Fezeka Programme for Gender Diversity in Asset Management
The Fezeka Graduate Programme is a graduate readiness programme for black women looking to enter the asset management industry. Foord has partnered with a select group of investment firms to deliver this exciting initiative. Director Brendan Africa takes a closer look at the programme.
The Fezeka programme aims to provide structured development opportunities to high-achieving, black women graduates wanting to build careers in investment management. The programme combines theoretical knowledge, professional development and practical work experience within established investment management firms committed to growing the talent pool.
Incepted in 2022, the programme is hosted and administered by the ASISA Academy — the educational arm of the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA). The Academy is also responsible for the theoretical knowledge component through delivery of the Financial Markets Practitioner qualification.
Structured as an intensive 15-month internship, the programme goes beyond theoretical knowledge and classroom learning. It is designed to produce industry-ready professionals who can hit the ground running. Continuous assessment, coaching and mentoring are fundamental tenets of the programme to ensure a high standard of professional development and skills transfer.
Participants rotate between three different investment firms over the term of the internship. This ensures a breadth of exposure, delivering comprehensive on-the-job training in various aspects of the investment management function. Participants receive exposure to investment research and security evaluation, market trading, risk assessment, regulatory compliance, portfolio administration and client reporting. They also gain insight into cutting-edge technology and industry best practices.
With its proud track record of gender inclusivity and support for educational development, Foord jumped at the chance to participate in this groundbreaking initiative. In July, we welcomed Mikano Mashiti into our team. Mikano is a Chemical Engineering graduate participating in the inaugural Fezeka programme.
The Fezeka Programme is a visionary initiative with a clear purpose to empower women graduates to excel in the financial services industry. The programme bridges the skills gap, fosters diversity, builds industry-ready professionals, creates a diversified talent pipeline, and promotes ethical business practices. It is a testament to the industry's commitment to investing in the future and nurturing the next generation of women leaders.
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