When Presiyana Karastoyanova told her Bulgarian parents that she wanted to work in finance, they told her it would be hard to succeed in the male-dominated industry, no matter how smart or strong she was.
She proved them wrong, securing internships at Citi, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, a job at Nomura, and then a place on Imperial College Business School’s master’s in finance (MiF) course this year.
“The finance industry is changing, but at the senior levels there’s still only a small number of women,” Presiyana says.
Despite great effort to diversify their ranks, banks, asset managers and hedge funds do indeed remain a man’s world. According to figures from Catalyst, fewer than 17% of senior investment bankers are women and they account for fewer than 30% of executives in commercial banking, for example.
Many business schools, an important source of talent for the financial sector, may have contributed to the issue with their own gender imbalance among students.
But Presiyana recognizes that schools can also play a role in...
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