Bonded by financial modeling
It is easily apparent that ModelOff operates in a heavily male dominated finance and financial modeling industry. While the reasons for this gender imbalance are complex and much debated, ModelOff is a strong believer in the importance of diversity at both an industry and society level. While the issue of diversity goes well beyond just gender diversity, it is the gender imbalance that is our main focus at present.
Start from Within
While keen to help address the gender, we needed to first look at ourselves and acknowledge that, like the industry we operate in, the team behind ModelOff is also male dominated.
As such, we chose to establish the ModelOff Diversity Council (see below) to help give us a better perspective on this issue and strategies to address it. In working with this group of accomplished financial modelers, who have been involved with ModelOff for many years, we have explored many of the complexities of this issue. Three important insights from these discussions to date are:
- There is much greater gender balance at the student level relative to mid and upper management. Supporting and maintain this balance as those individuals progress their career is vitally important.
- Women tend to (although not always) have different motivation for participating in activities, competitions and challenges compared to men. The structure on ModelOff needs to reflect this.
- Female role-models are critically important to improving gender balance.
In 2018, we have redesigned many elements of the ModelOff competition to help ensure it appeals to a more gender balanced audience. Many of these changes are focused on ensuring that all participants, particularly students and young professionals, can tap into the educational benefits of competing in this fun global competition and ensuring it is accessible as possible.
ModelOff is also putting an increased emphasis on preparatory webinars and other leaning and development opportunities led by female financial modelers.
Our Approach and Beliefs
Ultimately, ModelOff is a merit-based competition and we don’t believe that gender has any impact on one’s ability to be a great financial modeler. As such, we don’t believe that initiatives such as gender-based quotas for finalist are an appropriate approach to addressing this issue.
We do however recognise that the accumulation of many gender-biased (both conscious and unconscious) systems, interactions and activities over many years has led to an imbalance of opportunities between men and women. Thus, our overarching approach is to ensure we provide equal opportunities and motivations to men and women by actively seeking out and correcting biased ways of thinking that prevent this from happening.
We know there is not one quick fix to the diversity and gender balance issues, and we are constantly looking for more ways to improve this. We welcome input and support form our global community and invite you to reach out to us on this to topic at any time. You can always reach us HERE.