-level discussion with various women who have a background in financial services and a keen interest in Capital Markets. The moderator Diana Madondo, Supervision and Licensing Officer from SECZ engaged in a live chat forum with the members of the panel. The panellists were Yolanda Chanakira the Corporate Finance Manager at Imara Capital; Princess Mazumba a Portfolio Manager at Platinum Investment Managers, Linda Tsarwe an Investment Manager at DBF Capital and Tinovimba Makanga-Matende, a fourth-year student at the Midlands State University who recently made a lone presentation in the local CFA Research Challenge, which was organised by the Investments Professionals of Zimbabwe (IPAZ). The CFA Research Challenge is a global annual competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and professional ethics.  The team is tested on their analytical valuation, report writing and presentation skills. They gain real world experience as they assume the role of research analyst.

The four webinar panellists emphasised the importance of support and mentorship for women in Capital Markets. Consistency, guidance, family support, and encouragement were identified as vital for women to achieve stability and balance between personal life and a demanding career in financial services.

The panellist shared experiences and challenges as women working in a male-dominated sector, including having to work harder to be acknowledged, women pulling each other down, and societal expectations. Despite these challenges, they said that they have received viable support systems from personal and professional level as women in capital markets.

“I have worked with phenomenal men and women who were fantastic in terms of training me from the grassroots,” said Linda Tsarwe.

The women availed themselves to mentor more women and encouraged women in the industry to be assertive, to interact and network with other women and men in the Capital Markets. One of the panellists emphasised the importance of reading and keeping abreast of development, as the capital markets are information-driven.

The webinar was very informative and interactive, as evidenced by the Question and Answer segment.  SECZ’s vision is for greater participation of women in the capital markets as employers and employees as well as investors.

An open invitation is extended to all women working in the industry, serving, growing or interested in capital markets to join the webinars and to mobilise as Women in Capital Markets, an initiative which SECZ endorses.

This article was written as part of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe’s Investor Education Campaign in partnership with the Investor Protection Fund (IPF). For more information contact: seczim@seczim.co.zw

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