CFA Society South Africa Pink Book

2024 Pink Book 

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The Women in Investment Management Committee of CFA Society South Africa have produced the CFA Society South Africa Pink Book. 
The publication will serve as a repository of a variety of experienced women professionals’ profiles in the South African investment industry across influential investment, business and client roles. The purpose of the publication is primarily to inspire the pipeline of female talent to ascend into senior female roles by displaying profiles of senior women role models, in the industry who have paved the way.

"This inaugural 2023 CFA Society South Africa Pink Book is a further project directly and specifically aimed at increasing the number of women who join the profession as well as retaining women in the profession with a view to meaningfully changing the number of women represented in senior decision-making positions across the industry.

As we engaged with aspirant younger professional women in the industry, we became aware that many perceived that the visible lack of a meaningful number of women in leadership roles was a contributing reason to disillusionment regarding their own likelihood of success and upward mobility in the investment industry. Through identifying and profiling senior women, including some of our longest-standing women CFA charterholders, it is our hope as a committee that all these women can be part of the change we need to see as their personal stories inspire and motivate the generations after them.

For this inaugural edition we approached a cohort of experienced women in the investment industry (whether CFA charterholders or not), who had recorded a minimum number of years’ experience and the substance of whose job position reflected the level of influential decisionmaking we believe more women need to hold. We are grateful to the women who took the time to respond to the survey and we look forward to expanding and building on this important repository in future years as we profile many more leading women in successive editions. The CFA Institute’s Women in Investment Management and Diversity is an action-oriented initiative. We issue a call to action to every participant in the South African investment management industry value chain to play a role in advocating for a meaningfully more diverse and inclusive industry that better serves investors and society. We see this as essential to creating a sustainable future for the investment profession." - Delphine Govender, CFA

This is an inaugural edition and will be updated every 2/3 years.

Empowerment -a multifaceted view of empowerment among female investment professionals

"How did you know that you are empowered?" – The goal is to get more female representation in the asset management industry.

Drawing insights from the 2023 CFA Society South Africa Pink Book, the responses to the question "How did you know that you are empowered?" provide a multifaceted view of empowerment among female investment professionals. These stories are testimonies of resilience, self-awareness, and a commitment to excellence within the asset management industry.

Empowerment, as depicted in the 2023 Pink Book, emerges from various aspects of professional life. For instance, one respondent described empowerment as a journey highlighting how feeling empowered evolves over one’s career. This perspective suggests empowerment is not a destination but an ongoing process of growth, reflection, and alignment with one's career aspirations. Another professional emphasised the importance of knowledge and a supportive atmosphere in fostering empowerment. Knowledge underscores the significance of learning and career advancement as tools for empowerment. A supportive environment points to the need for a workplace that trusts and values decision-making capabilities in a pay-it-forward setup where senior staff are committed to training the next generation of talent.

Furthermore, empowerment is also viewed as a mindset and sense of belonging, where faith in one’s self-worth and acceptance from the environment is essential. This dual dimension of empowerment encompasses belief and external validation that contribute to an individual’s sense of empowerment. It underscores the importance of organisations cultivating a culture that acknowledges and fosters the potential of professionals. Additionally, for some women, empowerment comes from recognising their agency, their ability to shape their career trajectory within their professional lives, setting boundaries, and being recognised for their contributions.

Through these personal accounts, the CFA Society South Africa Pink Book highlights the importance of storytelling in inspiring the next generation of female investment professionals. The stories are powerful because they highlight that empowerment can come from personal achievements, supportive networks, continuous learning, and an inclusive work environment. They serve to motivate, showing that despite the challenges and barriers in the asset management industry, it is possible to feel empowered to make significant contributions.

Creating a culture for women empowerment in the asset management sector will benefit individuals and drive growth and innovation within the industry. The tales should inspire companies and executives to make diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging an imperative and potentially a strategic benefit. By taking this step, we are laying the foundation for a diverse, vibrant, and prosperous asset management sector.


Written by Nomathibana Okello, CFA, Women in Investment Management Committee Member